March 2nd, 2011
03:45 AM ET

Critic of Pakistan blasphemy law shot and killed

A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday

Shahbaz Bhatti, the federal Minister of Minorities Affairs, was gunned down in Islamabad Wednesday morning, Pakistani police and hospital officials said.

Bhatti, who in the past had been critical of Pakistan's blasphemy law and was a Christian member of Pakistan's cabinet, once said "I am ready to sacrifice my life for the principled stand I have taken because the people of Pakistan are being victimized under the pretense of blasphemy law."

It was not immediately clear why Bhatti was killed, but in the past officials have been targeted for opposing Pakistan's blasphemy law.

Read the full story

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Islam • Pakistan • Religious violence • Violence

soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. ELE "Everyone Love Everyone"

    Love is the answer and always has been. John 3:16. All other foundations are sinking sand.

    April 13, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • Artist

      I think this concept was around long before the delusional jesus walked the earth. Shame his grand delusion of being a son of god got him killed. He actually sounded like a cool dude. Ah we have our shortfalls, his happened to be insanity.

      April 13, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  2. TakeTime2Learn

    Wow, Give you Anti-God folks a platform like the internet, and you think you can step on everybody.
    You sure are very brave and sure of yourselves. Especially when a group of you get together. Self assured power and confidence.
    Beware when you take a step that you may not fall.

    April 13, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  3. Barry

    In the days of Moses, God commanded the Israelites to stone a person to death when they committed certain sins; however, this was to be done by the entire Hebrew community (not an individual), and those who executed the sinner were to do so with great sorrow, not anger or hatred.

    When Jesus came (he being a devout Jew), he was confronted with one of these situations. In the Gospel of John we are told that a group of people brought a woan to him, who had been caught in the very act of adultery.

    The people brought the woman to entrap Jesus, not because they had any concern about God's laws or the woman's soul.

    Jesus said, the Law of Moses does say that a person committing such a sin should be stoned to death, but let the one who is without sin cast the first stone.

    The Scripture says that they all left, beginning with the oldest, and then Jesus asked the woman whether there anyone was still accusing her of committing sin. She said no. He said, "Go and sin no more."


    “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.”
    (Jesus, from the Sermon on the Mount; the Gospel of Matthew)

    “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness. "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him." (Lamentations 3:22-24)

    March 7, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  4. Alfredo

    This is what Islam is all about. it's their way or death. Pakistan is a waste of time. Pakistan is radicalized beyond any human reason. India needs the world support while it's neighbor becomes an Islamic ruled wasteland of stupidity and death....

    March 3, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  5. Doc Vestibule

    @(B)iraq Hussein Osama
    You keep referencing the holocaust, but I can't discern whether you're blaming atheism or christianity. How about blaming Naziism instead?
    As for Sharia law, much of the world has found it barbaric.
    The Consti.tutional Court of Turkey stated "Democracy is the anti.thesis of sharia."
    The European Court of Human Rights agreed and said that Sharia law would "do away with the State's role as the guarantor of individual rights and freedoms" and "infringe the principle of non-discrimination between individuals as regards their enjoyment of public freedoms, which is one of the fundamental principles of democracy".

    Amputation for theft.
    100 lashes for fornication, 80 for calling a muslim a bast.ard, 40 for drinking a beer
    Execution for blasphemy, adultery, gossip, sodo.my, or apostacy.
    Non muslims in muslim communities are subject to a protection racket wherein they must pay a war tax. Failure to pay ji.zyah mean execution on the spot and total loss of property.

    March 3, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      @ Doc Vestibule

      Nazism is a creation of atheism-christianity. Atheism flourishes in the christian world, because pagan-based christianity is so anti-intellectual and breeds atheists like flies breed in a scu m pond. As such atheists and Christians are in a symbiotic relationship.

      You may point fingers at each other as the source of Nazism. Christians pointing fingers at atheists given Hitler's Godlessness and Atheists pointing fingers at Christians for Hitler's Christian roots. To us Muslims you are one and the same.

