The Murder Of Rashid Rehman

rashid-rehmanThe legal profession this week lost one of our best and bravest. Pretending to be potential clients in a matrimonial case, two people entered the law firm of Rashid Rehman Khan and shot him to death. Rashid Rehman, a coordinator for the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), had faced death threats for years after he courageously represented a university professor accused of blasphemy. Unable to kill the accused, Islamic extremists appear to have now killed the lawyer. Rehman never flinched in his commitment to the rule of law and to this country.

Pakistan’s continued prosecution of people for expressing their views of faith remains one of the great outrages of our generation. Pakistan is one of our allies that has worked with the Obama Administration to create a new international blasphemy standard. The continued crackdown of anti-religious speech is part of its long-standing blasphemy abuses. For many years, I have been writing about the threat of an international blasphemy standard and the continuing rollback on free speech in the West. For recent columns, click here and here and here.

We have been following the rise of anti-blasphemy laws around the world, including the increase in prosecutions in the West and the support of the Obama Administration for the prosecution of some anti-religious speech under the controversial Brandenburg standard.

The case involving Rehman is typical and disgraceful. Junaid Hafeez, a lecturer at Multan’s Bahauddin Zakariya University was accused of defaming the prophet Mohammed on social media last year. No one would represent the professor until Rehman stepped forward. He was greeted at court with threats against his life. Three lawyers representing the complainant confronted him and reportedly one told him “You will not come to court next time because you will not exist anymore.” Notably, these threats were reportedly made in front of a judge who took no action against those making the threats — an outrageous violation of every principle under the rule of law.

Pakistan (one of our largest recipients of aid) continues to jail people who simply express their faith or views on religion.

There are at least 16 people in Pakistan are on death row for blasphemy and in 2012 the Center for Research and Security Studies found that more than 50 people accused of blasphemy have been lynched since 1990.

This brave lawyer is now dead and the judge who took no action on the threats continues to sit on cases and those lawyers who allegedly threatened him continue to practice law. Putting aside our earlier work on an international blasphemy standard, the question is why we continue to send billions to countries that aggressively fight the core civil liberties that defines not just this country but the rule of law. The death of this extraordinary man is a disgrace not just to Pakistan but those who dismiss blasphemy prosecutions as simply some local or domestic concern. It is not just the denial of due process but the denial of free speech and free exercise — rights that should be guaranteed to all as a basic matter of human rights.

Source: ABA Journal

186 thoughts on “The Murder Of Rashid Rehman”

  1. Paul Schulte said, “You can hope that the Libtards try to rescue Hillary and the WH from the coming disaster, but with good luck that is not going to happen.

    “Libtards”. Now that’s constructive. And civil, too.

  2. Another day on the Turley blog with folks issuing commands to others, demanding “proof” and links. These same folks often fail to substantiate their own claims.

    1. anon and anonymoose – one, I am going to use Libtards as long as people on this blog use T-baggers or Tea-baggers. Two, the doors are always open at Bedlam.

  3. Nickodomus,

    “The great Mike Royko wrote back in the 1960′s when Daley was building swimming pools by the dozens on the south and west sides of Chicago, “You might think he is trying to drown most of the black folk in town.”

    Still hanging on to the 60’s? Times have changed.

    But hey, suit yourself.

  4. Paul,

    “Islam – Christianity – Judaism are all People of the Book for Islam.”

    That statement explains everything. Everything. World history in eleven words.

    Very impressive.

  5. Byron,

    “They rejected reason in favor of faith a thousand years ago; the outcome is not unexpected.”

    Unlike others elsewhere in the world, huh?

    Many reject reason now, and the outcome of this will not be unexpected.


    “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day, teach him to fish and feed him for a lifetime.”

    You must be confused; this is not Sunday School. Can you offer something of substance?

  6. I disdain all religions. I chose not to denigrate them. Why bother. Went in dumb, come out dumb too. When humans violate laws of decency they need to be reined in and sometimes killed. These child thieves in Nigeria need to be killed. The world is just a series of ant farms. The religions keep the various anthills separated from one another and it is impossible for an ant of one persuasion to live with ants of another. In a hundred years the religion thing may die down.

  7. I stand corrected, Mr Keebler. Usually whenever that name is pulled on these pages, it is solely to be disrespected. Agree with you, he would certainly not be happy.
    Whenever I am in the same room as Nick, I am on edge knowing he is about to do his thing, and everyone here knows what Nick’s thing is.
    And Nick, why would you assume that denigrating Christianity would be fine with me? Have you yet heard me indulge in such behavior?
    I take offense when anyone is disrespected, especially anyone who means a lot to others. i could go on ad nauseum about the value of Jesus to Muslims and the respect we show him, but I know you would only make it mean what you wish.
    And just to clarify, one is not a Muslim unless one believes in all previous prophets. There!

    1. po – most Christians do not take kindly to having their God downgraded to a prophet.

  8. Mike A. said:

    “Freedom of religion is a meaningless concept unless a people is committed to religious pluralism.”

    There it is, as plain as a sunrise.

  9. Nick,

    “With the plentiful and robust whines served throughout the day, I have some cheese suggestions. For the robust red served today, I suggest a sharp and pungent Fontinella. It is an acquired taste, either you love or hate. For the lighter reds, maybe a gouda. The white wines are always good w/ brie, although it’s not my favorite.”

    Gosh, you bring so much to the table!

  10. po, Let me guess, denigrating Christianity is just fine w/ you?

  11. Po, I was not degenerating Mohammad. I said he would not be pleased the way it’s carried out today. See in that what you wish.

  12. Mr. Keebler:

    Are you serious? One of the reasons Muslims act this way is because of their religion and its teachings. Not all do but enough so that there is chaos in the Islamic world.

    They rejected reason in favor of faith a thousand years ago; the outcome is not unexpected.

    1. Was wondering how long it would take before the denigration of Mohamed and Muslims starts in full earnest. Ding ding ding ding, Mr Keebler and Byron it is.

  13. So sad, when there are many other ways to settle disputes. Mohammad would not be at all pleased the way it is be carried out today.

  14. I’ll raise you on Brickhouse. I knew him but Bill Veeck bounced me on his wooden leg!

    Swear to god! Jim Gallagher, GM of the Cubs, was my daughter’s godfather..

  15. Karen S.
    I grew up in Spokane Wa. along the Spokane River on the north end of town. The house had six plate glass windows that were approx. 4X4. All in one span across the back of the house which overlooked the city from the bluff over the State Park campgrounds below. Every year, at least four to five birds would go thump, into one of those windows. Amazingly enough I was home and saw it happen and even more amazing was the fact that when an eagle hit one of the windows, the window didn’t shatter. Instead, the eagle bounced off of the window and landed about three feet behind on the ground. It was dazed and flopped around a bit, trying to get it’s footing before it took off. I was left shaking. Dazed and amazed!

    Most commonly, it was smaller birds that would be found dead, usually in the lower window wells of the basement or in the bushes that filled the gaps between the wells across the back basement. Starlings, if I remember well.

    World’s Top Serial Bird Killers Put Infamous Windmills to Shame

  16. Paul Schulte
    Dredd – you are aware that playing the race card only works with the home team. The away team is really not concerned because they know it is a lie.
    = = =
    If one is a Clippers owner, this statement would be correct… Just sayin’.

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