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Official: Pakistani Christian woman falsely accused of blasphemy
November 23rd, 2010
09:22 AM ET

Official: Pakistani Christian woman falsely accused of blasphemy

Editor's Note: From CNN's Reza Sayah in Islamabad, Pakistan

A preliminary investigation shows that a Pakistani Christian woman has been falsely accused of insulting the Prophet Mohammed, a government official said Monday.

"The president asked me to investigate her case and my preliminary findings show she is innocent and the charges against her are baseless," Pakistani Minister for Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti told CNN.

Asia Bibi, who has been jailed for nearly 15 months. was convicted in a Pakistani court earlier this month of breaking the country's controversial blasphemy law, a crime punishable with death or life imprisonment, according to Pakistan's penal code. She was sentenced to death.

Bibi filed a petition for mercy Saturday, and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari asked Bhatti to investigate the case, Bhatti said.

Bhatti emphasized Monday that he has reached only preliminary conclusions and will submit a final report Wednesday to Zardari's office.

Prosecutors say Bibi, a 45-year-old field worker, insulted the Prophet Mohammed after she got into a heated argument with Muslim co-workers who refused to drink from a bucket of water she had touched.

In a brief news conference at the prison where she's being held, Bibi said Saturday that the allegations against her are lies fabricated by a group of women who don't like her.

"We had some differences and this was their way of taking revenge," she said.

Bibi's death sentence sparked outrage among human rights groups, who condemned Pakistan's blasphemy law as a source of violence and persecution against religious minorities.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Asia • Belief • Christianity • Courts • Islam • Muslim • Pakistan

soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Beeblebrox

    We are allies with people that have laws against blasphamy? Good grief!

    December 5, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  2. Muneef"786"

    Al-Anbiya Sura 21:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
     
    The Day whereon We shall roll up the heaven like as the rolling up of a scroll for books. Even as We began the first creation, We shall restore it: a promise binding upon Us; verily We have been the Doers. (104) And assuredly We have prescribed in the Scripture after the admonition, that: the land! there shall inherit it My bondmen righteous. (105) Verily in this in a preaching for a people who are worshippers. (106) And We have not sent thee except as a mercy unto the Worlds. (107) Say thou: this only hath been revealed unto me, that your god is only One God. submit ye then?! (108) Then if they turn away, say thou: I have proclaimed unto you all alike, and I know not whether nigh or far is that which ye are promised, (109) Verily He knoweth that which is public in speech, and He knoweth that which ye hide. (110) And know not; haply it may be a trial for you, and an enjoyment for a season. (111) He saith: my Lord! judge Thou with truth. And our Lord is the Compassionate Whose help is to be sought against that which ye utter. (112)
       

    November 25, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  3. Muneef"786"

    Quran is not the reason but culture, traditions are corruptions are the cause... 🙁

    November 24, 2010 at 8:45 pm |
    • Reality

      The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:–

      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."

      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave attended to by his wives before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      November 25, 2010 at 8:03 am |
    • Muneef"786"

      The Bible, The Qur'an and Science
      by Dr. Maurice Bucaille
      THE HOLY SCRIPTURES EXAMINED IN THE LIGHT
      OF MODERN KNOWLEDGE
      Translated from French
      by Alastair D. Pannell and The Author

      http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Books/MB_BQS/25generalconcl.htm

      November 25, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
    • Muneef"786"

      "There is no compulsion in religion" (sura 2, verse 256) 
      "(God) has not laid upon you in religion any hardship" (sura 22, verse 78)  

      http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Books/MB_BQS/14quran.htm

      November 25, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  4. Gary

    Filthy, over populated ,religious fanatical country. what a waste of human kind. The folks in Pakastan need to take their noses out of the Koran and all religious texts and use their brains.

    November 24, 2010 at 8:07 pm |
  5. Keith

    Praise God, she's been released. Thank you to everyone who called the Pakistani Embassy on her behalf. Hopefully, this will serve notice to islam in general that we Christians defend our own. We don't have to 'tolerate' any crap off of you. The hard left is your only ally here in America. The hard left 'tolerates' so long as they agree with you. If not, anything you say will be labeled as 'hate speech'. Then they click on Report abuse enough times to get your comment moderated. Alas, you can moderate my comment, but I'm still here. And I still have that pesky 2nd Amendment to keep you 'tolerant' folks from moderating me. Happy Thanksgiving!

