Haunting video: Assassinated Pakistani Christian cabinet minister on why he defied threats on his life

posted at 4:16 pm on March 2, 2011 by Allahpundit

This makes two Pakistani officials murdered in two months for the “crime” of opposing the country’s blasphemy laws. The first, Punjabi governor Salman Taseer, was gunned down in January by one of his own security people. Who, naturally, was then treated as a hero by Pakistan’s many, many jihadi sympathizers.

Taseer was a liberal Muslim; Shahbaz Bhatti was a Catholic, which made him both a blasphemer and an apostate. He was a marked man and he knew it only too well, as Nina Shea vividly recounts at The Corner:

He had waged a strong campaign — inside the government as a minister and outside it in cooperation with human-rights groups — for the repeal of the country’s draconian blasphemy law, which mandates the death penalty for insulting Islam. The 42-year-old was a Roman Catholic, the government’s only Christian minister, and the longtime head of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance, a non-governmental organization promoting national unity, interfaith harmony, social justice, and human equality…

Death threats were a constant in Bhatti’s life for many years. He once told me that he had never married because he did not think it would be fair to a wife and children to subject them to this concern. His work was his life: At the end of each day, he left his government Cabinet office and headed over to his office at the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance, where he continued to help Pakistan’s persecuted minorities until late into the night.

“I personally stand for religious freedom, even if I will pay the price of my life,” he had said when he received the USCIRF award. “I live for this principle and I want to die for this principle.”

A pamphlet left at the scene named Bhatti in connection with the blasphemy laws and claimed responsibility for Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Punjab. The second video below shows what they did to his car; this graphic photo from Getty will give you an idea of what they did to him. It’s the first video, though, that’s unforgettable — recorded four months ago, even before Taseer’s assassination, a weary Bhatti contemplates his fate. So sure was he of being murdered, in fact, that he left instructions with friends to send this clip to broadcasters when the inevitable deed was done. He reminds me of Franz Jagerstatter, another devout Catholic who resisted monsters knowing full well what the consequences would be. Jagerstatter is already on his way to sainthood; I assume the process will begin for Bhatti sooner rather than later.

The fact that he spent years working for human rights but only recently felt compelled to record a postmortem testimonial tells you everything you need to know about where Pakistan is these days. Hitchens marveled just yesterday at how “sick” our relationship with this sickening country is; the only silver lining in withdrawing from Afghanistan will be that we can stop pretending that we’re impartial as between India and this cancer on the region. Which won’t be much of a comfort to India: The weaker and more insane Pakistan gets, the more fissile material they pile up, and the more a horrendous outcome — a suicide bombing on a global scale — seems all but assured. I’m not sure there’s any way out.


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Courage defined.

pugwriter on March 2, 2011 at 4:20 PM

News report. Pakistani prisoners tried to lynch US Captive Raymond Davis for “Blasphemy”

And the Jihadis there are calling for his beheading.

William Amos on March 2, 2011 at 4:21 PM

I’m not sure there’s any way out.

It’s just a matter of time. Those who go first to win, win.

Schadenfreude on March 2, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Wow. That is conviction right there. Very humbling…how many of us would have that kind of courage? God bless his soul.

search4truth on March 2, 2011 at 4:23 PM

He had waged a strong campaign — inside the government as a minister and outside it in cooperation with human-rights groups for the repeal of the country’s draconian blasphemy law, which mandates the death penalty for insulting Islam

What do you guys think of this fellas position within the context of the SCOTUS’ decision? Essentially, Pakistan had ruled that speech against Islam was so denigrating that they passed laws against it—laws which Mr. Bhatti was opposed.

The Islamists were so incensed with his position that they killed him outright, for making the argument for his freedom of speech to say what he wanted.

I think it is related to the Westboro Baptists decision. I may be wrong, but I believe MR. Bhatti would have agreed with the SCOTUS insofar as the speech, while vile and denigrating, should not be limited by laws. When it is, it does nothing to limit the speech, it merely alters the outcomes, as Mr. Bhatti experienced.

