The Lahore High Court has ordered the Pakistani government not to change the nation’s blasphemy law before the court hears the appeal of Asia Bibi, the Christian mother who was sentenced to death for blasphemy after she refused to convert to Islam.
Terrorist organizations associated with the Taliban have issued a fatwa against Shabhaz Bhatti, the Catholic layman and cabinet minister who is leading a commission that will consider changes to the nation’s blasphemy law.
Shaheryar Gill, a Pakistani Christian who serves as associate counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, shed light on the effects of the blasphemy law.
“You see, 20 years or more of the blasphemy law in Pakistan has instilled in people that punishment for insulting Islam is death,” Gill said in a recent interview. So, rather than going to the court, people have taken the law into their own hands.”
I want you to read two interviews, with the Minister of Minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, who speaks about his hope of changing the blasphemy law, the death threats against him and asks the Pope and the faithful to pray for him:
Threats and intimidation follow one after the other. I take them all seriously, however, my life mission is to protect religious freedom, minority rights, justice and equality. I will continue to do so without hesitation.
…I am deeply religious, and the Pope’s words are very important in my life. I thank him for his closeness and solidarity with the Christians in Pakistan. His solace encourages me to witness to the faith in my life, despite the difficulties. I ask the Holy Father and all the faithful of the world to pray for me.
Fides.org also interviewed Asia Bibi’s husband:
Today we are leading a threatened life: we are being targeted by extremist groups, and we fear for our lives. We are ready to leave for Italy or for America, as soon as Asia is freed.
…Thanks to the Masihi Foundation we are going through all the necessary legal steps for Asia’s case and for our protection. The President and the Government are interested in our case, realizing that Asia is innocent and they have expressed concern, but they are under pressure from extremist Islamic groups.
It’s interesting that this family have to hide from violent gangsters but those guys who threaten them don’t have to.
- Pakistan: Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy.
- Pakistan: your signature to save Asia Bibi.
- Asia Bibi: Pope appeals for “full freedom“.
- Pakistan: Asia Bibi NOT pardoned, protests are announced in case she is.
- Pakistan: Both Minister of Minorities and Punjab Governor threatened by Islamists over Asia Bibi’s release.
- Pakistan: Taliban-linked cleric offers $5,800 reward for anyone who kills Asia Bibi.
- Pakistan: Taliban-linked cleric offers $5,800 reward for anyone who kills Asia Bibi (II)