Patterico's Pontifications


“I Know What is the Meaning of Cross:” A Martyr Speaks From Beyond the Grave

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 6:08 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

I want to introduce you to a very brave man.  His name was Shahbaz Bhatti.  He was murdered today in Pakistan.  He was the only Christian member of Pakistan’s Federal Cabinet and was a vocal opponent of that nation’s anti-blasphemy laws.  The AP and The Blaze has the details:

Assailants purportedly sent by al-Qaida and the Taliban killed the only Christian member of Pakistan’s federal Cabinet Wednesday, spraying his car with bullets outside his mother’s driveway. It was the second assassination in two months of a high-profile opponent of blasphemy laws that impose the death penalty for insulting Islam.

The killing of Shahbaz Bhatti, a 42-year-old Roman Catholic, further undermines Pakistan’s shaky image as a moderate Islamic state and could deepen the political turmoil in this nuclear-armed, U.S.-allied state where militants frequently stage suicide attacks.

Before he died, he was well aware of the danger he was in and “left a video-taped message with the British Broadcasting Corp. and the Al-Jazeera satellite TV station to be broadcast in the event of his death.”  This is that message:

There is much more at the linked article and I suggest you read it all.  But Farahnaz Ispahani, an aide to President Asif Ali Zardari, got it right when he said this:

The time has come for the federal government and provincial governments to speak out and to take a strong stand against these murderers to save the very essence of Pakistan.

This crime can be correctly laid at the feet of the government of Pakistan. With their blasphemy laws they have given state endorsement to the idea that it is appropriate to murder a man for expressing an opinion. We can hope that this might shock their consciences into rescinding this evil law.

Shahbaz Bhatti lived in the valley of the shadow of death, but he feared no evil.  Godspeed.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

21 Responses to ““I Know What is the Meaning of Cross:” A Martyr Speaks From Beyond the Grave”

  1. “Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.” Romans 6:3-5

    I pray that Mr. Bhatti’s family is comforted by that certainty today.

    Gesundheit (d7ea47)

  2. Ges

    From Lincoln’s famous Bixby letter:

    I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  3. Goodbye Civilization. Hello Dark Ages.


    Pakistan (10b9bb)

  4. And some people think it is brave to run away from a state to not vote, or to protest in a capitol building before self-controlled police, or to defend a decision to not prosecute voter intimidation.

    Ironically, even Crosby,Stills, Nash, and Young had it correct, though they probably intended it in a different way:

    “Find the cost of Freedom,
    buried in the ground.
    Mother Earth will swallow you,
    Lay your body down.”

    On this side of eternity it seems incredibly unfair for the most courageous and humble to die for doing good. C.S. Lewis describes it as saying that on the other side of Glory “even the worst life on earth will seem like one night in an uncomfortable hotel”. I find the climax of the book The Last Battle as a very palpable illustration of this.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  5. The Wisconsin dems are much more civilized. They merely try to silence the opposition by shouting them down. They call this process ‘democracy’ and ‘free & open debate’.

    Icy Texan (b4bda0)

  6. To say that Pakistan is a failed state is the most optimistic view, IMHO. The worst part is that Turkey may be next, at least if we go by their increasingly strict adherence to Sharia law.

    Dmac (b9fd74)

  7. Indeed.

    No matter your Faith:

    It is a weak and poor sort of God who needs for you to kill anyone who stands in the way of his reign.

    If you believe that killing someone solely for speaking out, or even openly denouncing, your Hod or Faith is needful to protect that Faith, then your Faith is a pretty damned lame and powerless sort of Faith, innit?

    Unlike them, I have this Faith:

    If God is offended, then He will inspire me with the Words needed to obliterate
    your foolishness in the minds of all listeners. He will enable me to embarrass
    and humiliate you for your foolishness. If He is sufficiently offended, and wants
    to strike down that person, then He will do it Himself with a wave of His hand,
    and have no need whatsoever of my own pitiful capacities in that regard.


    Such is the true power of The One True God, as opposed to a false and hence powerless one.

    If Allah needs YOU to kill someone for speaking against him, then Allah’s a pretty lame and useless sort of God, isn’t he?

    IgotBupkis (c9dcd8)

  8. Comment by IgotBupkis — 3/2/2011 @ 8:06 am

    Extremely well said.