Illuminating.

ted c on March 2, 2011 at 4:23 PM

This is the type of conviction I need to have. Be willing to stand up for what is right, even if it kills me.

ted c on March 2, 2011 at 4:23 PM

Maybe some crusading Pakistani’s will make a ‘strong move’ toward regulating high-volume AK clips….?

absurd.

ted c on March 2, 2011 at 4:25 PM

This only happened because of US Policy in the region.

/Libertarians

(Yes, I’m going to keep doing this until they drop the stupid and naive construct and realize that Islam is the problem)

mankai on March 2, 2011 at 4:25 PM

This man is a true martyr. God bless his loved ones and his soul.

carbon_footprint on March 2, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Crickets from all the world’s PC and multi-culti hyenas.

U.N. human rights, NOW and assorted worthless pieces of caca are basking in their courage weaselhood, as always.

PC will kill us all.

Schadenfreude on March 2, 2011 at 4:25 PM

ernesto and Rywall will be by to teach us rubes about the religion of peace and etc.

Schadenfreude on March 2, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Islam….the Religion of Peace!

search4truth on March 2, 2011 at 4:27 PM

The weaker and more insane Pakistan gets, the more fissile material they pile up, and the more a horrendous outcome — a suicide bombing on a global scale — seems all but assured. I’m not sure there’s any way out.

Indeed. The genie is out of the bottle. Too many threats from too many Islamic sources unless the west finds some political courage and takes preemptive action. That won’t happen..

a capella on March 2, 2011 at 4:28 PM

This is what a Martyr is. Take note you slimy jihadi’s.

Key West Reader on March 2, 2011 at 4:28 PM

He just received His rewards in heaven for his faithfulness.

God bless his soul.

portlandon on March 2, 2011 at 4:28 PM

I think I am gaining a new appreciation for the comfort/cathartic value of the myths of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Count to 10 on March 2, 2011 at 4:28 PM

Hey, maybe Obama will give him the Medal of Freedom… nawwww

MeatHeadinCA on March 2, 2011 at 4:28 PM

ernesto and Rywall will be by to teach us rubes about the religion of peace and etc.

Schadenfreude on March 2, 2011 at 4:26 PM

PrezHussein won’t be =)

portlandon on March 2, 2011 at 4:29 PM

“I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God.

Lk 12:8

ted c on March 2, 2011 at 4:32 PM

Islam is Peace!

/Ron Paul

mankai on March 2, 2011 at 4:32 PM

William Amos on March 2, 2011 at 4:21 PM

In recent days, Raymond Davis is thought to have made his situation even worse. According to Mian Mushtaq Awan, Kot Lakhpat prison superintendant, the American insulted the prison’s religious leader and inmates who had met for morning prayers.

I’d be inclined to not take that accusation as the absolute truth.
Conflict of interest and all that.

a capella on March 2, 2011 at 4:32 PM

Sorta OT … sorta not

Apparently Farrakhan thinks Rihanna is filthy.

http://nation.foxnews.com/culture/2011/03/02/farrakhan-picks-fight-filthy-rihanna

MeatHeadinCA on March 2, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Obama to suggest:

1. Mistaken identity
2. Random act
3. Listens to Fox News
4. Is he actually dead, or can the reports be wrong?

Obama to deny:

1. Any connection to religious beliefs

BobMbx on March 2, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Wow, very humbling. Prayers ascending for his loved ones.

OmahaConservative on March 2, 2011 at 4:34 PM

I’m not sure there’s any way out.

A small nuclear war stops global warming?

the_nile on March 2, 2011 at 4:34 PM

I’m not sure there’s any way out.

Oh there’s a way out, it just depends on whether or not we wait until after a nuclear event to open the door.

Bishop on March 2, 2011 at 4:35 PM

BobMbx on March 2, 2011 at 4:33 PM

5. Will not mention at all.

Schadenfreude on March 2, 2011 at 4:35 PM

only recently felt compelled to record a postmortem testimonial

wouldn’t that be a pre-mortem testimonial to be rolled out postmortem? i know, small taters.

