Christians mourn assassinated leader

Latest assassination proves Pakistan must denuclearize

By William J. Murray

Christians mourn assassinated leader

Pakistani Christians mourn assassinated leader Shahbaz Bhatti

Mr. Bhatti, who was the minister of religious minorities, was the second high-level Pakistani government official to assassinated in the past two months; both officials had opposed Pakistan’s “blasphemy” laws that impose the death penalty for insulting Islam. He had been assigned police guards, but did not use them because it was a bodyguard who had killed the other official, Punjab province Governor Salman Taseer. Tens of thousands of Muslims flooded the streets to celebrate the murder of Taseer, showing the true nature of this “moderate” Islamic nation that is an ally of the United States.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a congressional committee the same day, “I was shocked and outraged by the assassination;” however, she still continues to support the government of Pakistan which has for decades done little to protect the rights or the lives of minorities. About 5% of the population of Pakistan is Christian. During hearings the previous day, Clinton emphasized the need to continue to funnel money into Pakistan, saying, “Equally important is our assistance to Pakistan, a nuclear-armed nation with strong ties and interests in Afghanistan.”

Immediately after the latest assassination, the Washington Post posted an online editorial by Eboo Patel stating, “Undoubtedly, some will say this is Islam. It’s not. It’s murder. Plain and simple. The Prophet Muhammad made it a clear priority that people of other faiths and traditions would feel safe around him and his companions.” Patel forgot to mention how “the Prophet” ordered the massacre of Jews at Medina and instructed Jihad against all “infidels.”

Senator Jim Inhofe was visibly shaken when I broke the news of Shahbaz Bhatti’s assassination to him shortly after it occurred. Bhatti had visited Senator Inhofe’s office and talked with him about the security situation in Pakistan during an earlier visit to Washington, DC. I shared my concerns with Senator Inhofe, who is on the Senate’s Committee on Armed Services, that the continued military aid the United States is giving Pakistan has allowed them to increase their nuclear arsenal to the point that it is much larger than India’s.

I have serious doubts, which I have shared with Senator Inhofe and others in the House and Senate, that a nation ruled by this kind of chaos cannot track as many as 150 nuclear weapons it may have in its arsenal. The United States and Europe should take concrete steps to denuclearize Pakistan by any means needed.

William J. Murray is the Chairman of the
Washington, DC based Religious Freedom Coalition
(This article first appeared as an op-ed in

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