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U.S. citizen Tahir Naseem lured to Pakistan, charged with blasphemy, and murdered

A U.S. citizen, Tahir converted from Ahmadi to Sunni Islam, claiming to be a prophet. Lured into visiting Pakistan, he was charged with blasphemy and murdered at court. His murder was celebrated by thousands at a rally.

Tahir Ahmed Naseem
Date:
Jul 29, 2020
By:
Vigilante
Also Known As:
Tahir Nasim
Type:
Murdered, Arrested
Accused of:
Blasphemy
Occupation:
School bus driver
Citizen:
United States
Country:
Pakistan

Tahir Ahmed Naseem was a 57-year-old Pakistani-American man living in Chicago and working as a school bus driver. In 2018, he took a trip back to Pakistan where he was promptly arrested under that country’s blasphemy law. Although he was a United States citizen, the U.S. government did not have the power to stop his arrest or trial. Whether he may have eventually been freed of the burden with which he was saddled, none can know; in July 2020, while Tahir was in court, a 17-year-old boy shot and killed him, by his own admission having been visited in a dream by the Prophet Muhammad and given the explicit command to do so.

Tahir had always been a member of the Ahmadiyya sect, a persecuted minority who are not legally considered Muslims in Pakistan. By some accounts, he had renounced that affiliation and embraced Sunni Islam, whereas the cleric who allegedly oversaw his conversion claims he did so insincerely.

Tahir had allegedly proclaimed himself a prophet, a claim blasphemous to any Muslim. Even after apparently converting to Sunni Islam and returning to the U.S., he supposedly continued to do so, which spurred a follower of an anti-Ahmadiyya movement in contact with Tahir to coax him back to Pakistan on the pretense of discussion and debate, laying a trap so that he could face charges for blaspheming against Islam.

"All over Twitter and social media, I've been seeing, like, the police take selfies with him, the killer. And these are the same police that are supposed to be protecting the citizens over there, but they're making a mockery out of my dad's murder." - Mashal Naseem, Tahir's daughter

Tahir was treated as a criminal and made to stand trial. Soon after, the 17-year-old (sometimes reported as 15—accounts differ), Faisal Khan, took the opportunity to exact vigilante justice for Tahir’s speech crimes. Many religious fundamentalists took to the streets and to social media after the fact to praise the killer’s righteousness.

After the killing, Tahir's daughter, Mashal, started an online petition calling on the United Nations and the United States Department of State to push for an end to Pakistan's blasphemy laws, for which she was subjected to death threats. She has also said that she would like to see Khan extradited to the U.S., as her father was a U.S. citizen and there were some signs the killer's trial would not be impartial. These signs included selfies that surfaced on social media taken by police, showing Khan smiling along with them. Other selfies have also surfaced, such as one depicting a crowd, including some lawyers, escorting Khan into court as he smiled.

"It's one of those cases where everyone wants to be his lawyer." - Inamullah Yusufzai, the killer's lawyer

Meanwhile, Khan has successfully petitioned to be tried a juvenile. “Delegations of well-wishers” which include “lawyers, clerics, [and] local politicians” have visited his family in the aftermath of the attack to extend their congratulations, according to Reuters. The killer's lawyer says lawyers from across Pakistan had offered to defend him for free, as they see the killing as justified retribution against a blasphemer.

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Maryam Lal and Newsh Urooj charged with blasphemy for removing religious sticker while cleaning
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Shahzad and pregnant wife Shama Masih brutalized by mob, burnt alive in brick kiln for blasphemy
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Pakistani Christian Nadeem James accused of blasphemy on death row
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Illiterate Pakistani Christian couple sentenced to death for doctored blasphemous texts
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British-trained physician Younus Shaikh sentenced to death, held in solitary confinement for blasphemy
Mentally disabled Stephen Masih brutalized, imprisoned for blasphemy after argument with neighbor
Teenagers Sunny Mushtaq and Noman Asghar imprisoned for receiving blasphemous texts
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Tufail Naqvi axed to death by police officer while in custody for blasphemy
Wajih-ul-Hassan sentenced to death for blasphemy, tortured, imprisoned for 17 years
Mystic Yousuf Ali shot dead in prison after receiving death sentence for blasphemy
Yaqoob Bashir Masih threatened with immolation, imprisoned for life on blasphemy accusation
Pastor Zafar Bhatti tortured, given life sentence for fabricated blasphemous texts
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