NOTE: This man was unwilling to compromise his values and died for them. He certainly died a violent death with a completely clear conscience.

ted c on March 2, 2011 at 4:35 PM

This is the type of conviction I need to have. Be willing to stand up for what is right, even if it kills me.

ted c on March 2, 2011 at 4:23 PM

You and me both. Maybe we already have it and won’t know for sure until the time comes. *shakes head* We take so much for granted here in our blessed United States.

pugwriter on March 2, 2011 at 4:37 PM

Israel does this to the Palestinians regularly! Well, in a philosophical way.

/moral equivalency

mankai on March 2, 2011 at 4:37 PM

News report. Pakistani prisoners tried to lynch US Captive Raymond Davis for “Blasphemy”

And the Jihadis there are calling for his beheading.

William Amos on March 2, 2011 at 4:21 PM

Time for another “Burn the Quran live” event. Free speech and all that, no matter how vile.

8-1 in favor of burning. Flick of the Bic, sir?

BobMbx on March 2, 2011 at 4:37 PM

God bless Mr. Bhatti, may he rest in peace and may his selfless prayers and sacrifice for love be answered.

perries on March 2, 2011 at 4:37 PM

His murderers’ coreligionists will be rallying at the White house tomorrow publicly calling the US to convert en mass to Islam.

Here’s their plan for covering the Statue of Liberty with a Burka until they can replace it with a minaret.

How are we gonna shut these goons down when we can’t shut up the Phelpses?

Akzed on March 2, 2011 at 4:38 PM

Pakistan is rapidly becoming the most dangerous country on the planet.

WisCon on March 2, 2011 at 4:39 PM

And — no surprise here — between the Muslim vermin at Al Jazeera US and the anti-religious liberal vermin at YouTube, the comments are already disabled on the video of this most courageous and committed Christian.

Can’t have Christians leaving their thanks and praise for this man’s faith, can we?

Jaibones on March 2, 2011 at 4:39 PM

I give thanks to God for Shahbaz Bhatti and his unshakable faith.

Jaibones on March 2, 2011 at 4:40 PM

That is one courageous person.

gumble on March 2, 2011 at 4:41 PM

Wow. Amazing courage, that.

But I’m afraid we are losing this war against radical Islam. I see a possible future where the entire Middle East goes radical Islamist, including the Pakis, will unite under a caliphate, cut off the oil to the West, and then go after Israel as they have stated they would for so long. And then all bets are off.

Thanks Google and Facebook, for fomenting the radicals into revolution.

ornery_independent on March 2, 2011 at 4:41 PM

Religion of….oh hell its too easy.

pseudonominus on March 2, 2011 at 4:41 PM

RIP…He is truly a profile in courage…

RedSoxNation on March 2, 2011 at 4:41 PM

Look at what his position was. The guy stood up for FREEDOM OF SPEECH so that he could present Christianity as an alternative to Islam. Now, does that operationally get defined as an ‘insult to Islam’ merely because its an alternative? I think it does. These are some narrow minded thinkers that are tyrannically controlling people’s beliefs. That being said, Catholics are woefully down on their own ‘apostates’ as many of us know, however, they’re not executing them in the back of a mercedes.

ted c on March 2, 2011 at 4:41 PM

Obooba called for that minister in FL not to burn a Koran.

Ya think he’ll call on Chouderheadry not to tear down the Statue of Liberty?

Akzed on March 2, 2011 at 4:42 PM

Martyr.

ted c on March 2, 2011 at 4:42 PM

Islam….the Religion of Peace!
search4truth on March 2, 2011 at 4:27 PM

It is a death cult, and a virulent psychosis masquerading as a religion to excuse the savagery of the barbarians who practice it. It may indeed be the most regressive and oppressive force in the history of all mankind.

Sorry. I can’t even suppress my disgust by just making derisive, sarcastic “religion of peace” remarks today.

