28 May 2017
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  • » 01/07/2011, 00.00

    PAKISTAN

    Extremist group announces suicide attack to kill Asia Bibi

    Jibran Khan

    Pakistani intelligence says Moaviya group is planning a suicide attack against Sheikhupura Prison, where the woman has been held since 2009. In Lahore, the first hearing for the murder of Punjab Governor of Salman Taseer opens amid hugging and showering of flowers for his assassin.

    Islamabad (AsiaNews) – An extremist Islamist group calling itself ‘Moaviya’ might be planning a suicide attack against Sheikhupura Prison in order to kill Asia Bibi, a Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy, this according to a report by Pakistani intelligence. Ms Bibi has been held in the prison since 2009. Punjab police and prison authorities have tightened security, especially in the wake of the assassination of the provincial governor, Salman Taseer, last Tuesday.

    A few days ago, Mgr Lawrence John Saldanha, president of the catholic Bishops’ Conference of Pakistan, said, “it is clear that anyone that opposes the blasphemy law is at risk.”

    Mgr Rufin Anthony, bishop of Islamabad-Rawalpindi, told AsiaNews that religious fundamentalism and intolerance are spreading in the country.

    Increasingly, Muslim religious leaders are actually offering rewards to anyone willing to carry out attacks and violence against those who criticises the blasphemy law.

    Between 1990 and 2011, as many as 35 people accused of blasphemy or opposed to the law were murdered in extrajudicial killings or found dead in dubious circumstances.

    Such deaths tend to cause rejoicing among some Muslims, as evinced by the demonstrations in favour of Taseer’s murderer, Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri.

    When he was arraigned in court last Tuesday, dozens of his fans hugged and kissed him, showering him with rose petals.

    More than 2,000 people have also joined a Facebook group that backs the murder. Only 70 people have expressed an opinion against him.

    According to US-based LifeSiteNews, more than 500 Muslim scholars have praised Qadri’s deed.

    “It is shocking that the murderer of a governor is being honoured,” said Fr Daniel Habib, a Lahore priest. “Hundreds of lawyers are proudly presenting themselves to save Qadri; this is barbarianism. Instead of condemning such an act, he is being made a hero.”

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    See also

    20/10/2011 PAKISTAN
    Judge who sentenced Salman Taseer’s murderer removed
    A powerful Muslim lawyers’ association forces High Court to replace judge who sentenced Mumtaz Qadri. Islamabad priest says, Islamic religious groups “are becoming powerful each passing day.”

    02/02/2011 PAKISTAN
    Against judges, Muslim extremists call for Asia Bibi’s death and Mumtaz Qadri’s release
    Fundamentalists are putting more pressure to get the release of the assassin of Salman Taseer, the Punjab Governor who strongly opposed the blasphemy law. The transfer of a Christian woman whose life is in danger has been postponed. Catholic leaders warn that Pakistan is embracing Islamism against the principle of Ali Jinnah.

    13/10/2016 12:34:00 PAKISTAN
    Asia Bibi’s final appeal postponed once again. The local Church invites us to pray

    The final appeal was set to be heard today in Islamabad, after having been postponed from 2014. A judge refused to show up, perhaps out of fear. She is accused of blasphemy, but has always denied any wrongdoing. She has been in prison since 2009. Muslims call for a "quick hanging".

     



    04/01/2017 10:55:00 PAKISTAN
    Salman Taseer’s son risks prosecution for blasphemy

    Today marks the sixth anniversary of the murder of former Punjab Governor. Salman Taseer was killed by his bodyguard for criticizing the "black law" on blasphemy and defending the Christian mother Asia Bibi. His son Shaan Taseer released a video deemed offensive.



    14/10/2011 PAKISTAN
    Pakistani Islamic extremists march in support of assassin Mumtaz Qadri
    The former Chief Justice of Lahore assumes the defense of the assassin of Salman Taseer. The lawyers are threatening to strike if the magistrate who issued the sentence is not removed. A human chain "against the government" that does not protect "the hero of Islam". Christian leaders' fears: the country in danger of chaos and anarchy.



    Editor's choices

    VATICAN
    Pope: together with the faithful in China on 24 May to celebrate Our Lady of Sheshan



    During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis speaks about the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, instituted by Benedict XVI. Chinese Catholics must make a “personal contribution to communion among believers and to harmony in the whole society." AsiaNews Symposium on the Church in China is set for this week. Francis appeals for peace in the Central African Republic, and for loving “one another following the example of the Lord”. For him, “Sometimes conflicts, pride, envy, and divisions leave a blotch on the beautiful face of the Church.” Five new cardinals will be named, including a bishop from Laos.


    VATICAN-CHINA
    May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium

    Bernardo Cervellera

    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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