    Leonardo DaFinchi (5d253a)

  9. further undermines Pakistan’s shaky image as a moderate Islamic state

    no it doesn’t: this IS what a “moderate Islamic state” looks like because there is no moderation in islam… ROPMA.

    as for their “consciences” being shocked, don’t hold your breath: head bangers don’t have the same moral code or underpinning that you and the society you live in do, and, as such, have no framw*rk from which the shame that might ignite such revulsion might originate.

    quite the contrary: where we see murderous barbaric scum and villainy, the terrorists who did this will be moose slime heroes. after all, we’re talking about a “religion” that was invented by a murderous bandit who raped children. rotten fruit doesn’t fall any farther from it’s tree than any other kind, it just smells worse.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  10. This story, which includes the assassination of Punjab’s governor a couple months ago, should serve as general short-hand for the intent of Islam. There will be no reform. The groups claiming credit for Bhatti have said exactly that. Blasphemy equals death and rules of evidence are fast and loose, based on word of mouth. The governor’s own bodyguard was responsible for that blast and is now considered a hero.

    We /the media should be more familiar with the bloody day to day results of Pakistan’s reform efforts. Too often it’s swept under the rug or positioned as a Western lack of tolerence. Oklahoma passed an anti-sharia law for a reason.

    Benazir Bhutto’s husband is now president. It was my understanding she tried to implement secular law. I pray for their country and ours.

    Vermont Neighbor (68ff46)

  11. unrelated, but photoshop of the day:

    That’s from IMAO.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  12. A long-dead Hindu, whose life I also honor:

    If blood be shed, let it be our own. Let us cultivate the calm courage to die without killing. — M.K.Gandhi

    A hero is slain; let us honor him and mourn our loss.

    htom (412a17)

  13. Great Religion? Hmmm. Peaceful right?
    Really think so?

    Torquemada (2a42d3)

  14. Until the apologists and enablers for Islam are condemned, this just keeps going on-and-on-and-on.

    Torquemada (2a42d3)

  15. Simply the most courageous man I have ever seen. May Shahbaz Bhatti get peace in Christ in death that he did not get in life. Rest in peace, brave brother.

    Bugg (9e308e)

  16. It was my understanding she tried to implement secular law

    Your understanding is correct, and of course she was promptly assassinated shortly after returning to the country. The US was wary of her due to past issues concerning her predelictions towards a dictatorship, but she was true in her intentions regarding a secular state there.

    Dmac (b9fd74)

  17. There will continue to be tension between what individual Muslims believe and what “Islam teaches”. I am certain many individual Muslims who would never think of killing a non-Muslim would say/think that the “Islam they believe in” does not condone such things. This may be because some individuals do not know what is in the Koran and don’t realize they don’t believe what it says, or one knows what is in the Koran and has found a way to understand/interpret it in such a way that they do not believe Islam demands one “kill the infidel”.

    Religious belief, at least this side of eternity, is not like a math book that has an authoritative answer key. Who has the authority to say, “This is what Islam truly is”? Just as who has the authority to say the same about Christianity or Judaism?

    I do not mean to say that one can claim a religion to be anything they want. There will be beliefs that are essential, and then things secondary (though there will be some disagreement on which is which).

    I am sure there are many individual Muslims who would be terrified and confused if they hear you say, “Islam commands believers to kill the infidels, I don’t trust any of them, they’re just waiting for their opportunity. Well, I’ve got my gun and I’ll be ready for them”.

    When a word has a very clear and accepted meaning it is easy to communicate quickly with few words. When things are not so precise much discussion is necessary to make sure that the word “means what he thinks it does”. Though I must say, with the belief (of some anyway) that deceiving the infidel is an ok thing, it makes you wonder with even the most extensive conversation.

    FWIW, I’ve heard that Eskimos have multiple different words for snow, probably connected with the specific properties and what you can do with it. Instead of using an adjective to clarify wet snow vs. dry snow vs. “snow good for snowballs”, etc., I guess they have different nouns for each type of snow.

    MD (from UW-Madison) in Philly (3d3f72)

  18. ______________________________________

    This crime can be correctly laid at the feet of the government of Pakistan.

    From a historical standpoint, the crime also can be traced to the founder of Islam. After all, Mohamed assassinated a variety of people who were guilty of merely mocking him, much less excoriating him.

    As-Salamu Alaykum!

    Mark (411533)

  19. “This crime can be correctly laid at the feet of the government of Pakistan.”

    I’ll go further: The entire nation of Pakistan is to blame. Its culture is hopelessly depraved.

    pst314 (1692be)

  20. Think of all the people held up to us as heroes, here in the US,and how shallow most are compared to this. Aside from our military heroes, for the most part we are presented with self-centered pop icons, egomaniac politicians, etc.

    This guy was the real deal.

    jodetoad (7720fb)

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