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Quiz Pakistani journalist Shehrbano Taseer

May 23rd, 2011
11:37 AM ET

Shehrbano Taseer is a Pakistani journalist who lives and works in Lahore.

She is also the daughter of Salmaan Taseer, the Pakistani politician gunned down in January by his own bodyguard.

Her father was assassinated because he had campaigned for changes to the country's blasphemy laws which he claimed were being misused to persecute minority groups.

Taseer's killer, Malik Mumtaz Qadri was hailed as a hero by thousands of Pakistani's who disagreed with the Punjab Governor's opposition to the draconian laws.

Far from being deterred, 22-year-old Shehrbano Taseer has taken up her father's fight.

Fiercely outspoken about the injustices in her home country, Taseer's articles appear in newspapers around the world and she regularly speaks and writes blogs about the continued threat from Islamic extremists.

Please leave your questions for Shehrbano Taseer below.

soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Mehmood A.Malik

    I salute your father's struggle for the righteous cause and hope you will continue his mission.
    Best of luck

    May 23, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Reply
  2. Toosy

    Why don't you or those who campaign against the blasphemy law argue on its existence being unislamic? My understanding is that there was no such law during the prophet Mohammad's (PBUH) time. I might understand if someone gets angry about such an act but I do not believe its a part of the religion which was completed on Mohammad (PBUH). I would like to know what is the origin of this law (not in Pakistan but the history of such law if there is any reference in the Islamic History)

    May 23, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Reply
  3. Furkan Awan

    Being a Pakistani myself and above all a Muslim i will support the Current Pakistani Blasphemy law,and whatever happened to Salman Taseer was his own fault , he went against the Pakistani Constitution and also went against the main ISLAMIC figure , Prophet Muhammad P.B.U.H !!! So Miss Bano .. i am deeply sorry for your great indeed great Loss , accept deepest condolences from me and on behalf of the INSAAF STUDENT FEDERATION ( I.S.F – LAHORE ) but whoever Goes against islam will never be forgiven ! May Lord send his Choicest Blessing upon you and your family !

    May 23, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Reply
  4. Ruhan

    Dear Shehrbano,

    I have read few of your articles on Blhasphemy Law's and with out a doubt your effort and hard work is a testament to your dad's ideology. An Ideology of any SANE, RATIONALE and BRAVE man on this earth.

    My question is how do you see blahsphemy rules changing in Pakistan and what is your strategies towards it?

    Regards

    May 23, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Reply
  5. rida meher

    Do you think if your father had been slightly more careful with how he had phrased his criticism it could have prevented his murder?

    May 23, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Reply
  6. rida meher

    Shehrbano, how are you not scared?

    May 23, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Reply
  7. rida meher

    Shehrbano why aren't you scared?

    May 23, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Reply
  8. P Soni

    Hi,
    The most astonishing thing of the law is that it cannot be contested in court. Its quite obvious that the whole procedure shall require the allegations to be made and fought against. But the law itself does restricts the speech and the punishment is delivered much before it can be questioned. That is one of the most notorious paradox ever. You are a victim, blasphemer but religious if you don't challenge it; and a victim, blasphemer but anti-religious if you do.
    Its structure makes impossible for the law itself to deliver justice. Guilty because you cannot be proven innocent and so, guilty, because you chose not to be proven innocent.
    I doubt that religion shall not allow justice to take course.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Reply
  9. Vidya Raja

    How do you see the political landscape in Pakistan changing? As a young woman, the future of Pakistan, what are your aspirations for your country?

    May 23, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Reply
  10. faran

    Needs some enhancements in this law according to the authority of Islamic scholar.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jW_sGXwoGpQ&w=640&h=390]

    May 23, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Reply
  11. Taimur

    @Shehrbano Taseer, You are a ray of hope for all such Pakistanis who want to see this country as Quaid-e-Azam's Pakistan. Unfortunately we do not have many political leaders like Mr Salman Taseer Shaheed who may raise voice for the communities subjected to brutality in the name of religion. May Allah always bless you. You should feel proud of your great father and also that you are the torch bearer to carry his message forward. Like father like daughter.

