New media: Online popularity for killer sparks controversy

Published: January 5, 2011
As one section wants the page struck down, another continues to make more.

As one section wants the page struck down, another continues to make more.

KARACHI: No sooner had the identity of Salmaan Taseer’s killer been revealed, and his smug grin flashed across all TV channels, a Facebook fan page was set up in support of the man who had murdered the governor of Punjab.

Up until the writing of this piece, there were over 2,000 ‘likes’ for the page that paints this assassin as a hero, a holy warrior and a champion of Islam. The profile text on the page reads as follows: ‘We support the action of Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri and want the Supreme Court of Pakistan to take immediate action against his arrest and order to free him.’

However, by midnight, the page had been struck down by Facebook but six other groups had sprung up. A message on a page called Ghazi Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri urged people to make groups as many times as others reported it. By the filing of this report, 135 people had already joined the group while 392 people had joined another group.

On the earlier page, except for one or two exceptions, the posts hail Qadri as a ‘ghazi’ (holy warrior), pray for his ascension to heaven and call for others to follow in his footsteps. More than a few of the comments call for President Zardari’s guards to act in the same manner. One poster curses the media for reporting Taseer’s death as if he were a martyr. Interestingly, the same person, whose profile says he is a student in a leading Karachi university, lists his favourite singer as Enrique Iglesias and his favourite movie as Titanic. The posters, most of whom (based on their profile information and language) are either resident or expatriate Pakistanis, are overwhelmingly male and unanimously thrilled at the brutal killing.

Salmaan Taseer’s own facebook status has now been updated to read: ‘R.I.P. Lion of the Punjab Salmaan Taseer (31 May 1944 – 04 Jan 2011)… Innalillahe wa inna ilaihi rajiun’, but what is really striking is what the late Taseer lists as his favourite quote: “How can a man die better than facing fearful odds, for the honour of his country and the temple of his gods”.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 5th, 2011.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (44)

  • RizwanTKhan
    Jan 5, 2011 - 10:23AM

    This is why we stand nowadays, a disgraced nation with no morals, no religion no principles no nothing. Just a wild beast who is running around to satisfy his needs. We as a nation deserve the humiliation that we are getting from the whole world. Good going People of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Jan 5, 2011 - 11:15AM

    Its a sad situation where a high profile killing is surrounded by the “blasphemous” antics of the deceased. Thou I am not a fan of Salman Taseer and I have my reasons, but I fail to understand why would even a beard clad strict follower of the religion would become a murderer. Islam for me is very simple but this chaos has deeper roots than just a law about blasphemy, its the social degradation at the very root. What can motivate a mumtaz qadri to murder the very man he was protecting? Not only murder him but do that with intense brutality, shooting all the bullets of his gun into a 60 year old man’s body! above all feel proud about it with a sick grin and no guilt. I went crazy last night when I saw all these fan pages n comments about he being a ‘GHAZI’, there exists an extremist in every single fan of the killer.

    There is something seriously wrong with our social values. The liberals and mullah’s have played their part in creating disparities, which forces confused individuals to take such drastic measures and seek the ultimate escape. This has gone way beyond terrorism it has become barbaric now!Recommend

  • IZ
    Jan 5, 2011 - 11:37AM

    Weren’t these jackals the same people who were jumping up and down demanding that we ban facebook and demanding that the founder of facebook be killed? And now they are happily using it to spread their intolerance. What hypocrites!Recommend

  • Jan 5, 2011 - 11:41AM

    Even though i dont like Mr. T very much, i suggest everyone to REPORT THAT PAGE ON THE BASIS OF CRIME PROMOTION.

