More than 500 Muslim scholars are praising the man suspected of killing a Pakistani governor because the politician opposed blasphemy laws that mandate death for those convicted of insulting Islam.

The group of scholars and clerics known as Jamat Ahle Sunnat is affiliated with a moderate school of Islam and represents the mainstream Barelvi sect.

The group said in a statement Wednesday that no one should pray for Punjab province Gov. Salman Taseer or express regret for his murder. One of his security guards is the suspected killer.

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