Who is Asia Bibi, and why should we care?
Jamie Glazov, editor of Front Page Magazine, just released a video about Asia Bibi. Who is Asia Bibi? you might ask. As did I. Her story, shared below, will be our own if we don’t speak out.
Asia Bibi is a Pakistani Christian and mother of five. She helped feed and support her family by working in fields picking berries, working alongside Muslim women in Punjab province. Asia’s was one of three Christian families in a town of 1,500 Muslim families. As many readers can imagine, the Christians lived, and continue to live, with constant abuse, harassment, and threats.
One day while working in the field, Asia became thirsty. She walked to a well and drank some water from a small metal cup set nearby. A Muslim women saw her do this and spread the word among the other Muslims in the field. As a kafir, Asia was not allowed to drink from the same place as Muslims drink using the same cup they use. As a kafir, she was considered filth, and the cup was now tainted.
The Muslim women in the field surrounded Asia, verbally abused her, and insisted she convert to Islam immediately. Asia said, as she had said so many times before: “Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. He died on the cross for me.” The Muslim women became enraged. That evening, a mob of Muslims converged on Asia’s house, where they beat her and her family.
Eventually the police arrived and put her in prison to protect her from the mob. Shortly thereafter, the police arrested her after discovering that she had committed blasphemy. Because Pakistani courts follow sharia law, a non-Muslim’s testimony carries half the weight as that of a Muslim. As a result, Asia couldn’t adequately defend herself. (The crime of blasphemy is so grave that reporters refused to repeat her testimony for fear they would be accused of blasphemy.)
While awaiting the verdict in prison, threats were made against Asia as Pakistanis promised to take things into their own hands if she were pardoned or released.
Asia Bibi was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging. The crowd in the courtroom was thrilled. They gave the judge a standing ovation, chanting: “Kill her! Kill her! Allahu Akbar!”
Since her sentence five years ago, she has been living in solitary confinement, in an 8x10-foot cell without windows, removed from contact with other prisoners who would likely kill her. The risk of being intentionally poisoned is so high she must cook her own food with what little scraps she is given. She is extremely frail, can hardly eat, suffers from internal bleeding, is vomiting blood, and has not received medical care. Her requests to be brought to a hospital have been denied.
In the surrounding area of the region where she lives, there are signs posted in support of blasphemy laws, with calls for her beheading. Demonstrations are held demanding she be hung. A survey documents that approximately 10 million Pakistanis would be willing to personally murder her, and there is a large monetary reward offered to anyone who is successful in this pursuit.
Asia’s family have received many death threats and have had to go into hiding. Her husband cannot allow the children outside and fears that even if his wife is released, she will be murdered. In addition, leaders in support of Asia have been murdered, and one family member’s son was kidnapped. His whereabouts and fate remain unknown.
In July of this year, Asia Bibi’s death sentence was temporarily suspended. Pakistan’s Supreme Court will now decide her fate. As she awaits her new sentence, she continues to receive threats from inmates and physical abuse by prison guards. Meanwhile, her health continues to deteriorate.
People of conscience are rallying for her release, but many more voices are needed. If released, she and her family should be welcomed here and given safe passage.
The Be Heard Project (BHP), which is part of Jay Sekulow’s American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), is on the front lines of this battle for her release. These exceptional organizations work through a variety of means (law, public policy, and grassroots action) “to demand that world governments respect the most basic human rights and human dignity of persecuted believers.” The ACLJ is a tireless advocate for imprisoned Christians around the world. Visit their websites to learn more about what they do and how you can support their work.
We will not see Asia Bibi’s picture plastered all over the media, nor will we hear her name uttered by the political and media elites. Because she’s a Christian. And the West is addicted to the notion of Muslim victimization, despite the fact that Islam is attacking us, while Christians (as well as Jews) are hated, are blamed, and are ultimately expendable.
Asia Bibi may be a world away from here, but she is our future if each and every one of us does not take action and educate others to this grave threat – a threat that is closer than many may care to imagine. Wasn’t it the president who stood before the world and said, “The future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam”? And with that, he threatened those who would commit blasphemy as he works to advance “hate speech” laws that will target blasphemers.
Asia Bibi is guilty not just in Pakistan. She is guilty in Obama’s world as well.
Hat tip: Jihad Watch