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November 11th, 2010
10:58 AM ET

Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan

CNN's Reza Sayah and journalist Nasir Habib filed this report:

A Christian woman has been sentenced to  death for blasphemy in Pakistan, two police officials told CNN Thursday.

Asia Bibi was convicted of insulting Islam's prophet, Mohammed, while  working in a field with several Muslim women in a village southwest of Lahore.

She told them the Quran was "fake" and made comments about one of  Mohammed's wives and about his health in his final days, the police complaint  against her said.

She said that "the Quran is fake and your prophet remained in bed for one  month before his death because he had worms in his ears and mouth. He married  Khadija just for money and after looting her kicked her out of the house," local police official Muhammad Ilyas told CNN.

The initial complaint against Bibi was filed on June 14, 2009, by a  Muslim cleric, Ilyas said.

Police say the Muslim women reported the incident to Qari Muhammad Salim,  who later filed the police report. The cleric claims Bibi confessed to him and  apologized.

Muhammad Iqbal, a senior police official in the district of Nankana  Sahib, said she also was fined the equivalent of $1,100.

Police say Bibi was charged with breaking section 295-C of Pakistan's  penal code, which says: "Whoever ... defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine."

Former Pakistani Supreme Court Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid told CNN he  doesn't recall a death sentence ever being carried against someone convicted of  breaking Pakistan's anti-blasphemy laws.

Death sentences in these cases are almost always overturned by higher  courts on appeal, he said.

Death sentences are carried out by hanging in Pakistan.

CNN has not yet been able to contact Bibi or her family directly. It is not clear when the sentence was handed down.

 

Pakistan is more than 96 percent Muslim, according to the Pew Forum on  Religion & Public Life.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Christianity • Islam • Pakistan • Persecution

soundoff (702 Responses)
  1. Jenny

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    June 2, 2013 at 10:47 am |
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    May 25, 2013 at 8:58 am |
  3. Zeb

    amazing discussion!!! we should ALSO think about ...OTHER INNOCENT PEOPLES whats happening in IRAQAFGHANISTAN/PALESTINE, HUNDRED OF THOUSENDS OF MUSLIMS PEOPLE KILLED ON THE NAME OF TERROR, OPEN YOUR EYES, DONT PLAY WITH THE INTERNAL MATTERS OF OTHER COUNTRIES!!! SHAME ON YOU GUYS YOU DONT SPEAK ABOUT MURDER OF THESE INNOCENT MUSLIMS WHO Already DIED IN IMPOSED WAR,....who is playing the role of Nazi in this world rethink, but i dont know when the world stop crying on pakistan and other native countries, You people need Oil/Gas/Land other resourses, come on we have too many ways to share these thing but imposing war specialy on muslims countries is not a solution, dont spread terror among these countries, what i belive according to the current condition of the world "not going good, selfish & greedy" GOD made us equally we have diffrent color but most of things common, 2 eyes, 2 legs, 2 hands, 1 heart and 1 brain , we dont use the last Organ too much, break your thinking limitations.....

    January 4, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  4. saira

    The blasphemy law has been misused long here in pakistan , if some one escapes the death sentence , he or she is shot outside the court or places with no fear at all, minorities in pakistan have been suffering long, the matter has been taken up but still no success in this regard, but we shall not give up hope and keep fighting for out rights, http://hrvm.org is first every registered organization which is human rights voice for minorities in pakistan. please join us to support our brothers n sisters who hve no where to go. thnks all for their positive thoughts and suggestions.. I would further thnk this blog for providing this opportunity to hve a platform where we can all discuss these things. God bless all

    December 8, 2010 at 5:32 am |
  5. brebu

    these animals in the world must be eradicate its a garbage religion fanatics muslims must be eradicated kill them all

    December 1, 2010 at 12:39 am |
  6. Monie

    OKAY now lets build a giant MOSK by ground zero!!!