Vyce on March 2, 2011 at 4:42 PM

ted c on March 2, 2011 at 4:23 PM

I think it’s a huge stretch to compare the two situations. The only penalty the Westboro thugs would have been subjected to is the inability to harass, sorry, protest family members at a funeral. They still would have been free to bully and spew their hatred anywhere else.

Contrast that with what the penalties (both criminal and cultural) are blasphemy looks like in Pakistan.

Buy Danish on March 2, 2011 at 4:42 PM

The weaker and more insane Pakistan gets, the more fissile material they pile up, and the more a horrendous outcome — a suicide bombing on a global scale — seems all but assured. I’m not sure there’s any way out.

Nuke from orbit. Its the only way to be sure.

pseudonominus on March 2, 2011 at 4:43 PM

Argh. [Contrast that with what the penalties (both criminal and cultural) are for blasphemy looks like in Pakistan.]

Buy Danish on March 2, 2011 at 4:44 PM

the only silver lining in withdrawing from Afghanistan will be that we can stop pretending that we’re impartial as between India and this cancer on the region.

If Pakistan keeps heading the way it’s going now we won’t be able to pullout of Afghanistan.

Mark1971 on March 2, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Buy Danish on March 2, 2011 at 4:42 PM

I gotcha. But, in both the SCOTUS case and Pakistan, the isse on the table was Freedom of Speech, right? Bhatti opposed laws that prevented him from spreading his faith because, as an extension, the spreading of Christianity is automatically shown to be an insult to Islam. In the Westboro Baptist case, the issue was should they be allowed to protest those funerals, or not? The muslims in pakistan probably view the speech by Bhatti as equally vile as we do the speech by the Westboro Baptists. The Paki’s took the next step and outlawed that. The SCOTUS today did not maybe partially because the next steps we’d be seeing would be exactly what they have in Pakistan?

I dunno, that’s just how I see it.

ted c on March 2, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Heartbreaking but encouraging.

Bee on March 2, 2011 at 4:48 PM

mankai on March 2, 2011 at 4:25 PM

I do not get the isolationist screed of some libertarians. Whether or not we made the best steps in the past in our foreign policy in the Middle East is immaterial now. If we disengage from the Middle East and Afpak, our enemies will be massively emboldened. On this end of things, it is too late. The other thing that it is never answered is this: why is there a modern state of Israel in the first place? Western indifference led to the slaughter of six million Jews and many millions more in the way of Hitler’s designs. Now the 21st century isolationist say we provoke the Arab world with our aid to Israel. Ironically the Jews are the problem all over again.

mwbri on March 2, 2011 at 4:48 PM

The weaker and more insane Pakistan gets, the more fissile material they pile up, and the more a horrendous outcome — a suicide bombing on a global scale — seems all but assured.

You know what, AP. You’re probably right. The licks are for certain to start coming. Once this wave starts to hit the shore, no telling where it’s going. BTW, I wonder how much ammo I’ve got, not that it’ll matter anyway…

ted c on March 2, 2011 at 4:50 PM

Ironically the Jews are the problem all over again.

mwbri on March 2, 2011 at 4:48 PM

you mean, prophetically, right?

ted c on March 2, 2011 at 4:51 PM

Religion of peace!

amerpundit on March 2, 2011 at 4:53 PM

AP: You wrote:

…Punjabi governor Salman Taseer, was gunned down in January by one of his own security people.

Then, in the BBC report on today’s murder I see the following:

The minister had not been accompanied by his guards or the security escort vehicle that is standard for all Pakistani ministers, and it is not clear why.

And I am left to wonder Hmmmmm….

Blaise on March 2, 2011 at 4:53 PM

Good and faithful servant. I think Mr Batti is hearing Jesus say those words about him in heaven right now.

