“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” said Edmund Burke. It’s a quotation that has stood the test of time, and nowhere more so than in current day Pakistan.
Shabaz Bhatti, the Minorities Minister and the only Christian minister in the Pakistani government was shot dead today by suspected Islamic extremists.
Bhatti’s assasination comes less than two months after his colleague, Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab was gunned down by his own bodyguard, Malik Mumtaz Qadri. Since then, Qadri has been hailed as a hero in the country, with some of the nation’s top lawyers falling over themselves to represent him for free. Bhatti and Taseer were both punished for speaking in favour of abolishing Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy law which calls for the death penalty for anyone speaking against the Prophet.
Sherry Rehman, the former minister of information who was also in favour of abolishing the law has been effectively silenced, and neither the president, Asif Ali Zardari nor the Prime Minster, Yusuff Raza Gilani are willing to comment on the subject. The proposed bill to abolish the blasphemy law has been stalled in Parliament and even the Pakistani educated middle class is now too afraid to speak of the subject.
The message of the Islamisists was simple and effective: “if we can get the big guys, we can get anyone.”
These are sad days for Pakistan where the overall feeling is that evil has won, that terrorism is the chosen method of enforcement, and that freedom is dead. Edmund Burke’s triumph of evil is complete.
But when such evil is fed into the fully grown being it has become in Pakistan, we shouldn’t forget that it becomes an endlessly hungry entity. It will keep feeding on the silent complicity of the leaders and the people, picking out new victims with an increasing lack of discernment.
Silence in the face of such evil will harm the soul of the entire nation and will rot its body from the inside out.