      March 3, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  6. HereWeGoAgain

    Crazy Muslims killing people again.

    March 3, 2011 at 10:12 am |
  7. Jeff

    Blasphemy is a victimless crime.

    March 3, 2011 at 8:12 am |
  8. oldzoom

    Just another case of the Taliban killing someone who isn't on board with their lunacy...the fun-damn-mentalist in the muslim world strike again. This will never end till the good muslims take a stand against their evil/radical counter parts.

    March 3, 2011 at 12:44 am |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama


      As a good Muslim, I will tell you, its a little hard taking a stand against our "evil counterparts" when you are shoving BILLIONS of DOLLARS in weapon systems down our throat to "help us along". We are not even sure we are fighting our evil counterparts or fighting something YOU NEED for us to be fighting. Follow?

      March 3, 2011 at 1:58 am |
    • Evolved DNA

      (B)iraq Hussein Osama.. why don't you just be a good human.. and forget your myth driven mindset. You have not said if you think this was fair to kill this fellow....all religions are death cults. If you think your best reward will come after death how can you be anything but reckless. Your assertions about Atheist\s is driven by what you have been told but have never observed.. evidence is a poison to religions...Faith is not the road to truth but a blind alley. The truth,if that is what you truly seek, is not supernatural.

      March 3, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      >> Faith is not the road to truth but a blind alley. <<

      who can be more blind than one who looks at this world and concludes it does not have a creator. That is the ultimate in blindness.

      March 3, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • Evolved DNA

      (B)iraq Hussein Osama..We do not have a creator..the evidence does back back you up. We are not blind to the fact that death is your only reward based on your world view which is anti-human. You have avoided stating your views on this as to whether you agree with this killing..it may show the real side of this religion and others. If Allah is real it is up to him to show himself.. not hide behind verses in a story book. Who made Allah.. god or Thor/ Ra, Hercules, Venus...

      March 3, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
  9. Enoch

    The level of bigotry, discrimination and violence against the Christian minority in Pakistan is an affront to humanity. The situation has steadily worsened for the persecuted Christians in Pakistan over the years. However, speaking up for the rights of besieged Christian minorities is not fashionable amongst the chattering classes of the West and the crimes against these poor people go for the most part, unremarked upon. Will we see demonstrations by “angry” Muslims in Europe against this vile murder and the campaign of hate against Christians in Pakistan by Islamists? Don’t hold your breath.

    March 2, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      The position of christianity in Islamistan (or Pakistan) can be compared to a town where all the cars are Mercedes. The roads are nice and fast, all the mechanic shops stock Mercedes parts and everyone has a Mercedes. Then along comes someone and wants to own a VW Beetle.

      Everyone in town is asking what the hell do you want a Beetle for, when it costs the same as a Mercedes, actually more, if you factor in the import costs and the maintenance costs. A lot more. But the person insists, no he wants a Beetle. Its slow, whenever he goes out in town, it slows down one lane of traffic and causes much annoyance. Makes more noise than the Beetle and pollutes the air more too. But the person insists on having a Beetle and to make matters worst, he goes around telling people, that his Beetle is much better than the Mercedes.

      Islam is the Mercedes, and Christianity is the Beetle. Sure it has sentimental value, does the Beetle, but in the land of Mercedes, its a hindrance and a downright public nuisance is the Beetle. It tests the patience of the people who drive around in their Benz everyday and adds NOTHING of practical value to the road system designed for the fast and high quality system designed with Mercedes quality cars in mind.

      Does that mean the Mercedes owners should start rear ending the Beetles to get them off the road? I think not. But you have to understand the point of view of the Mercedes owners too. And not just look at the Beetle owners and lose all sense of perspective. Wherever there is Islam in large proportions, there really is no need for Christianity, it offers nothing Islam does not have and more, much more.

