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  • » 11/29/2010, 00.00

    PAKISTAN

    Asia Bibi fears for her life, while awaiting a government decision

    Jibran Khan

    Islamic radicals still on a war footing against the possibility of a pardon for the woman sentenced to death for blasphemy. The Taliban announces that they will oppose it in every way, and the leader of the Sunni council threatens "anarchy in the country." Her husband: "Asia Bibi fears for her family."

    Lahore (AsiaNews) - The religious radicals in Pakistan have warned the president against the risk of provoking a wave of public outrage if he grants a pardon to the woman convicted of blasphemy. This conflict highlights the government's difficult relations with the official religion, in a country where few wish to be considered soft on the enemies of Islam. Religious fundamentalists took to the streets in Lahore and Karachi Friday, November 26th to show their anger while the Pakistani government decides whether to grant clemency to a Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy. Many Pakistani Muslims feel offended by the notion that the death sentence of Asia Bibi could be revoked.

    According to reports, the demonstrations were organized by an association close to Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), a charitable organization that is banned by the UN because suspected of terrorist links. The chief coordinator of the JuD, Qari Yaqub, told protesters: "We will protest at the national level if the government forgives the Christian woman." The head of the Sunni Ittehad Council, Sahibzada Fazal Kareem, told AsiaNews: "A pardon would lead to anarchy in the country. Our position is very clear, this punishment can not be cancelled. " Maulvi Faqir Muhammad, deputy head of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, has warned of serious consequences if the government graces the woman, who was sentenced on 8 November 2010 for blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad. Faqir Muhammad, speaking from an undisclosed location to an international news channel, said that the Taliban will resist any attempt to pardon Asia Bibi.

    Asia Bibi's husband, Ashiq Maisha, speaking in Punjabi to AsiaNews said: "Asia had been very strong in prison.She is different now. She is mentally stressed. She is very scared for her life and for the life of her family". The family home is now a single bedroom, down a side street of a Christian colony. A cheery sign hangs on the wall as a reminder of the family's faith - "God Bless Our Home" - but the patchy whitewash, dirty beds and incessant buzz of mosquitoes reek of quiet desperation.

    AsiaNews continues its campaign to help Asia Bibi. Signatures are still coming in, and we are approaching 6thousand. Send an email to: salviamoasiabibi@asianews.it

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    See also

    02/12/2010 PAKISTAN
    Asia Bibi: fears over safety, controversy over stay on pardon
    The lawyers of the Supreme Court to protest stay on pardon by the President. A committee will hear religious and political leaders and experts will present to Parliament proposals to amend the blasphemy laws. Date for the appeal against the death sentence still not set.

    01/10/2015 PAKISTAN
    Gujrat: imprisoned for blasphemy, four Christians risk their lives. Government: No protection
    The Christian community, Catholic and Protestant, is ready to take to the streets in defense of pastor Aftab Gill and three others. The court has ignored their appeal and there is a strong risk of extrajudicial killing. They are in jail following a new case of abuse of the "black law". Muslim lawyer: innocent victims of a distorted system

    23/06/2011 PAKISTAN
    Islamabad: first (odd) arrest for the murder of Catholic Shahbaz Bhatti
    On 19 June police detained Hafiz Nazar Muhammad, and he will remain in jail until 25 for interrogation. The man is accused of involvement in the assassination of Minister for Religious Minorities. Bhatti's home village a documentary on the life of the "martyr".

    28/12/2010 PAKISTAN
    Asia Bibi: Pakistani Christians march against blasphemy law at Christmas
    Moments of tension in Lahore when two demonstration, one pro and one against the controversial law, met. Islamist hackers have obscured the site of the Pakistan Christian Post. In Karachi 28 movements form an alliance to press for amending the law.

    30/03/2011 PAKISTAN
    Shahbaz Batthi killed by a "mafia" of fundamentalists holding the government hostage
    The minister for minorities, Salman Taseer and other victims of the "organized movement" fighting for power. The violence has raised such fear that that any discussion about the law on blasphemy has been dropped. But Christians must cultivate the hope and with the help of the universal Church, build a better future.



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    VATICAN
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    VATICAN-CHINA
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    The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.


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