    Its just that simple.Recommend

  • Tariq Ismail
    Jan 5, 2011 - 12:50PM

    Aoa, hello,
    sorry to say that our poor Pakistani nation is abducted by extremist form both sides that is religious extremist and secular fanatics.

    if i have no right to impose my personal religious belief on any one than how it be allowed to me that i openly support propagate and invest for secularism like wearing or not wearing a beard

    similarly when i am against the assisination of governer than why i am not supporting the person killed in drone attack

    if salman taseer killing by his gaurd is wrong than people killed by premier institution by the name of security of thier interest are right. here culprit had killed what he think wrong they do the same
    they also go for extra juidicial killing why that be right

    similary why people are killed in drone attach why they not be presented in court
    so it is our double standard which are playing hovac with us
    nothing else
    why are not ready to go by book of law

    what i say more
    wrong act wrong person wrong time and wrong methodRecommend

  • Adnan
    Jan 5, 2011 - 1:09PM

    Apply the same Logic you liberals used to keep anti-Muhammad(saw)’s page up. Hypocrisy will not work here.Recommend

  • Sohaib
    Jan 5, 2011 - 1:12PM

    I do not condone murder nor justify any action toward that, whether direct or indirect. However, I just want to say that these times have been created by the very people (in positions of government/political authority today) who are condemning it today on the media. And posing themselves as defender of the faith. believe me when push comes to shove they wont even defend their own kith and kin.

    If we keep this horrible instance to one side, do we not see that our leaders (elected and unelected) and their self serving and serving cronies have themselves murdered the Constitution. SC judgments, Rule of Law, Police, Merit in appointments and all norms of good governance, Tolerance, etc.

    They are primarily responsible for the common man to have lost faith in their ability to carry out due diligence, justice, protection, price control, utilities and a quality of life that our country’s resources guarantee us.

    What has happened is that the frustration of the common man has sought its own outlet. These so called leaders are simply paying the price and I pray that with immediate effect they realize this and correct their course so theirs and other people’s lives can be saved.

    Taking the law into our own hands and implementing justice is unacceptable. Extremism and public violence should be shunned. Otherwise it will spiral out of control and as these corrupt and soulless jet away in the dark hours of the night to their safe havens, we ordinary citizens will suffer the wrath of chaos. Recommend

  • k
    Jan 5, 2011 - 1:23PM

    Pathetic. We Muslims are destroying our image by these kind of actions. and then we says we that we r not extremists. Now im thinking about the net impression of Muslims for whole world.They will surely say the nation who killed his own Governor.Recommend

  • yousaf
    Jan 5, 2011 - 2:05PM

    “Unanimously thrilled at the brutal killing” I really doubt that. Is this a news paper article or a Editorial ? Recommend

  • Jan 5, 2011 - 3:16PM

    “How can a man die better than facing fearful odds, for the honour of his country and the temple of his gods”.

    Jo Rukkey to koh e garraan they hum, jo challey to jaan se guzzar gaey
    Rah e Yar hum ne qadam qadam tujhey yadgar banna thiaaaaaaaaaa. (Faiz)

    A tribute to Salmaan- can’t say more.Recommend

  • Mani Ahmed
    Jan 5, 2011 - 3:59PM

    i dont know what bothers me more … salman taseer dying for a crime he didnt commit a rhetoric created by the media which chose to report what deem ‘interesting’ and not the reason in response & a person brain washed enough to kill some one in the name of islam where of all religions has in spirit no room for violance and intolerance. Help us God!Recommend

  • mohammad iqbal
    Jan 5, 2011 - 4:20PM

    now a lesson from this tragedy. The next sensitive topic is “burqa” which is gaining momentum inside Pakistan and Euorpe. Our leaders better desist debating on this sensitive issue. Let the ulema decide what they like. I have this lesson to teach Recommend

  • Jan 5, 2011 - 4:52PM

    Good story!Recommend

  • Colonel Cryptic
    Jan 5, 2011 - 4:57PM

    “” However, by midnight, the page had been struck down by Facebook but six other groups had sprung up. “”

    I am wondering that when the cartoon controversy against the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) comes on FACEBOOK, they never struck it down despite protests from entire world, but when something like this which in a way shows a persons love for The Prophet (S.A.W.) comes up they shut it down. Wondering what’s their agenda?Recommend

  • Colonel Cryptic
    Jan 5, 2011 - 5:10PM

    Plus shame on all of us to be worried over this death only. I have never seen so many such rigorous comments on 25 – 50 people that are killed in every drone attack + 25 – 50 killed by our army every day + many other that die everyday, or because they are scum of the earth in our view or they are not politically known to us.Recommend

  • Babar
    Jan 5, 2011 - 6:46PM

    I checked the profiles of people praising Qadri and his act on Facebook pages and was amazed to find that alongwith Qadri, all of them also liked people like Magen Fox, Lady Gaga, Enrique etc. etc. Quite confused.Recommend

  • M M Malik
    Jan 5, 2011 - 7:44PM

    He is an assassin and not a Ghazi.Recommend

  • Manish
    Jan 5, 2011 - 8:29PM

    @ RizwanTKhan, am an Indian but agree with all that you said.Recommend

  • Raheel
    Jan 5, 2011 - 8:39PM

    On Sad news of Governer’s murder i was thinking on following lines….