-think I will light a candle tonight and pray a prayer of thanks for Christians like Mr Batti and a prayer to protect Christians around the world

-and I would love a statement from President Obama and Hillary Clinton on this assassination.

journeyintothewhirlwind on March 2, 2011 at 4:54 PM

USAToday: The Frankfurt shooter is a German-born Muslim.

amerpundit on March 2, 2011 at 4:55 PM

What an amazing man. He is certainly already a saint – it’s just a matter of us recognizing it.

AbaddonsReign on March 2, 2011 at 4:56 PM

this story really needs to go far and wide.

ted c on March 2, 2011 at 4:58 PM

Obviously I don’t think that the Jews are the problem in any way, but I agree with you that it is prophetic that some keep coming back to “if it wasn’t for those Jews” as an answer to international problems.

mwbri on March 2, 2011 at 4:58 PM

you mean, prophetically, right?
ted c on March 2, 2011 at 4:51 PM

Huh?

Akzed on March 2, 2011 at 4:58 PM

What a stupid waste of a life. Unless–martyrdom? That may be what the Muslims have done here. My level of respect for Islam was already at a nadir, who would have thought it could possibly go lower.

jeanie on March 2, 2011 at 5:00 PM

Huh?

Akzed on March 2, 2011 at 4:58 PM

The Bible prophesies a very specific end time configuration of world politics. Israel is pictured as being re-established (Ezekiel 37:21-22) and surrounded by hostile Arab neighbors intent on its destruction (Ezekiel 35:1 – 36:7). This, of course has been the situation in the Middle East since the Israeli Declaration of Independence in May of 1948.

ted c on March 2, 2011 at 5:02 PM

COEXIST, man!
Peace out.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on March 2, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Who was it that said they won’t stop till the flag of Islam is over the White House?

Kini on March 2, 2011 at 5:05 PM

ted c on March 2, 2011 at 5:02 PM

Israel was reestablished. It’s called the Church, Gal. 6:16.

The texts you misinterpret were fulfilled 2000 years ago.

Akzed on March 2, 2011 at 5:06 PM

Shahbaz Bhatti is enjoying his reward. May other Pakistanis rise up to take his place of labor, as long as there’s a sliver of hope for that vile, corrupt nation.

itsnotaboutme on March 2, 2011 at 5:09 PM

I dunno, that’s just how I see it.
ted c on March 2, 2011 at 4:46 PM

This is how I see it. Look, there is no First Amendment in Pakistan.

Buy Danish on March 2, 2011 at 5:14 PM

Didn’t Obama say something a year ago or so about us all dissing on these people’s culture?
Somebody needs to come up with a good 3 minute youtube clip of all the moronic things Obama has said.

JellyToast on March 2, 2011 at 5:14 PM

Standing up to Islamofascists gets you no peace prize.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnLqoRtUAVg

gumble on March 2, 2011 at 5:18 PM

It’s time, past time really, to protect ourselves from the cancer that is islam.

Rebar on March 2, 2011 at 5:20 PM

Somebody needs to come up with a good 3 minute youtube clip of all the moronic things Obama has said.

JellyToast on March 2, 2011 at 5:14 PM

3 mins? You couldn’t get through the highpoints in 3 mins.

This is actually easier done than said. All one need do is edit out every minute of MSNBC when The One isn’t talking, and you’ll be done.

BobMbx on March 2, 2011 at 5:20 PM

These people have nuclear weapons.

TheBigOldDog on March 2, 2011 at 5:20 PM

The weaker and more insane Pakistan gets, the more fissile material they pile up, and the more a horrendous outcome — a suicide bombing on a global scale — seems all but assured. I’m not sure there’s any way out.

