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. mv33

    thanks to Jesus Christ. You can say anything about him no body will punish you because God doesn't need any body to defend him.

    November 11, 2010 at 10:51 pm |
  2. kargo27

    I always wondered why it was punishable by death to insult Mohammed. If he's just a prophet, a man, who cares? Muslims take themselves waaaaaay to seriously.

    November 11, 2010 at 10:38 pm |
  3. only1cella

    wow, all of you guys are really smart and I love this discussion we are all having here when people of great minds can come together and really give a glimpse into why we have people being sentenced to murder for a view on a religion. I think death is a little harsh but I also know that she must have known the laws of which country in which she was residing. I like being able to express my views in certain situations which is why you wont catch me in Pakistan (at least expressing religious views). She should have had some regard for other people's religion even if she didn't view it as correct. I'm sure THEY DIDN'T agree with her Christian views, None the less death is a little extreme to say the least but in a country where people are killed for various reasons I'm pretty sure there are worse reasons

    November 11, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  4. Marco555

    And where is Hillary Clinton during all of this? Why is she even there if she's not going to do her job?

    November 11, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Why is it Hilary Clinton's job to save a christian? A better questions is what's pope-a-dope doing for one of his sheep? What's Glen Beck doing?

      November 12, 2010 at 2:29 am |
  5. srichey

    Secularism = freedom.

    November 11, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
  6. Anon

    If the USA turns into a "theocrazy" this what would happen to us atheists.

    November 11, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  7. HeisGod

    May the Lord Jesus Christ strengthen her and may His peace that suppresses all understand her keep her in all her ways. She isn't losing a life, she is gaining it for the sake of Christ. She has stood up to preach the truth and this things the Lord has spoken that many shall lose their lives for His sake. It is written, anyone who holds on to life shall lose it and anyone who loses their life for the sake of the Lord shall have it.

    November 11, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
    • Anon

      Christians were doing the same thing a thousand years ago.

      November 11, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
    • HeisGod

      Oops, reposting this part:

      "May the Lord Jesus Christ strengthen her and may His peace that suppresses all understanding keep her in all her ways....

      November 11, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
    • HeisGod

      @ Anon – Praise the God that I serve that we have grown up and came out of this dark age mentality. So, the Christians that did this 1,000 years ago, what does it have to do with todays dark age in Pakistan?

      November 11, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  8. Anon

    All hail the magic conch shell!

    November 11, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
  9. RW

    Free speech? Sick of Muslims yet?

    November 11, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
  10. blf83

    I sit Sarah Palin?

    November 11, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  11. tewrobert

    So this woman could be executed for speaking the truth eh?
    Amd pakistan dont like the way we talk about their Koran, But they are not smart enough to realize this book has caused many deaths on both sides that can only be blamed on their ignorance...Thus we see no reason to respect it, I mean why should we? Give me one good reason.......
    If they are going to persue this cruelty to their own people then we need to get up with our senators and tell them NO more money for pakistan as long as they act like this..
    I think they need more sanctions, There is some very evil people there, and some here too, Some of you make me ashamed and when you talk like this it only makes matters worse.......It surely makes you no better than these religious radicals,
    Pakistan is a breeding ground,. The sneak across the borders and attack in Afghan and also India, They are not good, Why would anyone want to trade with them,,,,Anyone buying anything from pakistan I suggest you stop and tell them why,
    We used to buy a lot from them before they put sanctions on them,, WE spent a lot of money over there, We was wholesaling their medical tools,.Now china get that money..( only game in town ). Get them where it hurts ......AGAIN
    As long as they live in the stone age I will never deal with them again.......

    November 11, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  12. Scott A

    The lady's a bigot, but its no reason to put her to death. Here in America, the same speech could get her elected to office in Alabama. Not sure what the solution to bigotry is (the decent folk here in the states have been trying to figure that out for years), but I'm pretty sure putting someone to death for their hateful words will only make her "supporters" more angry.

    November 11, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  13. ryan

    @steve people who suffer under the evil influence of Buddha? self-immolators. I'd much rather blow myself up for Allah then light myself on fire for Buddha. A whole lot quicker that way.

    November 11, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  14. Amy J

    Preaching to others about how much better their religion is than others'? Sounds like a typical Christian.

    November 11, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
  15. Ttommy

    My God can kick your God's ass!

    November 11, 2010 at 10:07 pm |
  16. Eric

    too bad the bible is a lie too. It's all completely unreliable and unbelievable. I really can't figure out how people believe is all this non-sense. None of it logically makes any sense at all.

    November 11, 2010 at 10:06 pm |


    November 11, 2010 at 9:59 pm |
    • AGeek

      Oh yeah. "Onward Christian Soldiers, Marching Off to War." That's a gem. What the heck is it with you Abrahamic religion followers – do you just have violence and/or conquering in your DNA or something?!

      November 12, 2010 at 4:09 am |
  18. John Smith

    Thank Allah and Mohammed for Sharia Law. How dare she say something against such a peaceful and kind prophet and religion. Hope they don't wait too long to hang her. It might generate sympathy for the infidel.

    November 11, 2010 at 9:58 pm |
  19. lolarites

    I think these two religions are equally evil, but Islam seem to be the principle scurge at this time. Imagine what the world would be like without them?

    November 11, 2010 at 9:54 pm |
  20. guest

    Come on America. The world is correct. We are stupid Americans. Can't everyone see that there is only going to be one solution to the problems with the Arab world. Unless we carpet bomb these guys into oblivion your kids and grandkids are going to have to either be moslems or get their throats cut. Send them to allah now. We all die eventually, so let's help these guys get to hell sooner than later.

    November 11, 2010 at 9:50 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      You are forgetting the innocent bystanders, the children, the non-combatants, the non-violent people, the ones we'd like to see prosper and thrive and be free of madness.

      War is deliberately traumatic, violent, and should only be done in self-defense. Most of the countries who started wars in the last few centuries LOST those wars. Wars are rarely started in an intelligent manner.
      Think about it a little more. We need to protect the children from the madness of war. That they are raised surrounded by the madness of religion is a separate issue. We don't have to drive everyone over the edge. We can work around some of this stuff – in fact, we have to – or else we'll be slavering with rage and howling for the blood of other people who probably didn't even actually DO anything other than live next to the people who DID do stuff.
      Surgical strikes are good strategy and more humane and intelligent then carpet-bombing everyone into bloody rags.
      Take a chill pill. Sanity is the solution, not the problem.

      November 11, 2010 at 10:27 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.