    ” Quite a many will be saddened with Taseer’s death,but i won’t be surprised to see few hailing his killer.His blood will be used to cook all kind of conspiracy theories..and the easy answers and premature conclusions will be made.i am least concerned with all that however he was a father to his children and husband to a wife.I feel really sad about that part”

    Ignorant Mullahs and their mindless blind follower hailing the Murderer was understandable..but then from a section of so called educated, moderate, urban middle class ….S.Akbar Zaidi’s following statement couldn’t have come better to me any other time.

    “This is Pakistan, and Pakistan’s corrupted, rent-seeking, inefficient and pampered middle class which is socially conservative and fragmented, contradictory in nature and in its working, with both highly traditional religious and conservative section, belonging to this social category, as well as indigenous and modern group.”Recommend

  • Asim
    Jan 6, 2011 - 12:43AM

    @ Babar and others…

    You know who can burn KFC and kill for the love of religion? Who can love Megan Fox and Qadri at the same time? A person who has no control over passion. One who is blind-folded by passion and passion alone. Religion came to rein in the passion and to elevate the reason. But, these people will kill the reason for the sake of their passion. Their nafs (animal instinct) is all over their aql (human instinct) —- heart over head.

    Shaitan is their leader and he is using them to destroy the sanctity of religion.This is the time that we be aware of this satanic treachery and should cling to our true religion. This is the test of our faith and belief, and this is the hardest of all tests.Recommend

  • Indian Muslim
    Jan 6, 2011 - 3:47AM

    If I had a chance, I would not have brought down the facebook page. I would have tracked every single one of them in the page and charge them with murder.

    Educated animals!Recommend

  • farnis
    Jan 6, 2011 - 9:51AM

    As everything in our country we have started taking sides who is right instead of finding what is right,Mr Salman Taseer is dead and cannot be revived back lets think and find out why he was killed was it just because someone thought that he has blasphemed on the Prophet or had he really blasphemed. and we will find the answer it is always the perception that is treated as the truth but never the truth itself.
    Rabana Takkabal DuaaRecommend

  • faraz
    Jan 6, 2011 - 10:06AM

    The biggest tragedy in all this fanaticism is the image of Islam that has been ruined foreverRecommend

  • Abhi
    Jan 6, 2011 - 10:49AM

    Islam has gone out of control…. :(Recommend

  • Asad M
    Jan 6, 2011 - 11:19AM

    this person should be sentenced to death on immediate basis (no matter how much pressure govt. faces by these extremists afterwards) right after the complete inquiry and his probable links with relegious and political extremists (if any). he should be shot dead in the same manner with the similar gun in the presence of Taseer’s family, so that these extremists can know that they can’t act as per their “so affected” will in the name of Islam and Prophet (pbuh).
    if not done, other fanatics like him will emerge and will be encouraged since we just came to know that 200 lawyers and other relegious groups have already started supporting his lawsuit. don’t they think that this person would kill more innocent people for his belief if set free???
    govt. along with Pak Army should teach some lesson to this mind-set and opposition should support govt. on this.
    he is a murderer and should be sentenced to death and set as an example and symbol of disgrace.
    (no wonder if we listen the news of him being killed mysteriously in police custody before disclosing his links or he could fled from the court yard or any hospital as per our country’s fashion)
    this time it should not happen ! shame on those who even give a thought of a second for supporting this psycho killer ! Recommend

  • Raheel
    Jan 6, 2011 - 11:46AM

    @ Islam has not gone out of control…but it’s followers certainly have…..protecting things which are not there in the first place….Recommend

  • Raheel
    Jan 6, 2011 - 11:48AM

    @ Indian Muslim
    Noam Chomsky once said… If you believe in freedom of speech, you believe in freedom of speech for views you don’t like….
    i am afraid if we follow your strategy…within week we are all likely to be dead !!Recommend

  • Yusuf
    Jan 6, 2011 - 12:15PM

    Although Taseer got carried away in his criticism of scholars who accused him for blasphemy, and IMO it was the personal egos of clerics, more than the blasphemy law itself, that acted to incite people against Taseer.

