This Man Will Pay You $6,000 To Commit Murder

To understand the atmosphere of criminal incitement which has led to the assassination of the progresive governor of the Punjab in Pakistan, this is worth looking at.

Adil Najam in All Things Pakistan:

ScreenHunter_01 Jan. 06 13.24 This man is Yousaf Qureshi of Peshawar and he has publicly offered a reward of Rs. 500,000 (Rs. 5 Lacs; US$5880) to anyone who murders Aasiya Bibi of Nankana.

Yousuf Qureshi has never met or seen Aasiya. Yet, his heart is so full of hatred that he is willing to give anyone, even you, Rs. 500,000 to kill her. By the way, he does not seem to hold you in very high esteem either; he believes that you will be willing to commit murder for him for less than US$6,000. And if you will not, he calls upon the Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP) to do the killing for him. For around the price of a new Suzuki Mehran VX he wants you to commit murder, make three children orphans, and take a human life. All reports suggest that he is mighty proud of what he is trying to do!

It is incidental to the story that the man who is providing this incitement to murder happens to be a so-called “Maulana” and the khateeb of the historic Masjid Mahabat Khan in Peshawar. It is incidental because at the end of the day neither of those facts are ‘material’ (in a legal sense). What is material is that this man, Yousaf Qureshi, is a criminal (incitement to murder is a crime) and he is providing material incentive to turn others into criminals (killing others is murder, a crime).

It should not matter what you think of Asiya Bibi, or about what should happen to her, or of the Blasphemy law, or indeed of Masjid Mahabat Khan. What matters is that murder is a crime. Inciting others to commit this crime is a crime. Paying or promising to pay others to commit this crime is a crime.

This here is not a matter of theology, it is a matter of the law. And not a matter of constitutional law, but of criminal law. This is a test of our society’s appetite for tolerating criminality in the name of morality.

More here.