      Muslims even have the same God, Allah = Holy Father. So when in Islamistan, go to the mosque, don't try to build a church, where there is no need for a church. The same God is worshipped in the msoque across the street, they don't worship the devil in the mosques, dear christians, they worship the Holy Father.

      March 3, 2011 at 2:45 am |
  10. Ayub Khan Kanjarzai

    I want all Pakistani girls to be like her:


    That way we can fight off these filthy KAFIRS! (Infidels)!

    March 2, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      @ Ayub Khan Kanjarzai

      Sure Ayub, Pakistani girls can be just like your mother.
      Just defeat the Taliban and the road will be nice and open for your mama to become the role model of all Paki women.

      March 3, 2011 at 2:00 am |
  11. WhoLou

    It was not immediately clear why Bhatti was killed, . . . WHAT ? You don't know ? God or gods is why !

    March 2, 2011 at 11:36 am |
  12. JohnR

    A true martyr, as opposed to the murderers who happen to kill themselves while killing others. I'm no Christian, but I have deep and abiding respect for those who put their lives on the line for what is right.

    March 2, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • Ron

      Agreed on both accounts.

      March 2, 2011 at 11:00 am |
  13. Amrullah Yousafzai, Margalla Hills

    Why couldn't all Pakistani girls be like her?

    March 2, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • Mentalenema

      There's not enough Nair in the world.

      March 2, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • jjh

      I am sure there are. However, I am sure many of them have have very traditionalist fathers. You can guess the rest.

      March 2, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      @Amrullah Yousfazai

      Sure they could all be like your mother!
      Just defeat the Taliban and all the Pakistani girls will end up like your mama!

      March 3, 2011 at 1:55 am |
  14. David Johnson


    There was a time, when you and I would have been tortured and probably burned at the stake for bad mouthing the baby Jesus.

    The religion of Islam is only about 1500 years old. When they reach their 2000th year, they may mellow.

    If a child came home with a picture he drew of Mohammad, would it go on the fridge?

    Just curious

    March 2, 2011 at 9:19 am |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      @ David Johnson

      Yes, can't wait for the Moslems to mellow, and become atheists like you. Start gassing jews in extermination camps by the millions. Imagine if this is how mellow you became, what will the Moslems be like!

      March 3, 2011 at 2:04 am |
    • Evolved DNA

      B)iraq Hussein Osama.. You absolutely know, and as as a Muslim I am surprised you still are not telling the" truth', that what you say about Atheists is incorrect. it has been pointed out many times to you but you do not understand. This fellow was killed in the name of Islam.. because of a delusional myth. .While it is true that both non-believers and believers have, and continue to, murder you will not find any atheist who did it in the name of atheism...if you have any such evidence please share it.

      March 3, 2011 at 10:37 am |
  15. JohnQuest

    I don't get it, it's wrong to say Mohammad is a killer but it's okay to kill the person that says it. Strange religion!

    March 2, 2011 at 8:51 am |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      but a lot less stranger than yours. Herding millions of people into prison camps and gassing them to death.

      March 3, 2011 at 2:02 am |
    • Reality

      The Twenty (or so) Worst Things People Have Done to Each Other:

      The Muslim Conquest of India

      ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      Rank Death Toll Cause Centuries Religions/Groups involved*

      1 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")

      2 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)

      40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)

      4 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)

      5 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)

      6 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)

      20 million Joseph Stalin 20C

      8 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)

      9 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C

      10 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)

      11 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)
      15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians)
      13 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C
      14 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C
      10 million Xin Dynasty 1C
      16 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)
      17 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans)
      8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians)
      19 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)
      7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

      March 3, 2011 at 8:13 am |
  16. Reality

    And the list of koranic/mosque-driven acts of terror and horror continues to grow:

    1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

    1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

    2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

    3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,481 and 924 died in non-combat98,691 – 107,707
    Iraqi civilians killed as of 11/9/2010, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and

    4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

    5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

    6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

    7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

    8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

    9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

    10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,116 killed in action, 902 killed in non-combat situations as of 08/10/2010. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

    11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

    12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

    13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

    14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

    15) Followed by the daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings every day in the terror world of Islam.