    November 29, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  7. Juan

    I do believe that without religions t he world would be a better place. We should obey the law and respect one another. Religions are not based on logic, but on faith, and that is where the problem lies...

    November 23, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  8. Juan

    Let's all have a march on the U N with signs blaspheming the "prophet"... the child abuser, the womanizer, the opportunistic t desert flea ... moron.. In modern times he would have been sued instead of worshipped... the Koran is a poor and bad imitation of the Bible, the guy could have been more original in his writings\\\... I am not a communist, but I do agree with Karl Marx when he said that religion was the opium of the people.. and this medieval curse of Islam is worse than all others put together, becuase it fits the idea od the superiority of men over women, and Islam over the other religions.. Bad Bad Bad...

    November 23, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  9. Juan

    "death for blaspheming the "prophet"??? How is Islam compatible with our values?? I believe the so called prophet was just an opportunistic trader. I think of him as modern day T V evangelist.. one who knew where to put his mouth and his money.. Jesus said turn the other cheek, this last one said anninilate the Jews and cut off your enemies head.. This guy knew his stuff.. what was he on when he went to the mountain? Some research is needed....need to know what he smoked ... this religion should be put on trial not just for womens abuse (mental and physical) but also for child abuse... What a joke ... It is the perfect religion for tyrants and idiots..

    November 23, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  10. George Scharton

    Was Bibi correct? Were her words defiling or were they taken from the Quran. I'm sure that if the truth be told and it slaps you in the face it hurts. However, it does not make it any less true.

    November 23, 2010 at 9:37 am |
  11. Ricardo

    This women is an example for the rest of the world, she is keeping her religius faith over her life, her more fundamental rights have been violeted, the right to a due process, the right to defend herself, the right to freely expres herself, the right to not be afraid went speaking her mind, I belive that Pakistan is showing to the world the lack of respect that the sharia has for the more elemental pilar of a free justice and the importance of indivuality.

    Please CNN and bloggers you may have what it takes to put some pressure against the Pakistani goverment and managed to get the release of these woman

    November 18, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  12. Julia

    I am probably going to be repeating someone's post but there is fine difference between Jesus Christ, and any other 'god' out there. First of all, some of you said that Jesus's body was stolen, you need to do some research because historicly it has been proven by people that are athiests that it is impossible for someone to steal his body. Do some research for yourself because you can't come out and say something without factual facts. I have my facts. Another point, no one should die because they denounce a 'god. That person should be judged by the 'god' that they denied. No person is qualified to take someone's life and if that states in Quaran, thats crap because only GOD can give and take life. Why are you taking something that is not yours or you are not able to give. Who are you anyways to make such a decission? really? you crap same way I do. SO, When it comes to Christianity, no one would kill you for saying you hate Jesus, in fact, Christians would pray for you because they don't want you to burn in hell for the rest of your iternity but it will ALWAYS be your choice. The minute you see a religion that pressures you into believing a god that they want to believe in, something is TOTALLY WRONG with that religion and it is FAKE. Because if it was real, then they wouldn't have to MAKE anyone believe their god, people would just believe him because they know and have experienced his power. No one makes me believe in Jesus. But I do because one time in my life I said, I am going to search for this God, with all my heart. And I found him. And it has been the most amazing decission of my life. That even if it came to me dying for the word of GOD to dennounce Him, I would never dennounce him and I would die! Do you know why? Because I KNOW what I have seen, experienced, and learned. ANd I know that it is real. NO ONE makes me say this either. IT is a FREE choice, unlike crazy fake religions out there who force their people to believe some guy mohamed who wrote his book 600 years after the death of Jesus, creating his own story while every other record, both from not Christian and CHristians were written within the same decade and most were eye witnesses. Mohamed is a liar, fake guy who died. Jesus never died as has been proven. Buddah, is another clown. It is so sad that people are being deceived. Devil is doing his work. Find a real GOd. The One that you know for yourself that is Real. Stop believing everyone else. Die if you have to, but find truth.

