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. Hugo

    Question for Muslims – why is her blasphemy something for which she should answer to humans? Why isn't it just left that she should answer to God? If there's a God, He should be able to take care of this without any help from us. If not, we should leave her alone.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
    • Hugo

      This is sad. No reply.

      November 12, 2010 at 9:21 pm |
    • Bill In STL

      You didn't really expect one did you Hugo? I know you hoped .. and so did I ... but they don't answer to their peers ..... Of course being an infedel in their eyes, nither you nor I are peers.

      November 15, 2010 at 1:51 pm |
  2. minime


    explains why

    November 11, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
  3. Mookster

    If these were christians about to execute a muslim over religion then the whole world would be up in arms and protests and terrorists threats etc etc. But since its muslims executing christians its just business as usual. If you think I am wrong, do some research on the conflicts in Africa and then get back to me on this. I am actually shocked the media even gave this any attention at all.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
  4. Boka, Springfield, PA

    I love that line at the end of the penal code. Should be subject to a fine. Religion is all about the money and always will be.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
  5. Miriam

    Wonderful. And these are the people Obama wants to be friends with.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
    • Alverant

      Well Reagan was friends with Hussain and Osama bin Laden by giving them our tax dollars and helping them out.

      Maybe you should be a bit more careful when throwing stones.

      November 11, 2010 at 8:00 pm |
    • Muneef

      Change your name you so not deserve it.

      November 11, 2010 at 8:15 pm |
  6. allanhowls

    Religion: causing misery and death since the beginning of history.
    Muslims execute for blasphemy, Israelis bomb infidels, and Christians want to force our schools into their idol worship.

    It's time to get Beyond Belief.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
    • Hugo

      Please stop abusing math. Have you taken a class in Logic from a college Philosophy Dept? If not, how about it? If so, why don't you see your error?

      November 11, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
    • Bill In STL

      Isrealis bomb infedils? What they drop the bombs on themselves?????

      November 11, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
  7. trying2save

    Wait a min....Shouldn't they be pronouncing death sentences on those who blast innocent men women and children in Pakistan............She is a helpless victim.. And an apology should have been enough which she has already given. This gets more and more ridiculous by the day. I mean death sentence for such act.

    And we are giving them 10 billion in aid..what the heck..

    November 11, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
    • matrim couthon

      10 billion that they are going to use to train and equip more taliban who will kill our soldiers in afghanistan.

      November 11, 2010 at 7:40 pm |
  8. Chris

    Stuff like this makes me glad we're starting to close up shop with Pakistan and are moving our business over to India.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
  9. SeniorInHighSchool

    This woman should not be killed for something she said, I guess Pakistan doesn't believe in freedom of speech, or any freedom it seems.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
    • Teriander

      Are you serious? What Muslim country does believe in freedom? None.

      November 11, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
    • Hugo

      @Teriander – Kyrgyzstan? I'll grant it was hard to find an example. If you feel like making a case, not fair going back farther than 2005 (Tulip Revolution).

      November 11, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
    • Bill In STL

      Hugo – if it is not fair going back farther than 2005 then that philosophy holds true for all ... so everyone that brings up the crusades and withc trials and the inquisition ... you need to stop .... on the other had how many instances can you find in Islamic countries?

      November 12, 2010 at 12:08 pm |
    • Frogist

      @ Teriander: For that matter what Christian nation believes in freedom? Any country that bases it's law on the sanct!ty of any single religion automatically throws any concept of freedom out the window.

      November 12, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
    • Hugo

      @Bill, sorry I wasn't clear. There was a revolution in 2005. Members of the new government overthrew the previous government. The previous government had a horrible human rights record.

      I assert it's not proper to hold the new government morally responsible for the actions of the old government it overthrew via revolution.

      Does this make sense now?

      November 12, 2010 at 9:19 pm |
    • Bill In STL

      Hugo, Sure it does.. But why would that matter ... we do it here all the time. LOL

      November 15, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
  10. ummm

    hey Hugo...I think Super new testament 3.0 is coming to a store near you...so then all your "New Testament" thinking will be null and void also...making amendments to the word of God seems kind of ridiculous...don't you think?...or is it just me?

    November 11, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Joseph Smith all ready wrote Super New Testament 3.0.

      November 11, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
    • Hugo

      @ummm – Would you have the same rules for a 4 year old child, an 8 year old child and a 16 year old child?