    Are you satisfied with how the political party ( PPP ) for which Salman Taseer always fought did justice to him when he was martyred. Many of his colleagues didnt even condemned his murder openly?

    May 23, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Reply
  12. Suman Singh

    Hi Shehrbano... This is Suman Singh from India, firstly appreciate your stance and conviction in what you believe... My question to you is: Don't you think education reforms is the need of the hour in rooting out terrorism and giving the newer generation a broader perspective so that they don't choose the path of terrorism. In short Can't we elevate or give more importance 'Qualitative education.' Thank You.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Reply
  13. Rizwan Raees Khan

    we in pakistan are so proud of you .you are the voice of those who cannot speak and carry on the fight. how can we change the mindset of the people of pakistan?how do we stop the injustices taking place, and learn to be a tolerant people?

    May 23, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Reply
  14. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello Shehrbano Taseer and CNN friends,

    I would like an answer from Shehrbano Taseer on the following questions:

    – How will you Improve our Pakistani(Lahore) and its Allies?

    – What can we expect from you in 2011 and beyond?

    I am awaiting Shehrbano Taseer’s replies.
    Greetings,
    Jurgen R. Brul
    Hometown: Paramaribo
    Nativity country: Suriname

    May 23, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Reply
  15. Zulfiqar Ali, Lahore Pakistan

    Dear Sheharbano,

    I am really happy to know that you have taken the cause of your father. I feel ashamed when I identify my self with Pakistan, just because of these fanatics and the people who celebrated the murder of your great father.

    My heart goes all out for you and to your family. I fully support your endeavors, keep it up.

    God bless you.

    Zulfiqar Ali

    May 23, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Reply
  16. Robert

    "whoever Goes against islam will never be forgiven !"
    I think your God is MUCH more Merciful and forgiving than you are, Furkan.
    Questioning a Law is surely part of Democracy ; there was a time when this Law did not exist.
    I hear that this Law is being used to "punish" even those who are not Muslims; would the Prophet [PBUH] agree with such lack of Humanity ?

    May 23, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Reply
  17. RSMNR Bangalore

    I wish you good luck with your cause. The blasphemy law not only needs to be modified but must be repealed. How can any compassionate religion stipulate death sentence to any one who insults it? It is simply unacceptable in any place at any time.

    It is sad to note that the liberal and progressive voices are losing their fight against radicals in Pakistan.

    I notice that many progressive people are now scared to even talk about this issue.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Reply
  18. Shan Rizvi

    I am working on a social start-up that aims at creating global debate and discourse on various issues. I think you could make a good contribution to something like that; contact me if you're interested. public@shanrizvi.com

    May 23, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Reply
  19. Ruhan

    @ FURKAN AWAN – comments

    Dear Furkan I am SHOCKED by your judgment and knowledge about Islam and Holy Prophet (PBUH). You comments are not just inflammtory but quiet opposite to meaning of your OWN NAME i.e. being decisive about right and wrong.

    Holy Prophet all his life preached love, humility, patience and tolerance to people of his time of different sects. Even in Holy Quran it says... LA IQRAH FE DEEN....(there is no compulsion in religion) and yet you and your ISF tries to give wrong image of ISLAM and Holy Prophet (PBUH). Which is the most hedious and henious image one can think of being a MUSLIM!

    Ruhan

    May 23, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Reply
  20. Everest Wilhelmsen

    Islam is about slavery and murder, not freedom. Muslims who claim Islam to be peaceful religion are either ignorant of what the Qur'an teaches, or enjoy their murderous acts. The Medina verses obviously abrogate the Meccan verses in the Qur'an making it clear that Islam is to be spread through violation and intimidation.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Reply
  21. anam akram malik

    Why did you choose journalism?

    May 23, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Reply
  22. anam akram malik

    You've oftenn said pakistan is a victim of terrorism as well. Why do you say that?

    May 23, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Reply
  23. Robert

    Furkan
    It could be that Furkan , as a student and member of ISF, is afraid of doing anything except uphold an Unmerciful Law.
    Is it for Merciful Allah to decide the time of a Man's Death ?
    -or is it for imperfect Humans – with guns in a street ? – with no Court even to pass sentence !

