Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

9/9/2011 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The Blasphemy Law is an instrument of oppression with which Christians and other religious believers are persecuted by Islamic supremacists

When news of Asia Bibi's plight spread throughout the international media, it brought almost universal condemnation. Sadly, it did not last. Her courage and suffering for the cause of Christ was soon forgotten

Asia Bibi with her husband and daughters before wrongful arrest

Asia Bibi with her husband and daughters before wrongful arrest

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/9/2011 (3 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Asia Bibi, Pakistan, persecution, blasphemy laws, Jihadi, islamic, Muslim, Deacon Keith Fournier


LAHORE, Pakistan (Catholic Online) - Zenit news Agency in a story entitled "Pakistani Christian Condemned for Blasphemy Tells Her Story"  reports that Asia Bibi, the Pakistani Christian woman wrongfully sentenced to death for an alleged blasphemy, has collaborated with French journalist Anne Isabelle Tollet, Bibi to write a book entitled "Blasphčme" (Blasphemy). It was released on Sept. 7, 2011 in Lisbon, Portugal:  

"The Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, which collaborated in the publication, described the book as "an impressive account of this Pakistani who for two years has awaited the order to be hanged, simply for having dared to share a glass of water with other women."

Asia Bibi, a Christian woman, was sentenced to death by hanging simply because she is a Christian. Her lawyer filed an appeal of her unjust sentence and requested a pardon from the Office of the President. President Asif Ali Zardari had asked for a review of the facts of the case.It was widely reported that she would receive a  presidential pardon or commutation of her sentence.

However, on Monday, November 29, 2010 Khawaja Sharif, the chief justice of the Lahore High Court, issued an interim order ruling that while the matter is pending before it the President of the Nation may not issue a pardon for Asia Bibi.

Pope Benedict XVI and leaders from around the world have urged that this devout Christian wife and mother be freed. On November 17, 2010, at his general audience in St. Peters square, the Holy Father called the world's attention to the plight of this contemporary Christian disciple with these words:

"Over these days the international community is, with great concern, following the situation of Christians in Pakistan, who are often victims of violence or discrimination. In particular, I today express my spiritual closeness to Ms Asia Bibi and her family while asking that, as soon as possible, she may be restored to complete freedom. I also pray for people who find themselves in similar situations, that their human dignity and fundamental rights may be fully respected. "

As the initial news of Asia Bibi's plight spread throughout the international media, it brought almost universal condemnation. Sadly, it did not last and her plight and her heroic suffering for the cause of Christ was soon forgotten. This 45 year old wife and mother was sentenced to hanging by the neck until dead on November 8, 2010 for what amounts to simply being a Christian. The unjust sentence was rendered under Pakistan's horrendous "Blasphemy Law".

One portion of the Penal Code under which she was sentenced reads as follows: "Use of derogatory remarks, etc; in respect of the Holy Prophet. Whoever by words, either spoken or written or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine."

NBC news reported in 2010 that Asia Bibi's husband, Ashiq Masih, along with the couple's children,went into hiding in an undisclosed Christian enclave. He is convinced that the whole family has been targeted for death at the hands of radical Islamic groups.  Asked about the events which gave rise to his wife's  death sentence he told NBC news, "She was picking berries with other women, when she was sent to get water. One of the women refused to drink the water after my wife dipped her cup into the bucket. This woman said it was contaminated because it was touched by a Christian."

According to Masih, all the women then started taunting his wife, and shouting insults against her mother and their children. Bibi just repeated the same insults back at them. "The name of the holy prophet never came up.Five days later, the local cleric came to our house, followed by an angry mob, and dragged my wife away," he said, recalling the incident that took place in June 2009. They beat her, ripped off her clothes and accused her of insulting the prophet. Then they locked her up in a house until the police came to take her away."

Catholic Online has covered the story from the beginning. The "Blasphemy Law" is an instrument of oppression with which Christians and other religious believers are persecuted by Islamic supremacists. The use of such "Blasphemy" or "Religious Defamation" laws to persecute is not confined to Pakistan. It is an affront to the fundamental human rights recognized by freedom loving people around the world and revealed in the Natural Law.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church puts it clearly, "Every human person, created in the image of God, has the natural right to be recognized as a free and responsible being. All owe to each other this duty of respect. The right to the exercise of freedom, especially in moral and religious matters, is an inalienable requirement of the dignity of the human person. This right must be recognized and protected by civil authority within the limits of the common good and public order." (CCC #1738)

Asia Bibi must be freed and the so called "Blasphemy Laws" used to suppress the free expression of religious faith in Muslim Nations must be rejected. In the face of such an obvious attack on a Christian, all those who bear the name must speak out! We joined with Pope Benedict XVI and people of good will throughout the world and call for complete freedom for Asia Bibi. We will obtain a copy of the book and report on it as soon as we do. Hopefully it will rekindle a public, international outcry, to free Asia Bibi.

