Friday, March 4, 2011

The tragic assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti

The news of the assasination of Shahbaz Bhatti is reverberating around the blogosphere. It seems unbelievable that in modern civilisation, there are still madmen who will murder their own countryman over a difference of opinion on the matter of religion. What is more unbelievable that even after the killing of Salman Tasheer and receiving many threats to his own life, this brave man continued to stand for what he believed in. That's not something I would do very easily. In fact, it is likely that a lot less than a death threat will be enough for me to be shaken from some of my hitherto 'unshakable' principles. It is a sobering and yet inspiring thought. In a day and age when courage of conviction is something very rare and standing for a cause is something that people make fun of and ridicule, here we have a man who actually gave his life for something he believed in. Our hearts go out to the victims of intolerance of all forms in this world. And we pray for the perpetrators of that intolerance - that the message of love will transform them. For as we see the great harm that man has done to fellow man in the name of religion through the centuries, it is clear that the message of love for our enemies and prayer for those who harm us (Lk 6:27-28) is not what is practiced by all most of our mainstream religions. And yet that was the message of Jesus. Overwhelming love and unconditional forgiveness. So much so that even on the cross he could say - Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

And this attitude of love must begin with me....

Here is a BBC interview with Mr. Bhatti in which he talks about his faith, his dream and even his death (HT: Pradeep). And here is an article which talks about his life and death. We pray for the family of Mr. Bhatti and for all people in Pakistan and throughout the world who are denied freedom of speech and religion. May Thy Kingdom come.

1 comment:

  1. The killing of Pakistan Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti by extremists is a loss for those of all faiths and countries, not just for Pakistan's Christians and those trying to change Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws.
    Frequently, fear is used by those who wish to silence others, because they cannot win others over with reason, facts or logic.....