The Islamists in Pakistan have turned Khalid Khan—the man who shot dead Tahir Ahmed Naseem, an accused in a blasphemy case, in a Peshawar courtroom earlier this week into a ‘hero’ as people took to social media to hail him as the ‘Lion of Islam’ for killing the ‘blasphemer’.
We had earlier reported regarding the brutal killing of Tahir Ahmed Naseem, who belonged to the minority Islamic sect of Ahmadiyyas. Naseem, who was facing a trial for ‘blasphemy’, was shot dead in front of the judge in a local court situated in a high-security zone in Pakistan’s Peshawar city on Wednesday. Naseem was on trial for ‘insulting’ the Muslim Prophet Muhammad. He was in jail since 2018.
Following the incident, the police arrested the killer Khalid Khan. The killer had reportedly confessed to the police that he had been ordered to carry out the killing by Muhammad because the accused had belonged to the Ahmadiyya faith.
However, shockingly, hours after the killing of Naseem, the killer Khalid Khan is now hailed as a hero by Pakistanis, claiming that he saved ‘Islam’. Many in Pakistan have been justifying Khalid Khan’s heinous crime as an act of bravery and hailing him as some sort of a ‘hero’ for killing an unarmed elderly man inside a courtroom.
Hailed as a hero for killing an unarmed elderly man
One social media users even referred to the killer as ‘Lion of Islam’.
Another Islamist from Pakistan praised the confidence and courage of killer Khalid Khan and prayed to Allah to ‘boost his courage’.
Look at the smile and confidence of his numinous face ,i mean how lucky he is to get that courage and chance. May ALLAH boost his courage and straighten our fervency to support him… #غازی_خالد_تیری_جرات_کو_سلام pic.twitter.com/8py6D8b1SW— Bali khan (@pakhtoonbali) July 30, 2020
Some also hailed Khalid as ‘Ghazi’ for severing the head of a Qadiani and ‘putting a brake on the activities of Qadianis’. Qadiani is a religious slang used by Pakistanis to insult Ahmadiyyas, as Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of Ahmadiyya sect was born in Qadian.
I do not have words for Ghazi Khalid that he not only severed the head of a Qadiani but also put a brake on the activities of the Qadianis. Long live Khalidullah,stay blessed #غازی_کاپیغام_گستاخ_کی_سزاموت pic.twitter.com/Z4SeSwhA1A— Hilal Danish🇵🇰Swat (@DanishJui) July 29, 2020
Compared with others like him who had killed blasphemers in past
A Pakistani social media user Naeem went to an extent to compare Khalid Khan to various Islamic terrorists, who had unleashed similar terror in the past against people who had disagreed with certain aspects of Islam. The social media user compared Khan to the likes of terrorists such as Amir Cheema, Ilm-ud-din, etc.
Amir Cheema was a Pakistani terrorist in Germany, who had entered the offices of the German daily newspaper Die Welt in 2016 with a large knife and attempted to murder the editor of the newspaper – Roger Köppel after they had published cartoons of Muhammad in the newspaper.
Similarly, Ilm-ud-din was another Islamist, who had assassinated a book publisher named Mahashe Rajpal for publishing the book Rangila Rasul about Prophet Muhammad. Khalid Khan was also compared with Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, the killer of former Punjab governor Salman Taseer.
Salman Taseer, the former Punjab governor, was killed for speaking against the death sentence awarded to a Pakistani Christian woman named Asia Bibi, for the charges of ‘blasphemy’. Taseer had appealed for mercy and a pardon for the woman who had already spent several years in jail.
The most shocking glorification of Khalid Khan came from a senior leader of the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party. Haleem Adil Sheikh, one of the country’s leading politicians and the leader of ruling PTI changed his social media profile picture to that of the killer Khalid Khan. after he had shot an alleged blasphemer in court in Peshawar.
This shows how deep the issue of blasphemy runs in Pakistan: Facebook page & profile apparently of this leading figure in the country’s ruling party’s branch in Sindh Province has changed profile pics to that of the killer who shot an alleged blasphemer in court in Peshawar today pic.twitter.com/dfqoxK69oJ— Secunder Kermani (@SecKermani) July 29, 2020
However, after social media outrage against Sheikh, the PTI leader from Sindh later said on Twitter, “This is to clarify, I personally don’t manage my Facebook accounts. This was posted without my knowledge or consent.”