Emotional, senseless, pragmatic, reactionary and lethal“Kehta hay Mumtaz saaroon ko salam”, the ending words from Mumtaz Qadri’s Last naatwhich he sang before being hanged to death. After the swift and unexpected hanging, there was a burst of unrest amongst religious and Islamist circles and protests erupted in all major parts of the country. Since mainstream media seemed to consider it an unpopular story and did not cover the massive protests going across the country, social media was a platform which reflected the real popular sentiments. State control on mainstream electronic media can be witnessed by comparing it with social media where several Twitter hashtags and thousands of supportive posts on Facebook reflected a completely different mood. Schools were called off and major protest locations were filled with people mourning the hanging of Qadri and displaying their hatred for the Raheel-Nawaz regime.Critically reviewing social media and some random discussions with religious and non-religious friends, I tried to understand the reasons of overwhelming support that Mumtaz Qadri harnessed.Firstly, there are fans that are generally religiously biased. They look at a person with beard, his religious inclination, his singing of naats and praising the prophet SAW, they would be biased towards him even though that person might have done something extremely wrong. Mumtaz Qadri had all those qualities to cater support from this lot and his continuous videos of naats coming from jail from time to time were a major contributing factor in enhancing such image and sympathy. Salmaan Taseer, on the other hand, was a known liberal secular, no beard, love of alcohol, no naats, no Islamic outlook etc and therefore demanded innate hatred from such fans.Secondly, the vast majority of fans in this issue think “Salmaan Taseer was a blasphemer and rightfully killed by Mumtaz Qadri”. They not only consider it justified to kill the blasphemer in an extra-judicial manner but have vowed to repeat the same to any other person considered blasphemer during the funeral prayers with slogans “Gustakh rasool ki aik hi saza, sar tan say juda, sar tan say juda”. This argument is carried by the emotional ones which are in abundance in Pakistan and they are not ready to discuss on any scholarly grounds.Thirdly, there are those fans that are ready to endorse scholarly explanation but still are in support of Qadri. They agree that Islam does not generally allow punishing a person on extra-judicial grounds. For instance, if a person has stolen something from me and I arrest him, am I entitled to cut off his hands? Ask any sane scholar of Islam and he will answer in negative. But then, there are some instances where the Prophet SAW did approve extra-judicial killing for a very specific crime i.e., direct blasphemy of the Prophet SAW. But even in such cases, it is extremely emphasised by the scholars that the killer needs to have direct, clear and explicit evidence of the crime. If such direct, clear and explicit evidence is not present, then the killer would be held accountable and the family has the right to demand any one of the three things as Qisas: either the killer be hanged or payment as compensation to the family or pardon by the family. Now, when we look into the case of Salmaan Taseer, such direct, clear and explicit evidence is missing. Terming a law of blasphemy as “kala qanoon” does not mean a person has committed direct and explicit blasphemy on any scholarly grounds. Hence, Salmaan Taseer can be clearly considered not guilty for blasphemy and since it is not allowed to take law into our own hands in Islam, therefore the blame lies on Mumtaaz Qadri.Then why do they still support him? Their argument is pragmatic. It starts off with claiming that Salmaan Taseer was trying to protect a blasphemer Asia Bibi who was convicted by the court of law. He was going against the court decision and termed it “zulm”. He started “abusing” the law on blasphemy and was trying to create public opinion to repeal the law which protects the honour of the Prophet SAW and punishes a blasphemer. He had full media support, western support and all the elite liberals and major politicians were with him. Since he was Governor Punjab and a highly powerful figure, if people would have filed a case to Stop Salmaan Taseer’s evil mission, the current judicial system would have never served justice. Mumtaz Qadri had no other option but to take law in his own hands and silence all such voices. So his cause was just even though the method he followed was wrong. Since the ‘end justifies the means’, so Mumtaz Qadri is justified in his actions to courageously destroy the onslaught against this law and have their support.Then there is another Islamist mindset, which might not be termed as direct fans but are inclined towards Mumtaz Qadri. They endorse the notion that “Mumtaz Qadri is a killer and Salmaan taseer was not a blasphemer and justice is served to the family of Salmaan Taseer”. But they term it selective and biased justice by the regime. They say that Asia Bibi is not hanged even though convicted by the court of law. Raymond Davis was not hanged even though he killed two Pakistanis while the families were pressurised to pardon him and were denied justice. Shahrukh Jatoi was not hanged while the family of Shahzeb was pressurised and denied justice. Pervez Musharraf is not hanged for allowing drone strikes which killed hundreds of innocent people in Bajaur madarrasah and the likes and he is being cleared slowly of all the cases because of strong backing by the establishment. It shows the hypocrisy of the state in matters of justice.To narrow it down, it shows that as per the current National Action Plan, the state would surely give justice when the matter is somehow linked with Islam and a high profile family, but the state would be rather careless and ensure that justice is denied to those who do not have state backing them up or do not follow Islam. This selective and biased justice by the regime and the Islamist mindset causes a group of people to be close to the mourners than the actions of the regime.Mumtaz Qadri is hanged and his fans have given the state and the secular liberals a serious message with a funeral that was attended by thousands and many more who did not attend but mourn with them. The message is that they are “emotional, senseless, pragmatic, reactionary and lethal” when it comes to the matter of honour of the Prophet SAW. Therefore, the state representatives need to find other ways of addressing the issue of misapplication of the law of blasphemy, rather than getting killed on such a sensitive issue.