Accused ‘Blasphemer’ Killed in Pakistan

When someone in a predominately Muslim country is accused of blasphemy, they are often safer being arrested and detained than they are left to the mercy of a mob. Here’s a perfect example, a professor in Pakistan accused of blasphemy who was assassinated without even being charged.

Unidentified gunmen on Thursday shot dead a professor of Islamic studies in Pakistan who had faced accusations of blasphemy and threats from colleagues over his moderate views, police said…

Dr Muhammad Shakil Auj, the dean of the faculty of Islamic Studies at the university in the southern port city of Karachi, had received threats following complaints that his teaching was too liberal, a colleague said.

Among the articles the 54-year-old had written was one arguing that Muslim women should be allowed to marry non-Muslim men, the colleague said.

On Thursday morning, two gunmen riding a motorcycle fired on the car taking Auj to a function at an Iranian cultural centre in the city, police said.

“A bullet pierced through his head, proving fatal,” senior police officer Pir Mohammad Shah told reporters.

“We are investigating the killing. It would be premature to state the motive at the moment.” In 2012, Auj had complained to police that four colleagues had threatened him and sent him text messages accusing him of blasphemy, said Deputy Superintendent of Police Nasir Lodhi.

No it isn’t premature. We all know what happened here. This is what happens in a nation stocked with religious totalitarians and barbarians.

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  • Pierce R. Butler

    It took them four years to line up a hitman?

    How long will it take the cops to do likewise?

  • Artor

    How much does anyone want to bet that the guys who pulled the trigger and drove the car never heard or read a word of what the professor said? Someone else cried “Blasphemy!!!” and that was good enough for them. “Barbaric” doesn’t even come close to describing these savages.

  • ianeymeaney

    Pakistan: our greatest allies in the Global War Of Terror!

  • sundoga

    Sorry, Ed, but you’re dead wrong on this. It’s WAY premature. Do we know if Professor Auj had a gambling problem? (Illegal in Pakistan, but that just means it’s more likely gamblin purveyors will be violent). Was he involved with a political faction? Was he having an affair and his wife found out?

    The obvious conclusion isn’t the only one. Sometimes it’s not even the probable one.

  • lordshipmayhem

    religious totalitarians and barbarians

    …but I repeat myself…

  • SallyStrange

    Re: #4, Sundoga

    Wow, it’s weird to see the same sort of reflexive hyper-pseudoskepticism applied to the affairs of Pakistanis, when usually it’s reserved for the claims of people in Western countries that [Insert Systemic Bigotry Here] really is a problem worth worrying about.

  • sundoga

    Well, I just don’t like assumptions. There’s plenty to criticize Pakistan for, and Islamic extremists for, and the intersection between the two is just sickening. But assuming an event is as it seems to be, especially early on, is a good way to fall on your face.