Who was Mashal Khan, the student who was killed by a large mob in Pakistan on Thursday over accusations of blasphemy?
According to Pakistani media reports, Khan described himself as ‘The Humanist’ on his Facebook page.
It is not clear whether he was an atheist or not but according to the opinions he voiced, his friends described him as an “uncommitted Muslim.”
Some said he was killed because his ideas were based on the Ahmadi faith which is attributed to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad who was born in Punjab in the 19th century. Many believe the Ahmadi faith opposes Islamic Sharia.
Khan’s hostel room was vandalized by the mob, according to a video of a local television station.
One of the writings on the wall read “Allah is the Greatest and Prophet Muhammad is the messenger of God.”
Khan had also decorated the walls with photos of Karl Marx and Ernesto Guevara.
In an interview with a local television station called Khaber AVT TV broadcast two days before he was killed, Khan, who is a journalism student at the Abdul Wali Khan University, criticized the university’s administration and officials.
Some said the interview may have played a role in inciting people against him.
Malala condemns murder
Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai condemned the murder of Khan and said it was the Pakistani people who are responsible for Islamophobia and for giving a bad image to their country.
She added that this incident was not just about murder of a student but also embodied murdering the message of Islam.
“We have forgotten our religion, values and dignity,” she said.
Khan’s father told local media outlets his son was tolerant towards all religions.