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. Ken

    Hey, Pakistan !!!! The Quran is not only fake but It makes great lining in my birdcage for my bird to poop on and a great cat litter liner for my cat to pee on !!!! Muhammad ate pork and bacon sandwiches while sodomizing small childern. You going to kill me also????

    November 11, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
    • MrManny

      All religion is a way to CONTROL society, if you read history book you would also know that Christians Murdered and Prosecuted people all over South America and in Europe for them not believing in there Invisible GOD. You hide behind a computer posting that yet be in Pakistan and say that.. AND YOUR BALLS will shiver and no words come out of your mouth. Bottom line RELIGION is something that makes people EVIL

      November 11, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  2. ojo

    When are we going to stop the exaggerated political correctness and call a dog a dog. This religion is barbarian, and immoral. I really could not care less about being nice or civilized to these individuals. They seem like a bunch of ugly men making up stupid rules and then saying that God says so, oh please! . Additionally, any woman out there who is affiliated with this corrosive religion, needs a brain transplant asap.

    November 11, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
    • Alverant

      I've noticed the people opposed to the idea of PC are the kind who raise a huge stink when it's THEIR beliefs that are "insulted".

      November 11, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
  3. zbtrocker

    This is one reason to be glad to live in America.

    November 11, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
  4. TYLER D.

    $1100.00 and death seems a little harsh. can't they lower the fine a bit.

    November 11, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
  5. Anna

    Taking another lifes for any reason is murder and using religion to commit murder is barbaric and wrong – it's just that simple

    November 11, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
  6. Pastor Evans

    And our very own President call this the religion of peace and always praises them. Why don't you leave America and go be a President with your true brothers and sisters!!!

    November 11, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
    • Robrob

      Look up the word "diplomacy" sometime. It's in the Dictionary.

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

      Pastor, people like you is why I left Christianity. People like those remind my why I never became a Moslem.

      November 11, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  7. Drew Dude

    Yet another reason religion has no business in a thinking mans world.

    November 11, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
  8. euler

    Blasphemy is a victimless crime.

    Really, CNN? Do you have to make it sound like this is something normal and that it's ok because of their "belief" that they should hang anyone that doesn't agree with them about the health of some guy who said he could talk to God 1500 years ago?

    If you think you can talk to God, you're religious. If you think God can talk to you, you're schizophrenic. Get real.

    November 11, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  9. Fred

    Wasn't Mohammad a pedophile?

    November 11, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
    • Patrick

      In many countries, even today, a girl could marry very young. Does that make them pedophiles?

      November 11, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      If he was, most of the patriarchs of our bible are too. Marriage was made, but not consummated until BOTH the women of his family AND her family's women agreed that she was physically mature (aka is regular in her menses).
      That was the custom for Jews AND Arabs.

      November 11, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
    • Alverant

      If he was then so is the christian god. The 'virgin' Mary was 12 when she got knocked up and she had no choice in the matter. Unfortunately most christians don't like having their cult by the same standards they judge other cults. IOKIYACC (It's OK If You're A Conservative Christian)

      November 11, 2010 at 8:12 pm |
  10. redone

    I agree with Asia Bibi.

    There has to be a separation of state and church, any church or what ever they call their place of worship. This situation is why.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  11. Jalal from Chitral

    Why couldn't all Afghan and Pakistani girls be like her?

    November 11, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  12. Amrullah Yousafzai, Margalla Hills

    When Pakistan was founded there was no blasphemy law in place. Blasphemy law came about when Zia-ul-Haq was in charge. He made the laws of Pakistan so that there would be more influence of Islamic law rather than English common law which is what Pakistan's penal code is based on. After Zia-ul-Haq died in a plane crashed, and the subsequent politicians got rid of most of the laws he put in place over next 20 years, yet some parts of it still remain. The blasphemy law is dangerous because many times it is based on a false accusation which anyone can use to settle their personal dispute. Many politicians have proposed to reform or repeal the blasphemy, but everytime someone tries, the most conservative right-wing Islamic political parties protest the decision. People are afraid to oppose them even though they have the smallest representation in the parliament.

