On January 4, 2011, Salmaan Taseer was assassinated in Islamabad by his security guard, Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, who disagreed with Taseer’s opposition to Pakistan’s blasphemy law. Taseer had publicly defended a Christian woman who was accused of blasphemy against Islam. His bodyguard killed him for this.
In response Islamists showered assassin Mumtaz Qadri with rose petals after his appearance in court.
Supporters of Pakistani religious party Sunni Tehreek chant slogans in favor of Mumtaz Qadri, alleged killer of Punjab governor, and shower rose petals while waiting for him outside an Anti-Terrorist Court in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011. Punjab governor Salman Taseer was killed on Tuesday by his bodyguard commando reportedly enraged by his opposition to laws decreeing death for insulting Islam. (AP/B.K.Bangash)
Supporters of the Sunni Tehreek religious party hold placards in support for Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, the gunmen detained for the killing of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, in Hyderabad January 9, 2011. Qadri, said he was angered by outspoken Punjab governor Taseer’s opposition to Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy law. Taseer, a liberal politician close to President Asif Ali Zardari, had championed the cause of a Christian woman sentenced to death under the blasphemy laws which critics say are used to target religious minorities, often to settle personal scores. (REUTERS/Akram Shahid)
A mosque named in honour of the killer of a politician who called for the reform of Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws is proving so popular it is raising funds to double its capacity.
The modest concrete building in the scruffy suburb of the Pakistani capital is named after Mumtaz Qadri, a former police bodyguard who in 2011 murdered Salaman Taseer, the governor of Punjab province whom he was supposed to be protecting.
Taseer had incurred public wrath by voicing support for Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman who had been sentenced to death for allegedly insulting the prophet Muhammad.
Mohammad Ashfaq Sabri, the prayer leader in charge of the mosque, said yesterday he needed to expand to keep up with demand.
“People love Mumtaz Qadri,” he told the Guardian. “More and more people want to offer their prayers in this mosque.”
The £7,500 they hope to raise will create a new prayer hall on the roof so that the 500 worshippers who regularly come for Friday prayers will no longer have to spill out on to the dusty lane outside in Islamabad’s VIP Ghori Town.