    It’s an extra-judicial murder; it cannot be compared to a heroic struggle against tyranny.Recommend

  • sikandar
    Jan 6, 2011 - 1:59PM

    Raheel fantastic thats true “but it’s followers certainly have…..protecting things which are not there in the first place….” ie ISLAMRecommend

  • Jan 6, 2011 - 4:32PM

    Dear Fellows: This man has done great job and we should admire him and take some initiative for him . We should protect him and this is a massage for other who create misconception about Islam . Now they know that Prophet Muhammad P.B.U.H is very important for us . Allah ho AkbarRecommend

  • Jan 6, 2011 - 4:55PM

    Hang him before he gets ‘hero’ statusRecommend

  • Dina
    Jan 6, 2011 - 7:34PM

    Prophet Mohamed peace be upon him was merciful and kind and forgiving even to his bitterest of enemies. Mumtaz Qadri’s brutal act is not at all justified. I think that a certain group of extremists have taken up religion as a cover to quench their thirst for violence and terrorism and a weird hunger for killing innocent people. Please double check Aasia Bibi’s case before jumping to a conclusion and also we should judge our own acts before labeling others. And please adopt Islam which teaches us tolerance and peace!Recommend

  • Salman
    Jan 6, 2011 - 7:57PM

    I was particularly shocked by a group titled “malik mumtaz husain qadri” created by another idiot named Xameer Khan ( yea , it starts with X coz that koool ).

    Looking at his fb page , he seems like another ‘wannabe’ thirsty for some cheap or quick recognition. However one thing is evident , he is either confused in life or must be some loyal licker of PML-N because no where in his page there is even a hint of him being religious. The real shock is that his pic is outside LUMS. Either he must be just visiting but if he really is a student there than I am surprised that this place has now started producing narrow minded bigots .

    Anyways , even if a single person supports this killer than its a shame on us as nation.Recommend

  • Asad M
    Jan 7, 2011 - 12:52AM

    @fahad ullah khan
    pity on people like you who needs such violent acts to show Prophet’s (PBUH) importance in muslims’ life. you being very confident about right-concepts of Islam… can you quote a single verse of Quran which orders such killing ( or on blasphemy)? no you can’t because Quran does not teach that… oh wait…. great now you are trying to recall the scripts and sayings of any Qadri, Chishti, Naqshbandi or Suhrawardi (not to be taken personally plz) or any of your local Maulwi sahab ??? no need to please..because… Islam is what Quran has defined and Prophet (PBUH) has endorsed…. and not anything which is added afterwards by anyone’s Guru, Murshid, Mentor to shine their names. Murder is not a great job???… try to read some translation now before its too late. I am passing you a quick favor to read Al- Quran 5:32 and correct your concept. and if you want to protect him, please go ahead and spend some money on his lawsuit and attend hearings, you have already wasted 3 precious days !!! Be practical please. And not a single mentally normal human being with good knowledge about essence of Islam can accept your request of ADMIRING him, at least no one at this platform.
    -Tanzeel…. your comment is the best shortest request I have heard, or any good muslim can think at the moment. I am proud of you.
    Allah is Haq and Inshallah such murderers will get shameful punishment because Islam’s reality can not be deceived or formulated by such pyscho killers. Allah will take care of this.
    “We all should become Follower rather than just LOVER of Prophet PBUH, because every follower is a lover (thats why he follows) but every lover may not be a follower”
    For all sensible brothers and sisters, do have look on Dr. Khalid Zaheer’s eye opener article at blasphemy… you may not deny it because it contains valid references.

