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ICC Note:
A simple Christmas message calling for prayers for those affected by Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws has lead to death threats being made against the son of a provincial governor killed in 2011 for criticizing those same blasphemy laws. Shaan Taseer, son of the assassinated Salman Taseer, called for people to pray for those victimized by Pakistan’s “inhumane” blasphemy laws on Facebook. This message has caused hardliners across Pakistan to issue threats against the Muslim activist saying that he too would be assassinated for his criticism of the blasphemy laws. Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan are often harassed by extremists abusing the country’s blasphemy laws with false accusations being enough to spark mob violence against entire Christian communities. 
01/03/2017 Pakistan (Aljazeera) – A Christmas message calling for prayers for those charged under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws has led to death threats against the son of a provincial governor killed five years ago for criticizing the same laws.
The case highlights the continuing influence in Pakistan of Muslim hardliners who praise violence in the name of defending Islam, despite a government vow to crack down on religious conservatism.
The hardliners called for mass protests if police do not charge activist Shaan Taseer with blasphemy against Islam – a crime punishable by death.
Taseer’s father, Punjab governor Salman Taseer, was gunned down by his bodyguard for championing the case of a Christian woman, Asia Bibi, who was sentenced to death under the blasphemy laws.
He had been advocating reforms in the blasphemy laws that are used to mostly harass minority groups.
In a video message posted on his Facebook page, Taseer, a Muslim, is seen wishing a happy holiday to Christians, and also asking for prayers for the woman and others victimized by what he called “inhumane” blasphemy laws.
Taseer said on Monday he had received “very credible death threats” from supporters of the hardline Muslim philosophy that inspired his father’s killer, bodyguard Mumtaz Qadri.
“They are sending me Mumtaz Qadri’s photos with messages that there are several Mumtaz Qadris waiting for me,” he told Reuters news agency late on Monday.
Shahbaz Taseer, the other son of Salman Taseer, was freed last year after five years in captivity.

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