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. karla

    I have a hard time believing that anybody would be that stupid... especially a Pakistani woman who would know the laws of her land–be she Christian or Muslim. Either the women in the field had some grievance against her and made this up or else she's certifiably insane. I know Pakistani Bahais, Christians, and Muslims–and none of them find this story credible. People aren't that stupid. Somebody was out to get this woman, and they're using the blasphemy story to do it.

    November 11, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
    • itgrl

      That's what I see as well.

      November 11, 2010 at 8:44 pm |
    • Bill In STL

      I think the point is that in Islam they can do it so they will. Some one earlier sai one wonders why Islam is gaining popularity so much .... it is because all you have to do is say that someone is blasphemous or an infidel and the your religion gives you the right to kill them.... Much easier than the US Justice system.... and then you can tell the world .. that is my culture!

      November 12, 2010 at 12:57 pm |
  2. Prentiss

    AGeek you are not very bright are you? Catholics do not support pedophile priests and they are an affront to Catholicism and have been hiding in it. They do not uphold the beliefs of the faith, but you in your sarcasm act like you think they do. And by the way, pedophilia exists in all religions, their leaders and in the public at large at even bigger rates. In atheists to. If you cared enough to research it you wouldn't make such insipid remarks. They should all be jailed forever or executed even. Wake up.

    November 11, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      Then PUT THEM IN JAIL OR EXECUTE THEM....or just STFU...oh, wait, you can't go against the Holy Fathers, can you? Don't want to be excommunicated or something.
      You have no authority in the Catholic Church, and those that DO...ARE protecting those pedophiles...so what are you gonna do about it? Huh?

      November 11, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
    • AGeek

      Prentiss: actually, I'm quite bright. I disowned the Catholic church 27 years ago because it is run by a bunch of misogynistic, pedophile-protecting hypocrites. In the time since, I've come to realize that nearly every Abrahamic religion is absolutely vile and exists only to further the power and control for the religion. If you disagree, which I fully expect you will, then you have my sympathy and it is my hope you find some time to explore various Indian and Eastern religions (Hindi, Buddhism, Confucianism, etc) which have no such issue, history of war, or desire to further power and control for the religion.

      November 11, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
  3. wingnut

    How were her words a threat to the country or religion? Your religion is a scam, just like many others that are just used to control the flock. Oops now will they try to have me killed. Bring it on idiots

    November 11, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  4. JonathanL

    God bless her for she gave her life so that we might know the Truth

    November 11, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
    • WWFSMD

      Wrong... look at Islam. Then just go one god further.

      November 11, 2010 at 7:44 pm |
  5. AGeek

    Yet another wonderful act, brought to you by the Religion of Peace[tm].

    ...Islamic Law. Interesting. I'm only hearing crickets from the Muslims – as usual. Same crickets I hear when I ask why they're not vociferously denouncing extremist elements of their religion.

    Oh, and Catholics aren't much better – don't go patting your pedophile-supporting, hate-spewing Vatican on the back.

    November 11, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  6. Forrest

    To Justin: You are so stupid it sits on you like a halo.

    November 11, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  7. pacco

    insanity in its extreme form. Guess this has more got to do with intellectual development of a nation , its aspirations for education, science and technology than religion. The only places in the world where religion dominates more than rational thinking are places where education is poor, democracy is weak or non existent , progress in science is bleak and overall mental growth is retarded.

    November 11, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  8. Harvey Wallbanger

    BARBARIANS - That describes all religious fanatics, no matter what faith they adhere to. Nothing different than burning witches, torturing heretics, and stoning teenagers for falling in love with an infidel.

    November 11, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  9. Hussein Obama

    Let's talk our way through this, brothers.

    November 11, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
    • An Actual American Citizen

      Barry, I thought you actually had a spine. Guess not, oh well.

      November 11, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  10. Truthwillsetyoufree

    Pakistanis are gonna be surprised when they get judged too. Can't be avoided.

    November 11, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  11. Trent

    Islam: Religion of peace and tolerance.

    November 11, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  12. Justin

    It's gonna be like this soon in the United States but for people criticizing christianity. It's getting closer and closer to being a theocracy here.

    November 11, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  13. Squeak

    Mohammed was a child rapist and a false prophet. The religion is based on violence and hatred towards women and everyone who doesn't submit to their joke of a religion. Oops, sorry, we have freedom of speech here in the US. Morons.

    November 11, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  14. Saba

    DerpDiggler said "That's what you get for going to another country..." you seem very ignorant, there are hundreds of thousands of Christians who are born and live in Pakistan since years. She did not come from another country. Christians are the second largest minority in Pakistan, non-muslims include Hindus, Zoroastrians, Sikhs, etc. I do not agree with the death sentence. It would likely be overturned by a higher court.

    November 11, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  15. Jesus Saves

    Whatever happens in this womans life may God receive all the glory!

    November 11, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Jesus Saves

      What the F * * K...???!!!!!!! 😯

      November 11, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
    • Sum Dude



      You're not gonna spell out the word FUCK? Duu-uude!

      November 11, 2010 at 11:56 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Sum Dude

      O.K.... Now how did you do that..?????? 😯

      November 12, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
    • Sum Dude


      *sigh* How many times I gotta point you at "html entities" ?

      Go here:

      Find the letter you want to use, like "U", in the case of F-CK, copy the "HTML Ent-ity Code" and paste it where that letter is supposed to go.
      When you hit the "post" button, that code gets translated into the correct letter AFTER the word filter – and voilá!

      If you check around on that same website, there are lists of other characters, like "Ø" that you can use.

      November 12, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
    • Sum Dude



      November 12, 2010 at 2:01 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Sum Dude

      Thanks... 'apparently' ...again...? For the help.

      And for your other stuff... 'you just be showin' off now'....!! 🙂

      Peace botha'...

      November 12, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  16. JoeT

    If Pakistan were as enlightened as the US, this woman's stupidity would qualify her to run for president.

    November 11, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  17. sammb

    Another reason all these muslim idiots should all die and rot like their dead stinking "prophet." Dirka dirka muhammed jihad.

    November 11, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  18. Jim

    Hey, Jessa and Jean! Read the post above from Drake, it applies to you. GET EDUCATED!

    November 11, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  19. ChicagoK

    Is there any wonder why the world thinks Islam is a barbaric inhuman state of animal existence?

    November 11, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
    • Patrick

      Strange that it is growing faster than Christianity. You have wonder, why??? As bad as Islam appears, why?

      November 11, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  20. Jessa

    @ geauxLSUtigers

    Do not forget that Christians have also persecuted non-believers... look at the Crusades, look at the treatment of the indigenous people of the America's by "missionaries" who came with the earliy explorers. I don't criticize those that beileve in God, but many people of atheists and religious alike seem to have a superioty complex based on their belief preference. Is it really hurting you if I believe something that is different than what you believe? Why don't we focus first and foremost on being good and responsible members of the human race and not some ideological group.

    November 11, 2010 at 4:26 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.