      November 11, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
    • Hugo

      @ummm – and where did you get the idea that the new testament is mine? Or that I'm even a Christian? Couldn't it be that I'm a mathematician who tilts at windmills?

      November 12, 2010 at 9:13 pm |
  11. Who cares?

    all religions are equally as paganistic and crude. people who believe in them are mere cattle

    November 11, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
    • markv

      and you are a cow for lumping all religions together.

      November 11, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
    • Derek

      And the people who don't are still mere cattle dependent on big corporations and money, for food, entertainment, water, shelter, clothing, etc.

      Yes, that includes you

      November 11, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
    • hmmmm

      Umm no – for Christianity, we are sheep – if you are going to trash it – at least trash it with the correct term . . .

      November 11, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  12. Teriander

    The Religion of Peace once again uses murder to punish a person for the words they speak. And once again they use Religion as an excuse to murder.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
    • Patrick

      Read the history of Christianity and get some sense of history, as pathetic as it is. Allah, I wish they would all out grow this type of thinking. It is enough to drive a guy to atheism. What do you call someone that believes in God but not in His followers?

      November 11, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
    • Bill In STL

      Wow Patrick ... you really got a hate on for Christians don't you ... even to the point of ignoring what this article was all about...... Do you realize how you look with all these CHRISTIAN comments?????

      November 11, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
    • Frogist

      @ Bill: So we shouldn't speak truth because it will look bad? Good thing your Jesus didn't think like that. Sounds like you are on the side of the anti-free speech persecutors here.

      November 12, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
    • Bill In STL

      Not True Frogist. I am more than a little tired of this comparisons that go on ... if you compare Christianity of the crusades to now or from the time of the witch trials to now or from the time of the inqusition till now you will notice a change. BTW the inquisition was local to SPAIN ... and not a world wide phenom! If you compare ISLAM to any of those times you will see they still kill infedels, Still go completely rabid if some one insults their religous prophet or religion .... I am so glad the same is not true here... that way I can carry on a conversation about religion ..... No matter what I believe you will find that I am for tolerance.... if you read my posts you will see that unless you are like Drew Barrymore in 50 first dates.

      November 15, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
  13. George

    I'm surprised she didn't insult the size of his peen, too.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
  14. jayson

    How do you feel about separation of church and state now?

    November 11, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
    • ExPat

      I live in France now– so I can honestly say I love secularism. I wish the US would follow suit.

      November 11, 2010 at 7:40 pm |
  15. Papa Kilo 15er

    Another reason to kiss the ground you walk on here in America.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
  16. CitizenJP

    What kind of true religion will sentence someone to death for not speaking out favorably about that religion, unless it is not religion but bigotry? In the past they used to do that for the sake or power and control – nothing else. How can one give God to another if he does not have God himself or herself? Wake up blind justice!!! Stop this reprehensible act!!!

    November 11, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
    • Patrick

      Christians did it for years. Scientists were killed for saying the earth went around the sun, for example. Moslems used to not do it but do it now. Christianity grew out of it but there are Christians that still think that way. I sure hope Moslems that think this way do some growing soon. It is giving them a real bad name. I mean, she was being a jerk but that isn't a reason for fining her, let alone, killing her.

      November 11, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
  17. toolegittoquit

    what a peaceful religion!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    how wonderful that these people are on our very soil and getting YOU to be sympathetic with them....

    November 11, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
  18. Superman

    Think about how uneducated people have to be to behave like this.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
    • Papa Kilo 15er

      Exactly the reason why we built schools in Iraq and are trying to do in Afghan, so they can learn something other than the Koran 24/7 in the Madrassas. Trying to help them learn that the outside world is not such a bad place, and that's there is nothing wrong with being different or believing in something different than what you believe. Of course the Taliban do what they can to prevent the schools from happening, but most of the kids want to go. In Iraq we had to escort kids to school on many occasions, I'm sure they do in Afghan as well.

      November 11, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
  19. Papa Kilo 15er

    Taking religion to the EXTREME again. Man if we here in the states took to heart all the times people (myself included) blasphemize our bible, (we cuss alot in the Marines), then there would either be alot more prisons around, or a helluva lot more cemetaries. It's one thing to believe in something, but another totally when you report people to the authorities for saying something about their bible.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
  20. Ron H.

    Ah yes.... Islam, the religion of peace, love, respect, and TOLERANCE once again shows us its blatant hypocrisy.
    How brainwashed do you need to be, to see how utterly insane, irrational and barbaric this religion is?

    November 11, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
    • toolegittoquit


      November 11, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
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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.