    16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

    17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

    18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

    19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 2/2/2011

    March 2, 2011 at 8:47 am |
  17. David Johnson

    Under Sharia law, could I lose a hand for taking home a company pen?

    Just Curious

    March 2, 2011 at 7:30 am |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      no, not really.
      but if you are Bernie Madoff, you sure could!!
      Sharia law punishes EVIL, and stealing when you are already well-off is EVIL.
      Sharia law was not designed to punish CHILDISH BEHAVIOR or DESPERATION.
      Stealing a company pen is childish behavior.
      Stealing when you are hungry or in need is Desperation.
      According to Sharia law, the cutting of the hand is waived in such cases.
      Thanks for asking.

      March 3, 2011 at 1:53 am |
  18. David Johnson

    Religion of peace?

    Is this what we can expect in this country, in the years to come?

    Religion poisons everything – C. Hitchens


    March 2, 2011 at 7:29 am |
  19. srvsatch

    come of it, islam. your laws suck and have no place in the 21st century.

    March 2, 2011 at 3:54 am |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      thanks but no thanks 21 st century, we will stick to our laws, we like them much better than your nuclear weapons and your gas chambers for exterminating humans.

      March 3, 2011 at 1:50 am |
  20. Ni

    Ohhhh, I bet there's a LOT of christians who wish they could make blasphemy laws here in the U.S.
    Christian Sharia Law, here we come!

    March 2, 2011 at 3:51 am |
    • Justina

      Ni, you need one, you chaotic hedonists with no moral standard.

      March 2, 2011 at 7:25 am |
    • The Bobinator

      > Ni, you need one, you chaotic hedonists with no moral standard.

      Ni, you need one, because obviously morals determined by society are bound to fail unlike the shining pillar that the bible represents.

      Fixed it for you with dose of reality and sarcasm. BTW, Sweden (i think) is mostly atheist and they have no issues with morals. Seems to me like you're making up ideas in your head to fit what you want to believe instead of investigating reality.

      March 2, 2011 at 8:56 am |
    • really?

      Ni that already happened it was called the inquisition........................Justina just thinks that if you don't have religion you don't have morals(trust and believe she isn't the only one). Isn't it funny that she is being rude to you about not having morals............bottom line humans have been killing each other over something we cant prove(religion) for thousands of years and we will continue to kill each over religion for the next thousand years. Personally Ill pass.........

      March 2, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • Ron

      Well, considering the first two comments, it would appear so. I agree with your thought that if they could, some Christian sects would seek to create their own blasphemy laws to foist on the people of the U.S. From my own experience, these types of "Christians" are simply the flip side of their brethern in the middle east. I doubt that these people would have the opportunity here in the U.S. as there would be a big up rising against them.

      March 2, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • ScottK

      I'm sure no one would have been surprised if the headline had been "Defender of US abortion clinic shot and killed". In fact I'll bet we would have seen plenty of comments from the religious nuts defending the shooter instead of claiming they are shocked by such violence in Pakistan.

      March 2, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • Evolved DNA

      Religion...the bain of society... Justina would be the first to go under Sharia law....religions have a pile of hate they have to push on each other.. This is a disgusting act,, but some may think its ok because the fellow was not a christian so who cares... such is the care for human life. Religions are death cults.. I am amazed that we continue to allow then to have tax free status.. look out Muneef will be on here soon willing to take this fellow place.

      March 2, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • Peace2All


      You Said: "@Ni, you need one, you chaotic hedonists with no moral standard."

      That's a pretty big judgement and generalization there, Justina, yes...?


      March 2, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • Hemma

      God's Ten Commandments is enough. No more than ten.

      March 4, 2011 at 7:00 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.