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. thorrsman

    Keep in mind that the third and fourth paragraphs are not what Asia Bibi SAID, but what the mob of Muslims, including clerics, who wanted to murderer her, CLAIM that she said after she was rescued from that mob by the local police.. Two completely different things entirely.

    November 11, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
  2. JohnF

    “NOBODY expects the Islamic Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion... Our *four*...no... *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise.... I'll come in again.”

    Or was that the Spanish inquisition – you know, torturing someone to death for blasphemy against Christ and the Bible...?

    November 11, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
    • thorrsman

      Several hundred years ago...

      November 11, 2010 at 7:12 pm |
    • irina

      There are values in bible and quran, but there are so much thing that are unacceptable in our time. Bible says that take care of parents is good thing, but at the same time it says that having slaves is ok. Quran says that help poor neighbor is a good thing, but at the same time it says it's ok to kill the person who stopped believing in quran or beat up the person who has relationship before marriage. It is simply outdated and some moral values are very questionable. BTW, do you read classic literature? Read those books that I suggested and you will find human values that will warm up your heart.

      November 11, 2010 at 7:15 pm |
  3. irina

    Any good literature book has more moral values than bible or quran. Read Tolstoy, Chehov, Mark Twain, Steinbeck and there is no need to look for moral values in some book that was written thousands years ago, when it was ok to have slaves, to sell daughters, to kill. Read your children Harry Potter and despite the fact that some christians ban this book, it has real virtues such as friendship, devotion, kindness, love, remorse.

    November 11, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
    • JohnF

      Try reading the Qur'an, the Hadith, etc., before stating that such things are missing from Islam.

      November 11, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
  4. Johnathan

    I have no sympathy for this woman. She is arrogant, now she should learn to respect other cultures and religions.

    November 11, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
    • Muneef

      Tell this to Sri who is a shame to America as a whole and should be treated like witches.

      November 11, 2010 at 7:06 pm |
  5. Ali Babar

    IF the Holy Prophet Muhammad commanded his followers to kill anyone who defiled his name THEN he is an evil and violent dictator AND NOT not a peace-loving, forgiving, or benevolent leader.

    Anyone proclaiming to be a prophet who demands loyalty under pain of death is truly an evil person. Under Pakistani law, the prophet Muhammad must have been reincarnated as the prophet Hitler.

    November 11, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  6. J

    What do you people expect from these 12th century throwbacks?

    November 11, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  7. iTroll

    Deserved that one, I'm glad for once this didn't happen in America

    November 11, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  8. Steve

    This is why your parents teach you when you are a child that you should refrain from discussing politics and religion with other people. It will just keep you out of trouble and/or save you possible grief. Don't try to sell your beliefs to other people. It's none of their business and they don't want to hear it! Don't flap your lips and be a know-it-all in countries especially like this one. Geez...sounds like my ex-wife was out there! Stay safe! 🙂

    November 11, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  9. Dan

    Basically humans are just out of the woods and believing in supernatural beings is all we have right now. We currently do not have the intelligence or are not civilized enough to move to the next level of existence or to preach to anyone about what we believe in. Even though there are some religions that believe they are correct and we should all follow them. We will find later that it was just another false religion. When the majority of religions of the world can preach and teach tolerance and actually follow what they are preaching we will be on the path of becoming civilized. Until then death to you all infidels!!!!

    November 11, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  10. tagnga

    To Adam R., cA

    You wrote; “I'm okay with you practicing your religion as long as you a) stay peaceful b) work to better mankind WITHOUT trying to convert people c) help the environment. If you are religious and go against any of those three things...THEN F&CK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!go die”

    a)Stay peaceful…like you?
    b)Learn the meaning of hypocrite.
    c)Get help for your anger problem.

    November 11, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  11. Phil

    Mohammed was a pedophile...and I drew a picture of him in a girls dress in a gay pose. There – I've offended your false god now try to find me and do something about it, morons.

    November 11, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
    • Muneef

      Is that now what you call courage strong boy? Promise you that you will get it sooner or latter and it will fall on your head from the sky I hope since your name is as Elephant in Arabic...Ameen.
      Stupid saying come and find me as God does not hear see where you are...never knew America is breeding your type any more?

