Douglas Murray: “First They Came for Asia Bibi”

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The same week that (Humza) Yousaf was extolling the idea that Britain is a proto-Nazi state and Pakistan a potential safe-haven, the Pakistani authorities saw the latest round of the interminable and unforgivable saga of Asia Bibi. This is the woman who has been on death-row in Pakistan for no crime other than the crime of being a Christian. Bibi has been awaiting execution for five years, purely because a neighbour claimed that Bibi had insulted Mohammed during an argument.

…While the Conservative party in Westminster is portrayed by these supposed defenders of human rights as some kind of Nazi offshoot, life is, in fact, unequalled in Britain for being good for people of any faith or background. It would be hard to find a society anywhere that has been more tolerant of mass immigration or tried to make life good for the immigrants who arrive, whatever background they are from. Pakistan, on the other hand, is a country which could hardly have a worse record on all of these matters. It is a country where racism and ethnic and religious hatred are rife. People of the “wrong” background, caste, or ethnicity experience infinitely more racism in Pakistan than in any country in Europe. Even people who are the “wrong” type of Muslim, such as Ahmadiyya Muslims, are the subject of constant and routine persecution and bigotry. The persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslims is so rife in Pakistan that this July, it even spilled out onto the streets of Glasgow in the murder of an Ahmadiyyan shopkeeper, Asad Shah.

…As it happens, the case of Asia Bibi has now been delayed yet again because the judge has removed himself from the case. He has done so because he knows that if he were to release Asia Bibi, he will himself be assassinated in the manner of the late Punjab governor Salman Taseer. While last week’s hearing was going on, hundreds of riot police had to be deployed outside the courthouse in Islamabad. This was because everything about Asia Bibi and her case brings out mobs in Pakistan; thousands of Pakistani nationals have said that if Asia Bibi were ever released, they would kill her.

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