“The Non-Believer Epitaph”

From an AP story about trouble in Pakistan (thanks to Thomas Asch for the pointer):

Most of the deadly attacks targeting Shiites in Pakistan have been carried out by a group affiliated with the SSP. Yet the renamed SSP is fighting elections as part of a coalition of six radical religious parties. Maulana Ahmed Ludhianvi, the leader of the SSP and a candidate, said the coalition has 300 candidates running for election. His party placards often hurl abuses at Shiites, calling them kafirs, or non-believers.

The non-believer epitaph is also widely used in reference to Ahmedis, who consider themselves Muslims but have been explicitly declared non-Muslims in Pakistan’s constitution. As well as violent attacks on its members, Ahmedi leaders told the AP they have been singled out with a separate electoral roll that identifies them as Ahmedis. The separate list also gives their addresses, making them easy targets. Security was tightened after a brutal attack in 2010 when militants simultaneously hit two Ahmedi mosques in Lahore killing more than 100 people and wounding scores more.

Sadly, the use of “epitaph” for “epithet” here might be less inaccurate than such a mistake usually is. For a case actually involving derogatory epitaphs, see Purtell v. Mason (7th Cir. 2008) (though these were on fake tombstones, not real ones).

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