Pakistani activist fears he will be killed like father after blasphemy fatwa

Source: The Guardian

Fatwa issued against Shaan Taseer for allegedly insulting Islam six years after his governor father died in similar controversy

Pakistani supporters of Mumtaz Qadri at a rally in Lahore
Pakistani supporters of Mumtaz Qadri, who was hanged for killing politician Salman Taseer in 2011, at a rally in Lahore on Tuesday. Photograph: K.M. Chaudary/AP

A Pakistani rights activist whose politician father was assassinated in 2011 for supposedly insulting Islam says he fears the same fate after a hardline religious group issued a fatwa demanding his execution and the police launched an investigation into allegations he had committed blasphemy.

Shaan Taseer said the Sunni Tehreek, a grouping of clerics drawn from the Barelvi movement, was “gunning for my blood and provoking people to take my life” over a Christmas video he posted on social media in which he criticised Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.

His father, Salmaan Taseer, the former governor of Punjab province, was killed amid similar controversy by one of his own police guards six years ago.

The governor had infuriated hardliners with his demand for a government pardon for Asia Bibi, a poor Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy despite weak and contradictory evidence against her.

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