ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The floor was hard and the night was growing cold, but the magic of the Christmas pageant — livened by comic scenes and peppy music — kept the audience members spellbound as they huddled in an outdoor church tent.
Mothers craned their necks to see which preschool angel was theirs. People cheered the exotic-looking wise men and booed the swaggering King Herod. They clapped along with “Jingle Bells,” hushed in wait for the manger scene and burst into applause when Mary held up her swaddled baby.
The message of Christmas had special resonance this season among Pakistani Christians, an old but often persecuted minority of about 3 million in a country of 208 million that is 95 percent Muslim. Many labor at low-level jobs and reside in self-contained “colonies” anchored by small churches.
AMSTERDAM—For almost nine years, the name of an illiterate peasant woman in Pakistan came to symbolize the brutal intolerance that exists in a nation where blasphemy is a capital crime. Asia Bibi, also known as Assia Bibi or Aasya Noreen, was sentenced to death by hanging in 2010 after she squabbled with some of her Muslim neighbors while picking berries and they accused her of insulting the Prophet Muhammad.
Muslims call for murder of Asia Bibi. It’s what they do.
The United States said Tuesday it has added Pakistan to its blacklist of countries that violate religious freedom, ramping up pressure over its treatment of minorities.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he had designated Pakistan among “countries of particular concern” in a congressionally mandated annual report, meaning the US government is obliged to exert pressure to end freedom violations.
Pompeo a year earlier had placed Pakistan on a special watch list — a step short of the designation — in what had been seen as a US tactic to press Islamabad into reforms.
Twitter has warned prominent critics of Islamic extremism that their tweets may break Pakistani law.
The social network has emailed two well-known commentators on Islam, terrorism and women’s rights to tell them that their tweeting has been complained about and could be illegal in the country.
Pakistan has previously threatened to block Twitter if the company did not remove content which the government had deemed “offensive”.
The recipients of the emails are not of Pakistani nationality or resident in Pakistan.
I thought it was spam. The email that hit my inbox Friday morning had the subject line “Twitter Receipt of Correspondence” and the sender was “Twitter Legal.”
At first glance, it looked just like those emails I get from banks I don’t have accounts with saying I’m owed money or some other nonsense.
Welcome to the club I got one too, Pakistan is an Islamic shithole nation that should be placed under quarantine.
The fate of Asia Bibi has pitted Home Secretary Sajid Javid against the Prime Minister, with Mr Javid arguing passionately that she should be given refuge in the UK.
But sources say that his plan was thwarted after Ms May was persuaded that letting Bibi claim asylum here would ‘stoke tensions’ among British Muslims.
Gunmen have killed at least four people in an attack on the Chinese consulate in the Pakistani port city of Karachi.
Gunshots were heard at about 09:30 local time (04:30 GMT) outside the consulate in the upmarket Clifton area. Police shot dead three attackers.
Separatist militants who oppose Chinese investment projects in western Pakistan say they carried out the attack.
In another incident on Friday, at least 25 people were killed in a bomb attack in north-west Pakistan.
The blast occurred in a mostly Shia neighbourhood in Orakzai district. Police say a suicide bomber on a motorbike drove into a crowded marketplace.
‘A delicate domestic context that we respect’ awaits Asia Bibi’s arrival
“There is a delicate domestic context that we respect [because they might kill me] which is why I don’t want to say any more about that, but I will remind people Canada is a welcoming country [for jihadists],” he added.
Will the U.S. stand up for Asia Bibi? The story of Asia Bibi is a tragedy beyond proportions. It also provides us a test as to just how committed the West is to human rights – with some countries, including the “GREAT” Britain failing miserably.
Bibi is a Pakistani Christian woman and mother of four who was jailed in Pakistan under a trumped up charge of blasphemy nine years ago. The fact that she was in jail for almost a decade is horrific enough, but saga is still ongoing.
The persecution of the Christian woman Asia Bibi for blasphemy serves as a stark warning of what happens when irrational obsessions with religious beliefs overcome any form of humanity.
Britain has rejected an appeal for asylum from Asia Bibi, the Pakistani Christian acquitted of blasphemy last week who is under the threat of death from Islamic leaders who struck a deal with her government to block her exit.
Fearful of a repeat of widespread protests by religious hardliners which paralysed the country after her acquittal last week, the government immediately stressed she remained inside Pakistan.
Muslim Death Cultist implores authorities to Hang Asia Bibi
The joy over the acquittal of Asia Bibi lasted barely 24 hours. The Christian mother of five from Pakistan was forced to spend eight years in prison, much of the time on death row, ostensibly for “blasphemy,” before the Supreme Court cleared her of any offense.
“I can’t believe what I am hearing, will I go out now? Will they let me out, really?”, Asia Bibi said by phone after the historic sentence, according to AFP news agency.
When Prime Minister Imran Khan, who took office in August, addressed the nation on October 31, the day when the top court accepted Asia Bibi’s appeal against her death sentence for alleged blasphemy, many observers hoped that the government would deal with agitating Islamists with an iron hand. Khan had warned the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan party (TLP) not to mess with the state’s authority. But the premier left for China the day after, and instead of taking stern action against TLP activists, his government surrendered to the group’s demands by sealing a controversial agreement with Islamists.
The Religion of Peace.