John R. Houk
© November 25, 2014
Pakistan persecution of Christians appears to have escalated through Sunni Muslims utilizing the Blasphemy Law on that nation’s legal books. Breaking the Blasphemy Law in Pakistan results in harsh punishment up to and possibly including execution. No one in Pakistan has actually been executed by the hands of the law for blasphemy violations BUT there are many awaiting a death sentence to be carried out.
From my perspective there are two horrors involved in Pakistan’s Blasphemy Law:
1. Most accused of violating the Blasphemy Law have not actually perpetrated the violation they are accused of. Typical reasons for a blasphemy accusation are disputes, prejudices and business greed by a Muslim against a non-Sunni. Most of the falsely accused are Christians but Hindus, Shia Muslims, Ahmadiyya Muslims and whatever other non-Sunni people are also among the accused.
2. Non-Sunnis who may have uttered disparaging remarks about Islam, Mohammed or the Quran also face a death sentence. THAT IS CRAZY! The Muslim holy book known as the Quran specifically disparages Jews and Christians. My God a Christian proclaiming Jesus as the Son of God is disparaging Islam because the Quran says that is a lie. Even though the New Testament tells me to do my best to get along with people; nonetheless the New Testament also tells us to expose darkness with the Light of Christ. This Blasphemy Law load of manure is something I find horribly offensive. Even though I am offended I do not stand on the roof tops calling for the death of all Muslims – Vengeance is God Almighty’s (
cough not the fake deity proclaimed by Mo).
Okay, I am getting ready to go an ‘everything that is wrong about Islam’ rant. That is not the purpose of this post.
Shamim Masih has sent an update on Asia Bibi’s death sentence conviction for blaspheming Muslims for being a Christian gal drinking from a Muslim only well (Black Americans can you say ‘Whites only water fountain?). Shamim also reports there are even MORE Blasphemy Law violations recently filed against Christians.
Since Shamim writes about an open letter sent to the NY Times written by Asia Bibi’s husband (Ashiq Masih) I will finish with cross posting that letter including the NYT intro:
“Please Don’t Abandon Me”
By ASHIQ MASIH
NOVEMBER 19, 2014 9:52 AM
Note: Asia Bibi, a Christian Pakistani woman, was sentenced to death for blasphemy against Islam in 2010. The year before, while picking fruit with Muslim women, she took a sip of water from the local well. She was immediately accused of making the water impure by the other workers, who told her that they could no longer use the well. According to her husband, Ashiq Masih, and others, men and women started beating her and accusing her of making derogatory remarks against the Islamic prophet Muhammad, a charge she denies. Asia is currently in prison waiting to be hanged after losing an appeal on Oct. 16. She has told her story in a memoir, Blasphemy, written with French journalist Anne-Isabelle Tollet.
Below is an open letter by Ashiq addressed to the world community. (Madam Mayor refers to Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who has offered her support to Asia.)
Yesterday, I returned from the prison in Multan where my wife, Asia Bibi, was transferred eight months ago. Since Asia was sentenced to death in November 2010 for drinking a glass of water from our village well, my family has lived in constant fear and under death threats. I live in hiding with my five children as near as possible to Asia. She needs us very much to help keep her alive, to bring her medicine and good food when she is sick.
After my wife had spent four long years in prison in terrible conditions, we were hoping that the High Court of Lahore would free my wife. She did not commit blasphemy, never. Since the court confirmed the death sentence on the 16th of October, we do not understand why our country, our beloved Pakistan, is so against us. Our family has always lived here in peace, and we never had any disturbance. We are Christians but we respect Islam. Our neighbors are Muslims and we have always lived well with them in our little village. But for some years now the situation in Pakistan has changed because of just a few people, and we are afraid. Today many of our Muslim friends cannot understand why the Pakistani justice system is making our family suffer so much.
We are now trying our best to present the final case to the Supreme Court before the 4th of December. But we are convinced that Asia will only be saved from being hanged if the venerable President Mammon Hussain grants her a pardon. No one should be killed for drinking a glass of water.
My five children and I have only survived thanks to the protection of a few faithful friends who risk their lives daily to help us. We are the husband and family of Asia Bibi and many people want us to die. Thanks to our friend Anne-Isabelle Tollet, who has become our sister and helped us for four years now, we speak often about what is happening in Paris and the world to help save Asia. Hearing that people are supporting Asia from so far away is so important for us. It helps us to hold on. Every time I visit Asia in prison I tell her the news. Sometimes it gives her the courage to keep going.
