Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

9/9/2011 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (

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


By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (

9/9/2011 (4 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 October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Middle East

Saudi teen to be beheaded for teaching first aid to demonstrators in times of protests Watch

Image of


A second teenager will be beheaded in Saudi Arabia for participating in protests. The teen's sentence was reported only a few days following teenager's conviction sparked international outcry.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Dawoud al-Marhoon was only ... continue reading

China to join Russian forces in the battle against ISIS Watch

Image of China joins forces with Russia to eradicate ISIS threats (AFP).


China is allegedly preparing to unleash its military forces in Syria and join forces with Vladimir Putin's army to destroy ISIS. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Russia has carried out a series of destructive and deadly airstrikes against the terrorist nation IS ... continue reading

Violence increases in Jerusalem's Old City as tensions between Palestinians and Israelis rise Watch

Image of Palestinian/Israeli tensions continue to rise (AP).


An 18-year-old Palestinian woman was allegedly shot by an Israeli man on Wednesday, after she stabbed him during a brawl in Jerusalem's Old City. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online)  - Both parties were taken to the hospital. While the man did not receive serious ... continue reading

U.S./Iran negotiation ban effective immediately Watch

Image of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.


On Wednesday, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei prohibited further negotiations between Iran and the United States, further isolating Iran following July's nuclear deal. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Khamenei, who is the highest authority in the ... continue reading

Disturbing graphic video encourages Arabs to kill Jews in Jerusalem Watch

Image of Video promotes Jewish stereotypes and encourages Arabs to kill Jews in Jerusalem (YouTube).


A disturbing video depicting the stabbing of Jewish men was uploaded to YouTube on Hamas' official Channel. YouTube removed the video, calling it a violation of the prohibition against promoting hate speeches. However, the video was reuploaded to a pro-Israel blog. LOS ... continue reading

Russian jets shadow U.S. drones in Syria Watch

Image of U.S. predator drones were


American officials revealed that Russian fighter jets intercepted and shadowed U.S. predator drones on three separate occasions following the initiation of Russian airstrikes last week. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Intelligence reports from U.S. officials ... continue reading

Syrian woman gang raped and later stabbed to death in honor killing for being 'unclean' Watch

Image of Rockstan M. was killed by her own father and two brothers, allegedly on orders given by her mother (Twitter).


Rokstan M. managed to escape in Syria after being gang-raped by three men. She fled to Germany but was later murdered by her own father and two brothers, allegedly by her own mother's orders because she was seen as "unclean" after the sexual assault. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

'Don't make it worse for yourselves': Lleaflets dropped from Russian helicopters warn civilians to flee and rebels to give up Watch

Image of Russian military drops leaflets above Rastan and Talbiseh, Syria.


Russia reportedly dropped at least ten thousand leaflets with distinct messages aimed at civilians and rebel troops, including ISIS members.Through a Kremlin-friendly website, the leaflet details were posted, including warnings for people to leave the area before more ... continue reading

The Feared Spetsnaz: Russian special forces sent to take out rebels -including the Free Syrian Army Watch

Image of Spetsnaz special forces.


Feared Spetsnaz special forces were reportedly sent by Russian President Vladimir Putin to obliterate Islamic State terrorists and the moderate rebel groups against Bashar al-Assad. The special troops' intervention was said to be indicative of Russia's support for the ... continue reading

What is the Islamic State doing with all those Toyota vehicles? Watch

Image of It took awhile for others to catch on, but propaganda videos released by Islamic State, or ISIS, shows them using an extraordinary amount of vehicles from Japanese car manufacturer Toyota.


It took awhile for others to catch on, but propaganda videos released by Islamic State, or ISIS, shows them using an extraordinary amount of vehicles from Japanese car manufacturer Toyota. The U.S. Treasury Department has since launched an inquiry as to why. ... continue reading

All Middle East News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Joel 4:12-21
12 'Let the nations rouse themselves and march to the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12
1 Yahweh is king! Let earth rejoice, the many isles ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:27-28
27 It happened that as he was speaking, a woman in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 10th, 2015 Image

St. Francis Borgia
October 10: Francis was a young nobleman at the court of the King of Spain. ... Read More