    May 23, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Reply
  24. shaan ismail

    Do you feel that your speaking out has made a difference?

    May 23, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Reply
  25. shaan ismail

    Do you feel that the media behaved irresponsibly with your fathers murder?

    May 23, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Reply
  26. shaan ismail

    How has your life changed after your fathers murder?

    May 23, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Reply
  27. shaan ismail

    Do you feel your father should have taken better security measures?

    May 23, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Reply
  28. Naseer

    Pakistan needs to know that Islam is not what is presented & interpreted by the extremist Mullah's of Pakistan. Islam gives you vision please read the teachings of Holy Quran & saying's of Prophet Muhammad PBUH yourself and dont blindly follow the extremist Mullahs. Islam means Peace. Please stop voilance and be a peaceful citizen.

    We want our Pakistan back our Qaid's Pakistan back & we will get it soon. Thank you Ms. Taseer.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Reply
  29. M AliKhan

    @ Furqan Awan

    Are you forgetting that Islam is not the only religion in this world and Islam actually teaches us to be tolerant toward other religions? Why are there so many of you who seem to love to talk about religion but in reality know very little about it?

    May 23, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Reply
  30. Everest Wilhelmsen

    Islam is only about slavery and murder, not freedom. Muslims who claim Islam to be a peaceful religion are either ignorant of what the Qur'an teaches, or they enjoy their murderous acts. (Everyone has the innate right to life and the freedom of speech.) The Medina verses of the Quran, written after Mohammad and his band of cutthroats chose violence, obviously abrogate the Meccan verses in the Qur'an when the Meccans rejected rejected Mohammad as a "prophet". Obviously, Mohammad decided to force his claim to be a "prophet" on all he met. Islam is only dictatorship (no love there) and has only increased through violence and murder: Today violence, murder and intimidation are its modus operandi.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Reply
  31. coder

    Religion itself – Every Religion that has waged war of any kind – IS BLASPHEMY ITSELF

    Any man who thinks they know the will of a god – is person in pursuit of their own ambition and is too weak to use anything else but religion as a means to control another human's point of view

    Belief – Faith – Hope
    These are the things that united people of all nations

    Religion is the tool used to divide people within nations

    May 23, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Reply
  32. Sana F

    Islamabad, Pakistan

    Shehrbano, your family has faced a lot of controversy due to the more liberal lifestyle as opposed to the conservative norm expected from Political families in Pakistan. Pictures of you from family gatherings and social events surfaced the internet long before your father's assassination. Now you have taken a conscious step into the limelight to advocate your father's stance and further his cause- Do you feel like you have been well prepared for what lies ahead as far as the media intrusion is concerned? How do you handle the pressure? Is there any particular thing your father taught you as far as being a public figure is concerned?

    May 23, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  33. raja

    it is time pakistani discard islam and convert to chistianity or hinduism

    May 23, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Reply
  34. Sana Faizaan

    There are many similarities between you and Fatima Bhutto. You are both daughters of slain politicians, both are outspoken in speaking of the injustice and lack of the proper legal system in Pakistan, both have received an education abroad, are well educated well rounded attractive young women. Fatima being older has established herself as an accomplished author and is an excellent representation of young Pakistani women. Do you see yourself following the same path? and what do you have to say about the potential of young women in Pakistan (as you represent us). Also, what is your opinion on Fatima's political stance (considering your father was a PPP governor and she is a Bhutto).

    May 23, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  35. Mansura Minhas

    I salute your guts! You are indeed carrying on your father's mission and are working tirelessly to fight extremism and injustice that is rotting Pakistan to the core. However, the current situation is so bleak in Pakistan that it seems unlikely that we will see change in the status quo. Does that bother you? Can you please also share your recipe for courage? What keeps you motivated and undeterred?

    May 23, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Reply
  36. Jayesh K

    Dear Ms Shehrbano, I do believe that there's still the rule of law in Pakistan, the judiciary is still functioning , people of Pakistan do have bit of faith in the judicial system, so my question is that the misuse of the Blasphemy Law in Pakistan has led to physical violence, damage, destruction of properties and loss of life within the innocent people mostly minorities over the years, this is a violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed by Article 36 of the Constitution of Pakistan, why is the judiciary quite about it ? are they too afraid of the Mulla's and the Taliban ?