All reliable reports indicate that she is still in prison. A recent update on "Christians in Pakistan" reported that "A local Muslim leader has offered a $6,000 reward to anyone who murders Asia Bibi. The family of Asia Bibi is also getting death threats. Due to these threats Asia remains in her prison cell for 24 hours a day and she neither meet(s) anyone nor eat(s) food from the prison. She only eats the food which she made herself from the groceries provided by her husband."

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Middle East

Australian reality TV stars 'shot at' by ISIS in Syria Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Australian public broadcaster, SBS defended the reality show where participants were shot at by ISIS militants in Syria. The incident was said to be a part of a trip retracing refugees' journeys and that those involved had wide security provisions. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


'End of the world' ISIS document reveals terrorist group's world domination plan Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A suspected ISIS recruitment document discovered in Pakistan's anarchic tribal lands revealed that the religious extremist group has ostentatious ambitions of building a new terrorist army in Afghanistan and Pakistan, in addition to triggering a war in India to provoke ... continue reading


STARVATION: One in two families in Yemen has no idea where their next meal is coming from Watch

Image of The problem is so severe, one in two of Yemen's people, or nearly 13 million struggle to find bread for their mouths.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

One of the greatest casualties of war is displaced civilian populations left without the necessities of life. In Yemen, nearly 4,000 people have been killed with more than 1.2 million people displaced. On ongoing battle between Houthi rebels and forces loyal to exiled ... continue reading


Iran's Assets Uncovered: Iran cash windfall from Iran nuclear deal estimated at $150 billion Watch

Image of Iran celebrates nuclear deal.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A total of $150 billion is estimated to be the amount Iran will receive from the Iran deal. This amount will provide the country more than the $124.3 billion the U.S. has given to Israel in total financial aid since 1948. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


Refugee boy beaten for selling tissues at Turkish restaurant galvanizes nation Watch

Image of Ahmet's story is one of millions of Syrians. Forced to flee to Turkey because of his homeland's civil war, his family lives in a two-bedroom apartment without electricity and running water.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It was a shocking incident that drew attention to the plight of millions of refugees living in host countries. Thirteen-year-old Ahmet Hamdo, whose large Syrian family fled the war-torn town of Aleppo, was beaten mercilessly by a Turkish restaurant owner for selling ... continue reading


ISIS leader sentences a woman to be beheaded as wedding present to cruel female Sharia judge Watch

Image of [Photo By: Jamie Wiseman/ Mail Online]

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi personally sanctioned a women to be beheaded, as a wedding present to a brutal female "judge" in the terror group's feared religious police. The cruel woman asked to slaughter an unbelieving "infidel" in return for taking a new husband after the ... continue reading


Australian man anxious to fight against Islamic State - is detained and arrested Watch

Image of Jamie Reece Williams was in court in Melbourne after counter-terrorism officers charged him with preparing to enter a foreign country with the intention of engaging in hostile activities.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Australian authorities have clamped down a misguided attempt at heroism. Jamie Reece Williams, from suburban Melbourne was arrested after he allegedly try to fly to northern Iraq to join Kurdish forces battling Islamic State. It remains illegal for any Australian to ... continue reading


YOU WILL NOT TAKE MY HEAD! - Notorious ISIS executioner 'Jihadi John' now on the run from his former bosses Watch

Image of There are rumors that Jihadi John had been moved by ISIS to Libya, where he supposedly attended a terror training camp with Sousse gunman Seifeddine Rezgui.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

He was at one time the most visible and dreaded figure in the Islamic State terror group . now, "Jihadi John" has fled for his life, afraid that his ISIS overlords were planning to kill him with as much leniency mercy as he did captive journalists. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


ISIS executes two homosexuals by pushing them off the roof (WARNING: Graphic Content) Watch

Image of The unidentified male victims were sadistically dangled over the side of the building before being pushed.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In what appears to be their favored method of execution for those accused of homosexuality, ISIS agents tied the hands of two men behind their back and then pushed them off a rooftop to their deaths in Homs, Syria. The jihadis blindfold the men before standing ... continue reading


Catholic relief Services roll up their sleeves to help rebuild Gaza Watch

Image of Reconstruction efforts in Gaza are complicated by the Israeli blockade.

By Kevin J. Jones, CNA/EWTN News

One year after an outbreak of violence between the Israeli military and Hamas militants in Gaza, Catholic Relief Services is helping conflict victims to find new homes. Gaza City (CNA/EWTN News) - "It's hard to believe it's been a year already. Unfortunately, it ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Exodus 40:16-21, 34-38
16 Moses did this; he did exactly as Yahweh had ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 84:3, 4, 5-6, 8, 11
3 Even the sparrow has found a home, the swallow a ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:47-53
47 'Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 30th, 2015 Image

St. Peter Chrysologus
July 30: St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter