Catholic woman awaiting execution for blasphemy under sharia pleads with Pope Francis for support

Pope Francis has declared that "authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence," but the religious and civil authorities in Pakistan, the second most populous Islamic state, seem to disagree. Asia Bibi, a Catholic woman imprisoned and awaiting execution in Pakistan for "blasphemy," has just written to the Holy Father in an attempt to garner support. Jihad Watch reports (hat tip Atlas Shrugs):

Asia Bibi is in prison awaiting execution on false accusations of blasphemy. Only God can free her because Christians in the West don't dare to speak out on her behalf: "Talk about extreme, militant Islamists and the atrocities that they have perpetrated globally might undercut the positive achievements that we Catholics have attained in our inter-religious dialogue with devout Muslims." -- Robert McManus, Roman Catholic Bishop of Worcester, Massachusetts, February 8, 2013

So Asia Bibi and other Pakistani Christians accused of blasphemy have no friend, no protector, and no spokesman.

"Imprisoned Pakistani Catholic Asia Bibi Writes to Pope Francis Saying Only God Can Free Her," by Jeremy Reynalds for Assist News, January 4:

According to an article in the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines News Service (CBCP News) relying on a Dec. 31 report in the Italian daily Tempi, Asia Bibi said, "I also hope that every Christian has been able to celebrate the Christmas just past with joy. Like many other prisoners, I also celebrated the birth of the Lord in prison in Multan, here in Pakistan."

She continued by saying that "only God will be able to free me" and made a point of thanking the 'Renaissance Education Foundation" that helped make her "dream come true" to live Christmas with her husband and children by bringing them to Multan.

"I would have liked to be in St. Peter's for Christmas to pray with you," she told Pope Francis, "but I trust in God's plan for me and hopefully it will be achieved next year."

Bibi is awaiting the conclusion of an appeals process after being incarcerated for four and a half years without trial.

There is a pervasive unwillingness among political and religious leaders of the West to confront the nature of orthodox Islamic texts and scholarship, which contain bloodthirsty commands regarding infidels. Yes, there are other, gentler verses in the Koran and Hadith, but they do not cancel the more savage commands. The Pope is genuine theologian while I am not. But it seems to me that in practice the violent verses, backed by violent people, trump the gentler ones. Since every word of the Koran is held to the Word of God, and since some of those words call on the nonbelievers to be slaughtered and humiliated wherever Muslims have power, the case for claiming Islam in nonviolent is difficult to sustain.

Denial of the nature of Islam does not lead to a productive détente. Only resolute strength can defeat the followers of the Koran's violent imperatives.