Asia Bibi’s final plea to avoid the gallows

Asia Bibi.
Asia Bibi.

Originally published in Aleteia

Asia Bibi, the Christian woman who has received the death penalty for being accused of blasphemy made an appeal to the Supreme Court of Justice in her country to change her sentence. Her sentence is considered “unfair” and excessive in light of the insufficient evidence and weakness of the testimonies against her.

On October 16, the Supreme Court in Lahore rejected the appeal that Bibi’s attorney submitted to overturn her imminent death sentence. According to the Italian news agency, ANSA, Bibi’s husband wrote a letter to the Pakistani president, Mamnoon Hussain, asking him to pardon her and allow her to leave the country and go to a neutral country like France.

The most significant charge against Aisa Bibi is that she is Christian; for which she has been languishing in prison for five years. According to the Italian newspaper, La Stampa, she sent a letter on October 27 to Pope Francis asking him to pray on her behalf and to aid her on a spiritual level.

From her prison cell in Multan, Asia Bibi has become a symbol of the struggle for religious freedom in the world. The mother of five children who was sentenced to hang in late October told Pope Francis, “I know that you are praying for me with all your heart. I am hopeful that thanks to your prayers I might be free one day. I sincerely thank you in the name of God Almighty that you are close to me.”

What is Asia Bibi’s crime?
Asia Bibi, who is 50 years old, has received the death penalty for allegedly blaspheming the Prophet Mohammad. The Supreme Court of Pakistan last October 16 confirmed the earlier ruling in 2010 that she receive the death sentence for blasphemy. Bibi’s lawyer, Sardar Mushtaq told journalists that there were no more options remaining except to use the time that she has left to help remove this bitter cup from her.

Asia Bibi was arrested after a group of Muslim women from her town informed a cleric that she had made offensive comments about the Prophet after an argument over trivial matters.

Anti-blasphemy laws are being used against enemies
Human rights advocates on a global level have demanded that the law pertaining to blasphemy in Pakistan be changed. It is worth noting that this law was issued by the military dictator Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq in 1980.

Human rights experts have criticised the existence of laws that condemn those who speak negatively about the Quran or the Prophet Mohammad to prison for life or are given the death penalty. They state that these laws are being used to achieve personal gain in disputes with enemies or those with whom they have a problem.

One Comment

  1. What can we Christians in the West and other non-Muslim dominated countries do to express our solidarity with Asia Bibi, and other Christians suffering for standing up for Jesus’ name? ( 2Tim3:12) At a minimum we’re called to pray for them, remembering them as if we were in chains with them for Christ. ( Hebrews 13:3) The other day in Washington DC, the world witnessed America’s National Cathedral rolling out the red-carpet of religious tolerance for Muslims’ Friday prayers, prayers that begin with the renunciation of the claims of Jesus Christ as the only Son of God, and Redeemer of mankind. ( 1Tim2:5-6) I can’t help but cringe in my stomach anytime I think about how this news must have affected the morale of our brothers and sisters like Asia Bibi. She sits on death row for merely affirming her loyalty to our Savior with these words: Our Christ sacrificed His life on the cross for our sins…Our Christ is alive.”

    Where is the sensitivity, the mere basic humanity, of Christendom’s religious elites in permitting this sacrilege against the Lord. How do they fail to appreciate the fact that we are One Body with Asia Bibi and the thousands like her fleeing Muslim Jihadists across the Middle East? The Western church’s protestations of solidarity with the persecuted church ring with such hollow superficiality and speciousness. The elites of Christendom display an arrogance on par with the sentiments embodied in Marie Antoinette’s “let them eat cake”.
    Thank you Lord that you have promised never to leave us nor to forsake them. May our persecuted brothers and sisters feel your Blessed Presence with them. ( Luke 12:8-9) And deliver us in the so-called free world from our blind callousness, & complacency. (Haggai 1: 3-6), and by your grace teach us to let go of comfort, convenience and reputation. (Hebrews 12: 1-2) May we choose instead to enter into the blessedness of fellowship in the sufferings of our Lord. (Phil 1:29-30)
    In Jesus’ Name