  • Jan 7, 2011 - 9:46AM

    There is something that everyone seems to ignore but is a very important aspect of Salman Taseer murder. In addition to extremist views on both sides, religious and liberal, although, I do not believe Salman Taseer committed any crime or sin by calling blasphemy law a black law – it was merely insensitive – it must be noted that this murder is also a result of rampant corruption and incompetence in the government machinery. In a fair and merit based system, such extremists can be filtered out long before they can reach such VVIP’s. In a way, this murder is the result of thorough infusion of corruption from top to bottom in this government.Recommend

  • Jan 7, 2011 - 11:37AM

    M/s. Faraz and Abhi: Islam can never lose its image or go out of control. It is we who are out of control and are loosing our image. we are on the edge. Every body’s ALLAH and our religion are strong and will remain strong till the Day of Judgement. Please dont make that error in despondency ever again.

    You are depressed and upset by the events that are unfolding. It is just being human. The reasons for this incident are manifold and go back to Independance. Pakistan is at a defining stage in its life and is at the crossroads of ‘make’ or ‘break’. The main reason is the absence of education, proper interpretation of the religious books and good governance.

    There are seventy-two sects and each has a different viewpoint. All these molvis are joining together for power and if any one differs they will brand him a ‘kafir’ and apostate. So they are just co-operating with each other. IF they get power they will fight amongst themselves and wont stop until they drop down dead or reach a stalemate.

    Lionizing the killer is just a cover up. Have you read about Musaylama of Bani Hanifa? He was a false prophet during the time of Rasoolallah’s (SAW) prophethood. Our beloved Prophet (SAW) did not bother about him and Musaylama was finally put to the sword in the Ridda wars fought by Hazrat Abu Bakar Siddiq (RA) for expanding and strengthening the Islamic religion and against apostasy. Why? because the ignorant and rebellious tribes were against the spread of the new religion Islam and wanted to destroy it. So in defense of the religion the Ridda wars were fought.

    Good governance, education, social welfare and proper education in our religion is the key to our beloved Pakistan’s survival. Ameen Summa Ameen.

    Salams for 2011.Recommend

  • Wanderer
    Jan 7, 2011 - 3:45PM

    I do not condone what Qadri did. I also disagree with Taseer’s conduct.

    Having said that I am amazed how the ‘freedom of speech’ chants disappear every time the rightisits express their views. I do not remember any uproar when cries of “Nuke the fundos!” surfaced on social networks.

    We must not be partial to violence. No matter what the source. Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Jan 7, 2011 - 5:52PM

    If Salman Taseer was a convict of Blasphemy then what was this narrated below in the presence of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)..a bitter truth..>>
    Do we actually need such law in a country where 90% of the population is muslim n reads Muhammad’s Kalma…

    Salman Taseer criticized the human LAW, not a law of Allah…

    What is this narration telling us….denying our Prophet (PBUH) in his presence and not listening to his order….sad..pitty on muslims.

  • Adnan
    Jan 8, 2011 - 11:19AM

    Salman Taseer deserves a lot of respect for the stand he had and for which he was martyred. Our country is full of ignorant fools who are celebrating his death, which is of course a great loss to the country.Recommend

  • Bilal Qureshi
    Jan 8, 2011 - 5:01PM

    salman taseer killed….hmmmmm i don’t care and i know majority of my countrymen will also not care about him Recommend

  • Saleem
    Jan 9, 2011 - 1:50PM

    @Bilal Qureshi
    If you are Pakistani than majority of your countrymen do care about the growing fanatics in country. You do not care ? ….. hmmmmmmm let the fire flourish and wait for someone near and dear to you being murdered in cold blood by mullah brigade for any reason ranging from wearing a trouser or maybe not keeping beard or maybe raising his voice for right coz :)Recommend

  • Asad M
    Jan 10, 2011 - 2:17PM

    @ Saleem- very right indeed.
    People who are supporting such brutal acts under the umbrella of Islam or are “indifferent” have basically unknowingly started killing themselves and their (future) families with the emergent poison of extremism.Recommend

  • Uni HiT mE
    Jan 13, 2011 - 3:41AM

    What is the Definition of “extrEmism”????Recommend

  • Sam
    Mar 3, 2011 - 9:35AM!/note.php?note_id=501261667949Recommend

More in Pakistan