    May 23, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Reply
  37. Ruhan

    @Everest Wilhelmsen – comments:

    AS It would be unfair of me to comment about other religions without much knowledge or advanced studies about them. It is SIMILARLY not acceptable to TARNISH a religion with out any knowledge.

    I suggest to read more before you see things on media and come up with your own judgement on forums like this. Do get back if you think you know more about ISLAM then a MUSLIM like me!

    You are obviously not helping the cause here. Let me SPELL it out one more time for person like you.......BLHASPHEMY LAWS IN PAKISTAN!!!

    So rather then stirring things in here, comment on the topic being discussed.

    May 23, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Reply
  38. SHAKIL BUTT

    Dear Babo,

    you looking very Beautifull.

    can u please Share any Memory of shaheed S T! . good luck u doing good job! keep it up

    May 23, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Reply
  39. Concerned Pakistan

    Moderator,

    Could I please know why my comment was deleted after approval? Or are you not willing to allow us to ask Ms Taseer hard questions such as the fact that even though she speaks out against hypocrisy and exploitation, her own family hasn't paid the employees of their media group for a year!

    Are the only questions we are allowed to ask here about the blasphemy law? Why? Why not ask this personality why she isn't even helping those who worked for her. Why is it to to "speak out" about everyone's crimes while committing your own? This is a TYPICAL Pakistani problem, one that our ruling elite class is guilty of. To put them on pedestals as angels who can do no wrong is folly on your part.

    I'm a Pakistan, a liberal, secular believer in human rights. I agree with Ms Taseer on extremism. But I cannot bring myself to support her because of the hypocrisy. Why is it ok for Ms Taseer's family to exploit people, but when others do it, it's a sin. I demand answers as a Pakistani and to deny me the chance to ask just reflects that you ONLY want to talk about one subject instead of addressing related issues of exploitation such as these.

    May 24, 2011 at 10:33 am | Reply
  40. Ayan

    Shehrbano, many of us in Pakistan are greatly sorry for what happened to your father and admire the principled stand he took. We also admire your courage to come forward and speak against the barbaric blasphemy laws that he was trying to change.

    Unfortunately, we cannot look at this stand in a vacuum. There is a rather uncomfortable precedent of nepotism and corruption displayed by your father during his time as governor of Punjab and as the owner of a private business.

    This cynicism is not just present amongst the liberal, secular elite of Pakistan, but is widespread.
    My question to you is: What do you have to say about the fact that your father is guilty (and please understand, it is not easy for me to write this) of such corruption? Doesn't this tarnish both his image and yours, when you champion human rights and freedom in this country?

    I realize my questions may come across as offensive, but please understand that I am not trying to attack you as an individual. I cannot and will not however, stay silent about the hypocrisy here.

    May 24, 2011 at 11:08 am | Reply
  41. Keira

    I'd like to ask the following question -

    Extremism exists in every corner of the world - religious or otherwise, yet in some countries extremists are the fringe, not the mainstream.

    In your opinion, why has extremism taken such a fierce hold of such a great number of people, in Pakistan and elsewhere in the region? Why are people in charge so against progressive ideas or change (at least when it comes to these archaic laws?)

    Best of luck!

    Keira
    NYC

    May 31, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Reply
  42. Mike Stanis

    Shehrbano,
    When I heard of your fathers murder, I was disgusted by the general Pakistan response that some sort of justice was involved. The reason I write you now, relates more to your fathers spirit. I lost my son Erik, almost 3½ years ago. He would be 24 now and died by suicide but I remain convinced his pure spirit was unable to cope with the moral decay of my country at the time. (I believe Obama is now righting the ship.)
    My message: keep your fathers spirit in your heart (I know he is already there). He will be best able to reach you from there. My son's spirit is still strong, and I know (best if I don't say how), that he is in a better place. Your father will continue to live through you. The problems in the world will be corrected by God and not by the criminals who choose to commit evil acts in his name. This I believe.
    God bless you!
    Mike

    June 18, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Reply

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