Reading Time: 2 minutes Tahir Ahmad Naseem
Reading Time: 2 minutes

In 2018, Tahir Ahmed Naseem was arrested in Pakistan on charges of blasphemy after he allegedly declared himself a prophet. One of those charges could have resulted in the death penalty. Making matters worse for Naseem, he was a member of the Ahmadi community, which most Muslims in the nation believe is not Muslim at all.

Yesterday, during a hearing in his case in the city of Peshawar, Naseem was shot dead.

Tahir Ahmad Naseem

“The culprit accepts responsibility for killing him, and says that he killed him for having committed blasphemy,” said police official [Ijaz] Ahmed. “[The suspect] has been arrested from the scene.”

The shooter apparently said he was acting on a dream:

Footage circulating on social media appeared to show the alleged killer, sitting barefoot on a bench under police guard, claiming he had been ordered in a dream to kill Naseem. He also attacked judges who hear blasphemy cases.

For anyone to have entered the courtroom at all with a weapon suggests either a serious breach of security or (if you’re into conspiracies) a pre-planned assassination. The scariest thing about this is that the assailant may end up facing a lighter penalty than Naseem could have gotten for his alleged blasphemy.

Pakistan has been a hotbed of accusations of blasphemy, and its government is known for an inability to protect the accused.

This news is sadly part of a much larger and very disturbing trend in the country.

(Screenshot via YouTube. Thanks to everyone for the link)

Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.

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