Thousands of Pakistanis rallied Friday in Peshawar to show their support for the killer who gunned down an Ahmadi man on trial for blasphemy.
The American, Tahir Naseem, died of his wounds before he could be taken to hospital while the gunman, Faisal Khan, was taken into custody.
When Khan was arrested he told Police that he had been told in his dream to kill the Ahmadi man. Khan said:
“He had claimed to be a Prophet, I swear to God whoever claims to be a Prophet I will crush his head …. These wretched Qadianis [Ahmadis] are not only enemies of Islam but also enemies of Pakistan.”
Those who rallied in Peshawar carried signs praising Khan for the killing, calling for his immediate release from jail and saying he killed Naseem because the government was too slow in sentencing blasphemers to death.
“We are not in favor of taking the law into our own hands, but Faisal did what the government should have done two years ago,” said Mufti Shahabuddin Popalzai, who led the rally through the narrow streets of the old city.
At least 1,472 people were charged under the law between 1987 and 2016, according to the Center for Social Justice, an advocacy group. Of those, 730 were Muslims, 501 were Ahmedis — a sect that is reviled by mainstream Muslims as heretics — while 205 were Christians and 26 were Hindus.