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. muhammbug

    Translation.. With a dirty towel on his head?

    November 11, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
  2. Translation

    I've seen Muhammad. He looks like a giant Teddy bear.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  3. muhammbug

    Marviin... Your an as*. You just offended me, now you are sentenced to death. Does that work for you?

    November 11, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
    • Marvin

      I have reported your threat to the authorities.

      November 11, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
    • muhammbug

      Yes Marvin, it was a threat. Get a grip guy. It was an example of exactly what Pakistan is doing to this women. I have reported your threat as well. Your was to an entire religion.

      November 11, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      Marvin, you are not respectin' my AUTHORITAH!

      and anonymous threats against other anonymous people are completely empty threats – as any real legal "authority" could tell you if you happened to actually know of any.....lol

      November 11, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  4. Muneef

    A Pakistani Christian woman working in an Agriculture field with several Muslim women in a village southwest of Lahore?
    Do not sound familiar to me in an Islamic state?? She chose a perfect timing to Ride the Waves or Surf the Tides that are against Muslims worldwide now "Prop-aganda"...

    November 11, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
  5. Marvin

    No sympathy from me for this woman. These Christians do not realize how hurtful it is when they go around telling averyone that their religion is false and they will go to hell.
    About time these christians are taught a lesson.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
  6. Jeff

    there go those peace-loving Muslims again!

    November 11, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
  7. Translation

    How do we know he was offended? Did he say so? Will they at least show an artist's rendering of him when this come to trial? Perhaps the Southpark version?

    November 11, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
  8. tom

    Well, atleast she told the truth...

    November 11, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
  9. muhammbug

    I say we wipe out the all Muslim countries and make a resort for westerners.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  10. Dave O

    All these people should be exterminated. Wipe the Middle East and everyone in it off the map. Get rid of these backwards imbeciles. The world does not need so many uneducated morons consuming it's resources. If we are ever going to advance as a race, we need to shed the baggage that is holding us down.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
    • JoeT

      - which is exactly what we Pakistani law says regarding blasphemers of Mohammed. Birds of a feather– have you considered a future practicing law in the Muslim world?

      November 11, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  11. muhammbug

    bobx.. I would let them know that they can have the fine "over my dead body".

    November 11, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  12. Muneef

    Her act was of some one who has a plan for leaving the country and she has a legal adviser who showned her the way otherwise why now on the heat of things ? and was not clear if she is a recent convert or always been a christian?

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

      huh!! Blame the victim??

      November 11, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
    • Muneef

      How she can be the victim when she made the attack cursing peoples religion? Would she have kept quite if by any case they said any thing about Jesus although they don't dare do that since we consider him highly as a prophet of God but would she have kept quite and not complained them and wouldn't they get the same sentence because they cursed God and his prophet Jesus? Surely that would have made you happy but because it is the other way round it displeases you?

      November 11, 2010 at 8:11 pm |
  13. MrManny

    Goes to show you that RELIGION is a piece of crap! Because of Religion people kill each other.

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

      By your reasoning that means FOOD and MONEY and WATER and DRUGS are all CRAP because people kill each other over them. Get a clue. You're a sheep too.

      November 11, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
  14. Lawrence

    We are talking about religion here! They should leave jugdment to their God. U dont see christain or other religion killing or destroy life and property cos their religion was mocked. Muslim should have a rethink

    November 11, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
    • Patrick

      Sure Christians do. Our foreign policy has done it and still does it. They just call it something else. How many Buddhists do you think they let die just because they were Buddhists (France) in Viet Nam? Our great Christian followers of The Family encouraged Suharto to kill thousands of Muslims in Indonesia. Read the book about them. They are very influential. So much evil done in the name of Christ that it is unimaginable. I hate to see Islam go that route, but much of it has. A shame really. They had a golden age while we Europeans were in the dark ages burning witches.

      November 11, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
  15. Felipe A

    No one is questioning the testimony of those Pakistani women? Has no one ever listened to vicious gossip or heard false testimony about other people?
    I wouldn't put it past a bunch of women to gang up on an outsider, but I also wouldn't put it past a brain-damaged Christian to deliberately seek martyrdom, either.
    What was this woman doing in Pakistan in the first place? Saying things she knew would offend others? Or is she the victim of a group of women who hated her guts?
    Either way, she should have known better. Islam is not a religion of peace.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
  16. Bill

    Actually, Mohamed was both a murderer and a pedophile (it’s in the Koran). While all religions are based 100% on ignorance, bigotry, and superstations, Islam is the only religion that follows a prophet at preached actually murdering people. If every religious leader on the planet fell over dead tomorrow the world would be much better off!

    November 11, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
    • Hugo

      Elizabeth Smart is a religious leader... Want to rethink?

      November 11, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
    • JoeT

      Moses was a murderer too, but look how far he got!

      November 11, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
    • Bill In STL

      Elizabeth Smart? A Religous Leader.... Do you want to re-think.... She is doing mission work and is not leading anything..... rather she is being led ....

      November 11, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
    • Hugo

      @Bill in STL – "leader (a person who rules or guides or inspires others)" (Worldnet, n.d.)

      Are you planning to argue that there aren't at least two people who were guided or inspired by Elizabeth Smart?
      Or are you planning to argue that Worldnet is mistaken?
      Or what?

      Worldnet (n.d.) Leader. Retrieved November 12, 2010 from

      November 12, 2010 at 9:30 pm |
    • Bill In STL

      Hugo, by your definition then you are a leader as well? When you speak of a leader your definition is not commonly used. Anyone can be a leader by your terminology ... so all christians can leaders? All Muslims? All aethiedts?? If such is the case then all Catholics are resposnible for pedophile priests. All Muslims are responsible for terrorists..... Which is what a lot of people think these days and they are told not to.

      November 15, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
  17. Oklahoma29

    How sad. I know it was rude for her to say those things, but being killed for saying what you believe. Every time I read these kind of stories I am even more thankful that I am an American.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
    • Alverant

      Isn't your state the one who tried to ban Richard Dawkins from speaking at a public event because he's an Atheist? And did your state have a prosecutor who had an Atheist arrested for defending himself, supported false testimony, then illegally tried to have his bail revoked and tried to banish him from the state. Let's stop pretending that christians are so much better. There's a difference between getting slapped in the face and stabbed in the gut, but both are wrong and no one should have to choose between the two.

      November 11, 2010 at 8:07 pm |
  18. Religion is poison

    If the evangelical whack jobs get it their way, they'd do it in our country as well. Just another reason all religions should be abolished.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
    • Derek

      You cannot support your assumption with any real evidence. Bite your tongue, fool.

      November 11, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
  19. impreza_13

    To be fair, shouldn't everyone who says out loud what this woman said ALSO be charged with blasphemy and sentenced to death? AND, why on Earth did they levy a fine on her? What are they going to do if she doesn't pay the fine? Kill her again???

    November 11, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  20. Debbie

    Not very bright on her part, but it doesn't deserve death, either. That's what happens when religion rules a country.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:33 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.