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. mabel floyd

    excuse me-you said i have written these comments which you refused to publish--that is not true-i have not even been to this site in weeks-

    November 11, 2010 at 7:59 pm |
  2. mabel floyd

    people who think that they have somehow cornered the market on faith and have forgotten the golden rule that appears in every faith in one form or the other. to murder a women for her thoughts brings shame of the religion.
    we squabble over the the small things and ignore what is important-living our faith and helping others. a faith that has to depend on violence tp feel they are valid make the case that they are not valid or worthy of respect.

    November 11, 2010 at 7:56 pm |
  3. sakko

    Hello. This lady was fined. If this 'death sentence' will almost always be overturned than why are we talking about this story? Because it involves a Christian woman? Maybe next time she should be careful and not insult other people's religion period. Tell her that Muslims also believe in Moses and Jesus followed by Muhammad, peace be upon them all. Jesus will descend in Damascus one day inshallah, in one of the minerets, and destroy the anti-Christ with his vision, also known as al-dajjal. How many of you knew that? This is what Islam reveals and more.

    November 11, 2010 at 7:52 pm |
  4. RW

    Are you tired of Muslims yet?

    November 11, 2010 at 7:51 pm |
  5. Puss

    OK, I said it...Mohammed is a fake and he's a child pedophile.

    November 11, 2010 at 7:50 pm |
  6. Andrewb

    Their god is so powerful that he has to have an ignorant towel head kill you for insulting him. He couldn't just strike you down with lightning for blasphemy? Think about it.

    November 11, 2010 at 7:49 pm |
  7. Steven P

    "Woman faces death for blasphemy" – I knew right away what part of the world this was taking place in.

    And that's honestly disgusting.

    November 11, 2010 at 7:41 pm |
  8. capnmike

    The Quran WAS and IS a "fake", just like every other piece of religious hogwash. As far as "insulting Mohammed", well...MOHAMMED BLEW GOATS!! OK, now what are ya gonna do about it? Sticks and Stones, pal. You're really goiod at murdering women and blowing up schoolbuses, but you haven't any real guts.

    November 11, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  9. wileyfreeman


    November 11, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
    • itgrl

      mosque....newyork....ring a bell? They most certainly have asked for tolerance.

      November 11, 2010 at 8:36 pm |
  10. Ronald Raygun

    ha ha @ muneef. its funny how you talk about being modern and such. yet you are defending a fairy tale.

    November 11, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  11. wileyfreeman


    November 11, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  12. Ronald Raygun

    not only do they want to punish her by death, but they want her to give them money..... sounds like their government is more americanized than we thought.

    November 11, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  13. deepeye

    HAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA – More "Kindness and understanding" from the "Religion of Peace." And we tolerate and assuage these people because............?????

    The next war should be interesting – seems to be firming up now – all religions, atheists and tolerant people of good will on earth versus the barbarity and blind stupidity of the 9th century.......getcher popcorn!!!

    November 11, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  14. F-Dawg

    "Your prophet had worms in his mouth and was a gold digger."
    "Oh, yeah! Well, Abraham pimped out his wife and Lot slept with his DAUGHTERS!"
    "Aaaaaagh! I'll kill you!"
    "I'll kill you!"
    Yeah, god is the wellspring of morality, for sure.

    November 11, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  15. MikeinNYC

    Scott claims: "Ahh, the religion of peace and tolerance. They sound a bit like dems... love all, unless you disagree with us."

    No Scott, they sound like Tea Partiers supporting Ron Paul in Kentucky. TIme to open your eyes, buddy.

    November 11, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  16. Kenny

    I think I will take a vow of silence just to be safe. Wouldn't want to insult anyone and be put to death for it.

    November 11, 2010 at 7:11 pm |
  17. kite005

    I like the part about worms in his ears and mouth. I think Jesus, Buddha, Confucius, Joseph Smith, and um that's all I can think of right now but the rest of them to all spent their last month that way!

    November 11, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
  18. Michelle93

    It dissapoints me that even in 2010, some countries are still so backwards that things like this happen. Buddhism is where its at, no mind control or violence

    November 11, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  19. Notagain

    This is what following ridiculous bs from old books gets us.And I'm not just talking about Islam.

    November 11, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  20. Vicki in OKC

    Okay, it is a harsh sentence, but to go into a Muslim country and run you mouth about Mohammad is down right stupid. They do not have free speech like the U.S. She needs to slapped around for just being stupid. If you are in another country you have to follow their laws, no matter how stupid you think they are. I can't help but laugh at her stupidly.

    November 11, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
    • thorrsman

      Where does it say she "went" to a Muslim country? Nothing I've heard of this story indicates that she is not a native of Pakistan. You assume too much.

      November 11, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
About this blog

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.