    November 17, 2010 at 7:13 pm |
  13. Julia

    I am probably going to be repeating someone's post but there is fine difference between Jesus Christ, and any other 'god' out there. First of all, some of you said that Jesus's body was stolen, you need to do some research because historicly it has been proven by people that are athiests that it is impossible for someone to steal his body. Do some research for yourself because you can't come out and say something without factual facts. I have my facts. Another point, no one should die because they denounce a 'god. That person should be judged by the 'god' that they denied. No person is qualified to take someone's life and if that states in Quaran, thats crap because only GOD can give and take life. Why are you taking something that is not yours or you are not able to give. Who are you anyways to make such a decission? really? you crap same way I do. SO, When it comes to Christianity, no one would kill you for saying you hate Jesus, in fact, Christians would pray for you because they don't want you to burn in hell for the rest of your iternity but it will ALWAYS be your choice. The minute you see a religion that pressures you into believing a god that they want to believe in, something is TOTALLY WRONG with that religion and it is FAKE. Because if it was real, then they wouldn't have to MAKE anyone believe their god, people would just believe him because they know and have experienced his power. No one makes me believe in Jesus. But I do because one time in my life I said, I am going to search for this God, with all my heart. And I found him. And it has been the most amazing decission of my life. That even if it came to me dying for the word of GOD to dennounce Him, I would never do it! Do you know why? Because I KNOW what I have seen, experienced, and learned. ANd I know that it is real. NO ONE makes me say this either. IT is a FREE choice, unlike crazy fake religions out there who force their people to believe some guy mohamed who wrote his book 600 years after the death of Jesus, creating his own story while every other record, both from not Christian and CHristians were written within the same decade and most were eye witnesses. Mohamed is a liar, fake guy who died. Jesus never died as has been proven. Buddah, is another clown. It is so sad that people are being deceived. Devil is doing his work. Find a real GOd. The One that you know for yourself that is Real. Stop believing everyone else. Die if you have to, but find truth.

    November 17, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
  14. Mike

    A very intolerant bunch. Till all muslims can practice tolerannce and openness they should not be allowed to migrate to other countries and be sent packing if found not assimilating to laws and customs of host countries.

    November 17, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
  15. Rita

    So if she got a life sentence and a fine, How do they expect her to pay the fine, when she's in jail?? Especially if she doesn't have any money saved up. 

    Giving her a death sentence is absolutely Unrealalistic! If anyone were to say an opinion about our Christian GOD, I would Hope the real Christians would talk to her/him 1st. Also talk to her/him to see if some of what she said was true and then prove to her that what she said was wrong. Is the Solution throwing some1 in jail because of what she thinks is true!! 

    Our laws don't condem Christians because they say something. Just maybe 1/2 or most of what she said is true. So what do you do to show people that what they were taught/believe is true or not. So the other person/people really needs to look into see if what they were taught is really true.

    November 16, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
  16. Tim

    A couple of things, a few have you suggested that without religion there would be no war. Now I will concede that some of the worst things in the world have been committed in the name of religion including by Christians as unfortunate as it is. But when we examine the 20th Century especially many of the worst men were atheists, Stalin for example committed the worst atrocities possible. Hitler as well was not an atheist but a theist and had no religion. Instead of saying stuff without prefacing it with real facts, don’t say anything at all. The idea that without religion there would be no war is completely fallacious. Man would find any excuse for war as ultimately we humans are greedy, whether we would like to admit it or not, it just seems that for one reason or another people have used religion to justify war. I don’t think that simply because of that we can rubbish all religions as false. I can’t speak for people of other faiths but Christians who have killed and slaughtered people in the name of Christ, I strongly believe that if they did not repent of their sin they are suffering eternal conscious torment. People who use Christ and his teachings as an excuse to kill people have completely misunderstood His teachings.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  17. Daniel

    THIS IS ISLAM!! Kiling religion, you just welcome it, and that is what will happen to you if you start thinking by your head..

    November 16, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.