Nuke from orbit. Its the only way to be sure.

pseudonominus on March 2, 2011 at 4:43 PM

We’d better know where every gram of enriched Uranium and Plutonium are, where every bomb is, and where every single centrifuge is in that crap-hole of a country. It’ll be messy for whoever is downwind though.

slickwillie2001 on March 2, 2011 at 5:27 PM

-and I would love a statement from President Obama and Hillary Clinton on this assassination.

journeyintothewhirlwind on March 2, 2011 at 4:54 PM

One crept across my AP wire a few hours ago. I believe it did specifically acknolwedge that the victim was Christian but also mentioned the larger context of blasphemy laws. The individual faith of the victim was a bit lost in other finger wagging.

dieudonne on March 2, 2011 at 5:31 PM

Whew, good thing we have a Nobel Peace Prize president who reflexively speaks out against violence towards Christians. Um wait…

Western_Civ on March 2, 2011 at 6:01 PM

Courage!!!

PappyD61 on March 2, 2011 at 6:08 PM

The weaker and more insane Pakistan gets, the more fissile material they pile up, and the more a horrendous outcome — a suicide nuclear homicide bombing on a global scale — seems all but assured. I’m not sure there’s any way out.

Wow! An epiphany after how long, Ed? Does this mean it is now OK to actually discuss retaliation BEFORE we get hit with the first nuclear device, here on HotAir??? Without being banned?

If you can’t discuss it and the possible consequences of nuclear terrorism without being threatened with loss of commenting privileges, then don’t be surprised when massive nuclear retaliation is visited upon Pakistan in our name somewhere down the road, Allah.

And the answer is there isn’t any way out. It is either our foxhole, or theirs.

Subsunk

Subsunk on March 2, 2011 at 6:14 PM

ted c on March 2, 2011 at 4:32 PM

This.

rightwingyahooo on March 2, 2011 at 6:16 PM

then don’t be surprised when massive nuclear retaliation is visited upon Pakistan in our name somewhere down the road, Allah.

Subsunk on March 2, 2011 at 6:14 PM

No way this can happen for at least 2 years.

BobMbx on March 2, 2011 at 6:17 PM

Eternal rest grant unto him
May perpetual light shine upon him
May he rest in peace

Tonight I will ask for the intersession of St. Shahbaz Bhatti for the conversion of Pakistan.

talking_mouse on March 2, 2011 at 6:34 PM

It’s getting harder and harder to believe we can coexist with these folks.

Cindy Munford on March 2, 2011 at 6:40 PM

Allahpundit:

Taseer was a liberal Muslim; Shahbaz Bhatti was a Catholic, which made him both a blasphemer and an apostate.

Why do you call him an apostate? I don’t recall anything in the article mentioning him being an apostate. Yeah, he’s a Catholic, but not a Muslim apostate.

EFG on March 2, 2011 at 7:06 PM

Din! Din! Din!
You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din!
Tho’ I’ve belted you an’ flayed you,
By the livin’ Gawd that made you,
You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din!

patrick neid on March 2, 2011 at 7:53 PM

Islam is NOT a religion. It is a 1400 year old terrorist organization.

No moral person claims otherwise.

proconstitution on March 2, 2011 at 7:59 PM

“I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God.

Lk 12:8

ted c on March 2, 2011 at 4:32 PM

I look forward to meeting this man in heaven. Mr. Bhatti’s life will not be waste. His words will reach the ears of those who are lost, and need to know Christ. His example will give strength to other believers who need strength and need help to stand.

What courage! My heart cries tears of joy for him. Can I get an amen!

j_galt on March 2, 2011 at 10:22 PM

Islam needs to be in a prophylactic zone.

profitsbeard on March 2, 2011 at 11:22 PM

The fact that he spent years working for human rights but only recently felt compelled to record a postmortem testimonial tells you everything you need to know about where Pakistan is these days. Hitchens marveled just yesterday at how “sick” our relationship with this sickening country is; the only silver lining in withdrawing from Afghanistan will be that we can stop pretending that we’re impartial as between India and this cancer on the region. Which won’t be much of a comfort to India: The weaker and more insane Pakistan gets, the more fissile material they pile up, and the more a horrendous outcome — a suicide bombing on a global scale — seems all but assured. I’m not sure there’s any way out.
-AP

You’re like Nikki Haley. You’ve got a perpetual look of surprise about you these days.

DFCtomm on March 3, 2011 at 12:58 AM