The curious cases of Taliban and Radovan Karadzic

4th January, 2011. The governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province, Salman Taseer, is sub-machine gunned to death in broad daylight by his bodyguard Mumtaz Qadri. He is shot 26 times (28 by some accounts), no less, before Qadri surrenders himself to the police. Why this extreme hatred and madness?

“Salman Taseer is a blasphemer and this is the punishment for a blasphemer,” Mr Qadri said in comments broadcast on Dunya television.

Salman Taseer had come out in defense of a Christian woman by the name of Asia Bibi, who had been sentenced to death by a Pakistani court for the Koranic crime, nay sin of blasphemy. Not only that, he also challenged the entire blasphemy law and supported the more sensible amendments to it that were being proposed. To Islamic fundamentalists, this itself was blasphemy. Salman Taseer was also a man who envisaged Pakistan as a “progressive and liberal” democracy in the future. That too, in the fundamentalist Islamic world, is blasphemy. And the punishment proposed by Sharia (Islam’s proposed solution for all ills) for blasphemy is death. It’s obvious Qadri did it for a cause. He was hailed as a hero by hundreds of thousands of Islamic fundamentalists. In late 2015, more than 4 years after the horrific murder, Pakistan’s apex court sentenced him to death, since it was deemed to be an act of terrorism, and by Pakistani law (non-Sharia criminal law) it is understood to be fair punishment to condemn someone to the gallows for terrorist acts. Four months later, in late February, 2016, Qadri was hanged. What followed was great outrage across the Islamist landscape. Angry demonstrations and protests against the judicial murder thronged many streets and highways in Pakistan. Qadri had become a martyr for the Islamist cause.

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“Ultrasound pest repellers” and pseudoscience

We, as human beings, are difficult to satisfy. Our desires are many, and as intelligent as we maybe, it’s easy to fall into the trap of these desires -led by our emotions-  and make mistakes, sometimes very costly ones. It’s difficult for human beings to accept that they are just animals in the end, and so the world has revolved (continues to, in many parts of the world) around humans for centuries. The gods all over are anthropomorphic (or presumably so, in case they are invisible), and there continue to be Flat Earth Societies. It’s not enough for human beings to have control over the Earth’s resources, they must have control over all of nature, at least in their fantasies. They live their fantasies vicariously through their gods. Science’s fault continues to be that it does not explain everything and continues to try and learn and explain everything, rather than leave it to belief to explain what is perceived as everything. Nevertheless, it seems that it is important for us to believe that everything can be explained through apparent, rather than objectively tested, patterns. Michael Shermer illuminates a bit on this :

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