    As for this specific case, this woman likely will not be executed, because no one has ever been executed for blasphemy in Pakistan even after sentences are handed down, but she very well may spend years, maybe decades in prison for a 'crime' she may or may not have committed.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  13. Pastor Evans

    It's amazing that so many people in this world persecute, mock and scoff at Jesus Christ and His followers but a true follower of Him knows it's not our place nor His desire to kill anyone because He's a God of love and life, not death, but what we see here is just another of so many ongoing examples throughout history Islam and its followers true agenda. Convert people to Islam by any means or kill them and many people in the world dare not persecute or say anything against Islam and its followers. And you never here Islamic leaders come out and condemn these kinds of acts but let somebody say something about Islam and see what happens. Riots, killing, going on all the media outlets and crying and complaining!!! Islam is of the DEVIL!!!

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

      Considering all that has been done in Christ's name, I used to think the same of Christianity. I out grew it. There many Christians of THE LOVING GOD. There are plenty of Christians of great influence that think that Christ was all about power and if you followed him, you can do no wrong. Don Coe, of The Family, asked, "What 3 people of the 20th century understand Christ's teachings the best?" Think about it for a minute. His answer, "Mao, Hitler and Stalin because they understood power. Christ is all about power." Christ plus nothing...heard it? Let's stop letting people like that divide and conquer us again and again and reach out to the loving people of all faiths.

      November 11, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  14. yboywonder

    Buddhism IS a cult, as is Christianity, Islam, Jewdism, Mormonism, Hinduism, or any other faith. I suggest you look up the definition of cult.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  15. Lawrence G

    it cracks me up how in this day and age, people are still willing to kill, die, give their lives, etc.. in the name of religion.. it's all fake people.. get over it and find another reason to get through your day.. it's all just a method to control the masses and profit from your fears of immortality. I can't believe that people sit around talking about passages from these books as if they were there, and believe them heart and soul simply because it's written in a book.. a book that has been published by... "man".. it's a crock.. do you believe in ufo's and bigfoot?.. why not.. because you haven't seen them in person?.. well there are plenty of books written about them.. doesn't that mean it must be true?.. If religion is so divine... why is it that if you pray to god, it's accepted as your acknowledgment of a higher power.. but if you ever claimed that you spoke to your god, or that he spoke back to you.. they'll condemn you as a lunatic... it's because they all know it's fake!! Organized religion is for the weak! Stop praying and start living! You're gonna kick yourself to find there's nothing on the other side when you die.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
  16. Km B

    It's difficult to take any religion seriously when the main reason to take it seriously is that other serious people will kill you if you don't.

    November 11, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
    • Derek

      In Christianity, everyone lives forever... it's just that some will be in hell. And the flames are only a metaphor, by the way.

      November 11, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
  17. Muneef

    The plan to get the west to intrervene in her release and then a western citizenship,finance and the officials for her exchange release get supports in many forms and every body wins??? Will see if it ends as planed or if turns to be a serious issue?

    November 11, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
  18. ART

    What is this the dark ages and whats even more frightening is they possess nuclear weapons

    November 11, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
  19. sammieb51

    Hey I have an idea. Since our country won't stand for this kind of behavior and well, we need the money, why don't we cut Pakistan off the US Christmas List and save about $200B?? That way maybe our gas taxes won't be increased!!

    November 11, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
    • Patrick

      Because we need them in our fight with the Taliban. Why ere at war with the Taliban began long ago when we supported them against the USSR. After the Taliban and their allies beat the SOviets, the country was pretty well left to themselves and their war torn country. The Russians had already decided to disband the Soviet state if they couldn't hold on to Afghanistan because of all states that were mostly Moslem. They would be too hard to control. Now, we should have given the Afghanistanis credit for bringing down our enemy but, as one Army captain said to me, "We would NEVER give rag heads any credit for anything." Just something to put in your pipe and smoke.

      November 11, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  20. muhammbug

    Muhammad smells like bigfoots dic*

    November 11, 2010 at 3:49 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.