      November 11, 2010 at 7:14 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      Hi Muneef. Your religion is becoming a problem for some people. No need to worry about people far away, why not worry about yourself? You need to relax. If God sees all and knows all, why should you worry or get angry?

      Have you ever investigated how Pakistan came to be? India expelled most of the muslims because they were not being peaceful – gave them a whole country for themselves and have not gone to war against Pakistan despite many provocations by Pakistanis.
      Check out the history of Pakistan. It is not a peaceful one. Not every Muslim is peaceful. Not every government is reasonable. Not every follower of a religion is the same.
      I hope you are having a nice day over there. In the USA, winter is bringing lots of cold weather. Many people are inside because of the cold – that means there will be more people on the internet being rude. Just letting you know. 😛

      November 11, 2010 at 9:41 pm |
    • Muneef

      @Sum Dude.

      Fine friend we have terrible cold up the mountains after sunset to sunrise but for me I live coastal area and it is warm and sunny as we mostly suffer only during summer it becomes too hot ranging 48C.
      Just realized now there are many funny ones that need to be reeducated all over again from our previous blogs discussions!
      Thank you for reminding me but honestly the Quran tell us when there are people speaking bad of his holiness we are to leave the place of discussion, and seeing that many of those new ones coming do not even know how to talk discuss contribute I feel like leaving this blog although have fears that God might have wanted me to remain and contribute so now do not know what to decide..but the story of one of the prophets of God when he gave up on his people for not believing or listening what he was preaching and decided to leave them and boarded a ship that was about to drawn during the voyage and people of the ship decided to throw him out of ship and then was swallowed by a whale repenting for his impatience on his people? You know that story the prophet was named Younis bin Mata but do not know the name as in Christian bibles.

      November 12, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  12. telveer

    quick ... lets send another billion in aid to this despot country

    November 11, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  13. Zane007

    Unfortunate it is that religion has to evolve, a reflection of the evolutionary system of humans and their societies. Christianity is still evolving and hopefully Islam will also, allowing those followers the freedom from oppressive thinking and ancient traditions to become a more modern society. Too many times ancient religious traditions have been barbaric in it's attempt to control it's society of believers. We can only hope for modern thinking to force an evolutionary change in the religous formats that instill this way of life. I would hope that centuries from now all religions would finally be evolved into folklore and all people can move on into a modern age together without the need for the godly control of their lives, and the religious differences can be a mute point.

    November 11, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  14. Mortaeus

    If these people were so firm in their beliefs they'd have no reason to be offended at all by such an idiotic statement made by this woman. If they were so firm in their beliefs of Islam, I could say whatever I wanted to about their religion and they should not be offended. Getting angry about this only shows weakness and doubt in your faith. Religion is ridiculous anyway...

    November 11, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  15. She's Lion Food

    I guess that's one way to get rid of Christians. I'm not sure why they don't just throw them to the Lions instead of going to all the trouble of making stuff up to get them hung. Plus the Lions would get fed. ...Seems like a lot of trouble... Just sayin'.

    November 11, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  16. Roxanne

    Pot calling the kettle black. A christian calls islam fake.

    I hope they don't kill her, but I also hope people take note and learn something from this.

    November 11, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  17. Paleo81

    @World View "So if you can benefit from stealing, lying, cheating, murdering, and get away with it, the logical thing to do is what? you tell me."

    I'm so tired of religion claiming morality and ethics. Get real and first, see just what ethics and morals are outlined in your book. Second, the question is an asinine one at best. We don't act on instinct. It's the beautiful product of evolution...reasoning. The fact that we evolved from tribes is the precursor to why we adhere to certain, progressing 'laws' that appear best for society. No sky daddy needed.

    November 11, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  18. Conch

    Allow the Christian Dominionists, Palin, La Hay, Ashcroft, et al, to have their way and Christian biblical law will be just the same.

    November 11, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  19. truthinrock

    What kind of an idiot would run their mouth in such a barbaric place. She gets what she deserves! Now if we could just get all the religious nutbags to kill eachother off and leave the rest of us alone, we'd be more than happy to take care of the planet.

    November 11, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  20. GoRemote

    And a $1000 dollar fine.......ouch.

    November 11, 2010 at 6:05 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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.