7. Shaan Taseer — secular (Pakistan)
Taseer is the son of the late Punjab Gov. Salmaan Taseer, who was assassinated in 2011 over his opposition to Pakistan’s corrupt blasphemy laws and advocacy for a Christian mother placed on death row for blasphemy.
Taseer has continued his father’s work in advocating on behalf of oppressed religious minorities in Pakistan and speaking against the country’s blasphemy laws.
Just like his father, radical Islamic authorities in Pakistan have issued a fatwa (religious proclamation) calling for Shaan Taseer’s death.
Taseer gave an address on the ministerial main stage last Wednesday in which he declared that there are at least 200 more religious minorities imprisoned in Pakistan on blasphemy charges.
While his dad was known for advocating for Christian mother Asia Bibi (who was released from death row and is now living in Canada), Taseer warned advocates in attendance that there is more work to be done as dozens are still imprisoned for blasphemy in Pakistan.
“A lethargy has set in, complacency has certainly set in,” Taseer told CP in an interview. “It’s the old adage that one person is a story and 1 million is a statistic. That applies here also. Unfortunately, Asia Bibi was the poster girl and we stand the risk of losing our poster girl and letting the world think that the issue is over. The issue is not over. The poster girl is free but there are 199 people after her who still remain incarcerated.”