Mumtaz Qadri’s appeal of his murder conviction for assassinating the governor of the Punjab has been rejected over the massive objections of Islamist fundamentalists in Pakistan. Islamists claim that the murder was justified because the governor was trying to eliminate anti-blasphemy laws.
Context: In 2011, Mumtaz Qadri assassinated his own employer, the Governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer. Taseer had criticised ‘blasphemy’ laws, and supported those victimized by ‘blasphemy’ accusations, most famously championing the case of a Christian woman, Asia Bibi, who was sentenced to death for supposedly insulting Islam during an argument with neighbours. Mumtaz Qadri, who was meant to be acting as Taseer’s bodyguard, shot him dead on the streets of Islamabad.