Pakistan: “If they don’t hang Asia Bibi, we will kill her”

A score of men who have completed their work in the field or in the construction business are going to listen to their imam. Although they acknowledge that Bibi and his family were quiet people who never had problems, that doens’t change their minds: the penal code says that anyone who blasphemes against the prophet should be hanged. At Wali Ittan, that Pakistan President Asif Ali Zadari, has yielded to international pressure (the pope included) and has said it would forgive Bibi, is of little value. “If she is not hanged as the law states, we will kill her,” it’s heard in the group of men. One of them, wearing the traditional salwar kameez, steps forward and says proudly: “I’m ready to kill her.” Abdul Shakoor, 26, is followed by several of his neighbors who share his idea. “I would too,” says Zuqar Nain, 20, with a smile.

The imam of the village, Mohammad Salam, has little time to answer questions before giving his sermon at the austere mosque. It was this long-bearded, 31-year-old man, the one who accused Bibi of blasphemy to the police, in June 2009. He tells us that a group of 25 laborers were on lunch break and that Muslim women would not drink the same glass as used Asia Bibi, the only Christian. She became angry and the argument became so heated that the woman blasphemed Muhammad, said the imam.

What was wrong? “I could never repeat it,” the imam replied angrily. He ensures that it doesn’t matter Asia Bibi is a woman. “She must be punished.” Salam, who learned of the quarrel by a young woman who witnessed it ensures that he conducted his own investigations.Five days after, he denounced her at the police station where, according to Christian sources, Bibi was pressured to convert to Islam. Her alleged offense, they argue, was to say that Jesus Christ is as sacred as the prophet.

El País.

(Translated by T&P).


  1. Pakistan: Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy.
  2. Pakistan: your signature to save Asia Bibi.
  3. Asia Bibi: Pope appeals for “full freedom“.
  4. Pakistan: Asia Bibi NOT pardoned, protests are announced in case she is.
  5. Pakistan: Both Minister of Minorities and Punjab Governor threatened by Islamists over Asia Bibi’s release.
  6. Pakistan: Taliban-linked cleric offers $5,800 reward for anyone who kills Asia Bibi.
  7. Pakistan: Taliban-linked cleric offers $5,800 reward for anyone who kills Asia Bibi (II).
  8. Pakistan: court orders government not to change blasphemy law.

7 comments on “Pakistan: “If they don’t hang Asia Bibi, we will kill her”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by An_Egyptian, Claudia. Claudia said: Pakistan: "If they don't hang Asia Bibi, we will kill her": […]

  2. FreeAsiaBiBi says:

    Where says the Islam that one should be pressured to convert to Islam mr Mohammad Salam ???!

    • Claudia says:

      This is and interesting link regarding the sura “there is no compulsion in religion.

      this deceptively simple phrase historically has had a myriad of meanings. Here are some of them, mostly premodern, deriving from two outstanding recent books, Patricia Crone’s God’s Rule: Government and Islam (Columbia University Press) and Yohanan Friedman’s Tolerance and Coercion in Islam (Cambridge University Press), augmented by my own research. Proceeding from least liberal to most liberal, the no-compulsion phrase is considered variously to have been:

      1.- Abrogated: The passage was overridden by subsequent Koranic verses (such as 9:73: “O Prophet! Struggle against the unbelievers and hypocrites and be harsh with them”).

      2.- Purely symbolic: The phrase is a description, not an imperative. Islam’s truth is so obvious that to coerce someone to become a Muslim does not amount to “compulsion”; or else being made to embrace Islam after defeat in war is not viewed as “compulsion.”

      3.- Spiritual, not practical: Governments may indeed compel external obedience, though they, of course, cannot compel how Muslims think.

      4.- Limited in time and place: It applied uniquely to Jews in Medina in the seventh century.

      5.- Limited to non-Muslims who live under and accept Muslim rule: Some jurists say it applies only to “Peoples of the Book” (Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians); others say it applies to all infidels.

      6.- Excludes some non-Muslims: Apostates, women, children, prisoners of war, and others can indeed be compelled. (This is the standard interpretation that has applied in most times and places.)

      7.- Limited to all non-Muslims: Muslims must abide by the tenets of Islam and may not apostatize.

      8.- Limited to Muslims: Muslims may shift from one interpretation of their faith to another (such as from Sunni to Shia), but may not leave Islam.

      9.- Applied to all persons: Reaching the true faith must be achieved through trial and testing, and compulsion undercuts this process.

      So, you can choose whatever you believe… 😦

      • @d! says:

        You should read Quran instead of some Author’s Opinion on Islam.

        • Claudia says:

          Some considerations about your comment:
          Firstly, as you see, this “author’s opinion on Islam” points out to other sura that is, according to some Islamic scholars, superior to the one of the “no compulsion of religion“. That is, he is pointing to the “abrogation” of some suras of the Qu’ran by others which were “revealed“/written after the others. To know what abrogation is, you can read this, where there are several examples of it.
          Secondly, this is not an “author’s opinion on Islam“, but a summary of the theories that Islam scholars have made regarding the “no compulsion on religion” sura.
          Thirdly, when considering Islamic “revelations“,we have to read not only the Qu’ran but also the Hadith and the Islamic jurisprudence. It’s true there are no mentions of blasphemy in the Qu’ran, but Islamic scholars have ever considered that blasphemers should be punished, although not agreeing on what punishment they should apply. Just read the links there.
          So, “go and read the Qu’ran” is a very interesting petition/commandment, but as you can see, the Qu’ran is not enough.

  3. […] Pakistan: “If they don’t hang Asia Bibi, we will kill her”. […]

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