Christians and Muslims mourn Sufi singer killed by the Taliban for blasphemy
Amjad Sabri was killed yesterday with three gunshots in his car in Karachi. A Taliban group claimed responsibility for the murder. He had been sued for blasphemy because one of his songs mentioned Muhammad’s relatives. For Christian activist, “He had fans of all religions”.
Lahore (AsiaNews) – Muslims and Christians gathered this afternoon to remember Amjad Sabri, one of the foremost interpreters of Sufi devotional music in the world, who was killed yesterday by Taliban terrorists in Karachi for his alleged blasphemy.
Rwadari Tehreek or Movement for tolerance organised the meeting held in front of the Lahore Press Club. Samson Salamat, the group’s Christian president, told AsiaNews that "a voice of peace has been stifled."
Amjad Sabri was one of the greatest performers of Qawwali music, a form of Sufi musical tradition that stretches back for more than 700 years. The Sabri family has provided some of the most important Qawwali musicians in the world.
Yesterday, Sabri died after two gunmen on a motorbike fired on his car in Karachi’s busy Liaqatabad area. Three hit their target in the head and the neck.
Rushed to Abbasi Shaheed hospital, he was later pronounced dead. A second passenger wounded in the attack died after a few hours.
Hakimullah Mehsud, a militant group affiliated with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, claimed responsibility for Sabri’s murder.
In 2014, the victim was accused of blasphemy because one of his pieces had been mixed with comments mocking Muhammed’s relatives. He had dissociated himself from the initiative.
"Sabri was promoting a message of peace and tolerance. He had fans of all religions," said Samson Salamat.
“Sufism offers a moderate version Islam and involves mystical and cathartic practices (such as music and dance) rejected by extremists.”
"This is another depressing tragedy,” said Saeeda Deep, founder of the Institute of Peace and Secular Studies. “Terrorists now also target artists. Ordinary people are like insects to them."
“The situation in Pakistan is getting worse. The state is silent. Killing innocent people shows that that the enemies of this country want to destroy peace.”