Christian woman Asia Bibi may have finally safely exited Pakistan after years on death row after being falsely held on blasphemy charges, but the fight for justice is far from over.
Bibi’s very prison cell is now home to another impoverished Christian woman, and the same Lahore-based attorney, Saif-ul Malook, is representing both the woman and her Christian husband. The pair have been sentenced to death under a questionable conviction of insulting Islam.
JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s Supreme Court has upheld a jail sentence for a mother of four who was convicted last year on blasphemy charges for complaining that her neighborhood mosque was too loud.
In a March 27 ruling posted on the court’s website on Monday, the court rejected the appeal by Meliana, a 44-year old ethnic Chinese, Buddhist resident of Medan on Sumatra island.
Indonesia has the world’s largest population of Muslims, and sizable Buddhist, Christian and other religious minorities, but the propagation of conservative and hardline interpretations of Islam in recent years has fanned fears that the secular nation is becoming less tolerant.
Devout Pakistani Muslim and future Canadian Immigration Minister calls for death of Asia Bibi.
In January, Pakistan’s highest court upheld its October 2018 ruling to acquit Asia Bibi , an impoverished Catholic woman, of blasphemy charges. Bibi, a mother of five, was arrested in June 2009, after her neighbors complained she had made derogatory remarks about Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. A year later, Bibi was sentenced to death despite strong opposition from national and international human rights groups.
After the Supreme Court’s ruling, Asia Bibi should have been a free person. She is not in jail, as there is no case against her. The blasphemy allegations against her have been proven wrong. Should she choose to leave the country for Canada, where her daughters are reportedly staying, she has every right to depart.
But it’s been more than two months since Bibi’s acquittal, and not many people in Pakistan know where she is. It’s been reported that Bibi has been kept in “protective custody” in an unknown location.
“A mentally ill Pakistani Christian man has been charged with blasphemy,” the Pakistan Christian Postreported a few days ago. Stephen Masih was arrested after Muhammad Rafiq and Muhammad Imran told Muhammad Mudassar — a renowned hafiz (one who has memorized the entire Koran) —that the Christian “had made derogatory remarks against the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).”
This man may be murdered for having “offended” a death cult’s idol. Take your Islamophobia and shove it where the sun don’t shine.
Twenty three-year-old Mashal Khan was a student of Mass Communications at the Abdul Wali Khan University in Mardan, in Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. He was beaten and shot to death by an angry mob on April 13, 2017 after being accused of blasphemy. The lynching took place within the premises of the university. Soon after, a video of the incident was shared on social media.
A lecturer has accused his former university of “bringing back blasphemy as a crime” after he was dismissed for criticising funding for a religious centre.
…Dr Hill was initially suspended at the university in February last year after emailing its student union in response to a public notice about “hate speech”. In it he argued “faith is not something to be admired”, labelled religious beliefs “nonsense” and said he was legally allowed to express “dislike” and “antipathy” to faith.
Then in a separate incident in April he ended up in an argument with a Muslim student who confronted him outside the faith centre, which he said would used to “indoctrinate people into the Muslim faith” and should be used as a maths centre instead. The student later complained, accusing Dr Hill of a “public display of anger”, according to the university’s internal report.
Pakistan’s supreme court has upheld its decision to acquit Asia Bibi, a Christian woman who spent eight years on death row over blasphemy charges, meaning she is now free to leave the country and seek asylum in Canada.
Ms Bibi’s case became a totemic cause for fundamentalist preachers in Pakistan, after she was accused of insulting the prophet Muhammad during an argument with two Muslim women. She strongly denied the allegation.
Her conviction and death sentence were thrown out by the supreme court in October, which cited a complete lack of evidence. The decision sparked protests across the country.
If she makes it to Canada it will be one of the few decent things done by the Liberal government. Now she only has to worry about the Islamists imported to Canada.
An international Christian ministry is expressing alarm and concern that a Pakistani woman acquitted of blasphemy by her nation’s Supreme Court still is living “like a prisoner,” months after the court ruling.
It is Asia Bibi, who spent years on death row in Pakistan after a confrontation with her Muslim co-workers, who still remains in danger, according to a new report from International Christian Concern.
Her status remains unchanged “almost three months after her acquittal by the Supreme Court,” the organization reported this week
Former Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, serving a jail term on blasphemy charges, no longer wants to be known by his popular Chinese nickname Ahok and instead prefers to be known by his initials BTP.
In a letter to his supporters ahead of his release from prison next week, Purnama said he was grateful to God for his defeat in the Jakarta gubernatorial election and the jail term. If he could turn back the clock and chose, he would still prefer the jail sentence over “ruling the City Hall for five years,” which would have made him only “more arrogant and ruder,” he said in the letter posted on his Instagram page.