Just before taking the ten-hour journey to visit Asia, I learned the wonderful news that Paris is offering to welcome Asia and our family to Paris if she is freed. This is a huge honor and we are very humbled. I would like to offer my sincere thanks to you, Madam Mayor of Paris, and to say that we are immensely grateful for your concern. I hope that one day we will visit you alive, and not dead.
When I visited Asia Bibi yesterday she asked me to give you this message:
“My prison cell has no windows and day and night are the same to me, but if I am still holding on today it is thanks to everyone who is trying to help me. When my husbnd showed me the photographs of people I have never met drinking a glass of water for me, my heart overflowed. Ashiq told me that the city of Paris is offering to welcome our family. I send my deepest thanks to you Madam Mayor, and to all the kind people of Paris and across the world. You are my only hope of staying alive in this dungeon, so please don’t abandon me. I did not commit blasphemy.”
Pakistan, 17th of November 2014
Pakistan, 17th of November 2014
Below is Shamim’s report which the posting of two emails.
Asia Bibi Filed Final Option in Pakistan Supreme Court Filed
By Shamim Masih
Sent: 11/24/2014 12:20 PM
ISLAMABAD: Christian woman, Asia Bibi, filed an appeal in the Supreme Court after being rejected from the Lahore High Court (LHC) last month. Attorney Saif ul Malook filed the appeal petition for Asia Bibi in the apex court on Monday in Lahore.
According to details, Asia Parveen known as Asia Bibi, was sentenced to death on November, 2010 after the court declared that she has committed blasphemy during an argument with Muslim women over a bowl of water.
The request was filed to reconsider deficiencies in the case which include poor investigation and manipulated evidence by the local police.
Sohail Johnson, chairman Sharing Life Ministry Pakistan (SLMP) said that we are providing legal assistance in this case as well as [to] her family and hoping [for] the early hearing of the appeal and believe that [the] SC will review the case on the basis of facts. He [Sohail Johnson] requested the Christians community around the world to pray for her early hearing.
Earlier this month, Aashiq Masih, husband of Asia Bibi asked President Mamnoon Hussain for her pardon and allow her to move to France. He also wrote an open letter which was published in the New York Times on November 17 [Blog Editor: Posted above].
Blasphemy has become [a] highly sensitive issue in [Pakistan]; Salman Taseer Governor [of] Punjab was killed by his own official security guard in the same issue. Saif ul Malook [was] also [the] to attorney in the Salman Taseer case.
Despite the fact that Pakistan has never put to death any individual for blasphemy even if court [had] declared individual guilty, but [nevertheless] anyone convicted or even just accused of insulting Islam, hazards acts of violence [and/or] a bloody death at the hands of [Sunni Muslim] vigilantes.
Slum settlers are targeted
Another blasphemy case is registered in the capital
By Shamim Masih
Sent: 11/24/2014 7:49 PM
ISLAMABAD: Another blasphemy case against 8 Christians of the capital is registered in the Capital on November 20. Christians of [the] slum area are alleged to disgrace the holy verses of the Quran. The outskirts of the capital is under threat again.
According to the police, Naheed Ahamd complained in the Police Station that he found half burnt pages of the Quran near PTV-2 building in Sector H-9, Islamabad. He also mentioned that name of Ps. Arif, Peera, Ch. David, Victor, Shamshad etc. were also found attached with these verses. Police registered First Investigation Report – FIR no. 596/14 under section 295-B, 6/7ATA against the offender and started investigations.
Basharat Khokhar local rights activist has been looking into the matter. He said that blasphemy law is frequently used to settle [personal scores], so this fresh episode in the capital [is probably one of those instances]. He assured the residents that [the] federal police is providing assistance in this case. Senior police officials have guaranteed to provide the protection to the innocent residents of the slum settlers, he added.
It [should be] also [be] mentioned that residents of that sector are the displaced people of Rawal Dam and sector G-12 Islamabad. Many displaced families of the famous Rimsha case (a minor Christian girl accused of burning the holy verses) were settled there since then. [The] Federal Government and Capital Development Authority (CDA) have promised to grant them a piece of land. But since then they [still have] not been provided a place to live. During the past months, Christian slum settlers are warned to clear the area under the umbrella of taking strict security measures.
Daily Khabrian – in Urdu (PakBiz.com description – in English) & Channel - 5 (A project of Khabrian Group of papers)
For Americans especially, I have discovered the best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending this LINK to a Western Union agent in Islamabad. Include Shamim’s phone - +92-300-642-4560
WAKE-UP AMERICANS! No Liberty in Muslim World
John R. Houk
© November 25, 2014
Asia Bibi Filed Final Option in Pakistan Supreme Court Filed and Slum settlers are targeted
Edited by John R. Houk
All content enclosed by brackets are by the Editor.
© Shamim Masih