    November 24, 2010 at 7:48 pm |
    • LEB

      So you think she deserved to be let go because she was Christian, and not because the entire situation was an affront to humanity? Do you even care when the victim is a Muslim woman sentenced to be stoned because her husband falsely accused her of infidelity, or do you only care when the victim happens to be Christian?

      November 27, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
  6. civilioutside

    Is it overly cynical of me to think that she most likely did say what she's accused of saying, but the Pakistani government is going to declare her innocent so that they can avoid killing her in order to quell the international uproar without actually having to admit that the law is barbaric?

    November 24, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @civiloutside

      Nope... speculation obviously, but... I would co-ncur that is highly plausible.

      Peace...

      November 24, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
    • Muneef"786"

      @civilioutside.

      At least I find that the fear of same has contributed in controlling people from ab-using each other on the streets sw-earing calling names at each others beliefs, meaning that even if Jesus was s-worn at or called names at by a Muslim or non Muslim this will surely end up with the same faith of this woman since Jesus is as well Prophet and Messanger of God Allah and calling him names is just as equal guilt and that is the true law to be respected. 

      Beside i am sure if any one sw-ears at any other person Muslim or not and same was witnessed by few others..the person s-worn at will have every right to take you to the police station and file a complaint for a case of insult and depending on the size and weight of the ins-ult the verdict would be made.
      Remember a case I read about that happened in England when a man has called another man female dog a b-itch on board one of the trains and for that word of calling the female dog a b-itch has caused him to pay a fine of about £5,000/- to the dog owner and this case was between the 80's and 90's..  

      November 24, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
    • Muneef"786"

      Quran in English is one verse with different translations and just hope all have the same meanings?
       
      An-Nisa Sura 04:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

      Allah loveth not the utterance of harsh speech save by one who hath been wronged. Allah is ever Hearer, Knower. (148) If ye do good openly or keep it secret, or forgive evil, lo! Allah is ever Forgiving, Powerful. (149).

      Allah loveth not the evil should be noised abroad in public speech, except where injustice hath been done; for Allah is He who heareth and knoweth all things. (148) Whether ye publish a good deed or conceal it or cover evil with pardon, verily Allah doth blot out (sins) and hath power (in the judgment of values). (149).

      Allâh does not like that the evil should be uttered in public except by him who has been wronged. And Allâh is Ever All¬Hearer, All¬Knower. (148) Whether you (mankind) disclose (by good words of thanks) a good deed (done to you in the form of a favour by someone), or conceal it, or pardon an evil, … verily, Allâh is Ever Oft-Pardoning, All-Powerful. (149.

      Allah approveth not the publishment of evil speech, unless by one who hath been wronged; and Allah is ever Hearing, Knowing. (148) Whether ye disclose a good or conceal it, or pardon an evil, then verily Allah is ever Pardoning potent. (149).    

      November 25, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  7. TheRationale

    The fact that a person in Pakistan can possibly be given a punishment for blasphemy shows the objective moral inferiority of this ignorant nation.

    November 23, 2010 at 9:53 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @TheRationale

      Well... no argument from me on that one.

      Peace...

      November 24, 2010 at 2:51 am |
    • Frogist

      I refuse to condemn an entire nation of people as ignorant or morally inferior. That makes it sound as if they are incapable of moral acts just because they are from another country. That idea does not sit well with me.

      November 24, 2010 at 11:56 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Frogist

      *Ouch*... yells SM as CK 'thwacks' him across the head. LOL..!

      Good point. Thanks for helping me pull my head out of my......

      Peace...

      November 24, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
    • Muneef"786"

      People are not the same there are many Ranks,Degrees,Levels of Human Waves from down scratch status to highest above the sky financial status and surely that has direct effect on mentality and humor among each level...beside that there are the peasants and tribals in remote areas and cities out skirts who work in the cities but there are people of the cities which are highly educated and good status. Any reasonable educated ones among these levels that differ in mentality,morals,ethics than others, would not be able to stand up against any waves and tides of corruption's and jungle laws, therefore are left out speechless with fears

      November 24, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
    • Muneef"786"

      Al-Anaam Sura 06:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      He it is Who hath placed you as viceroys of the earth and hath exalted some of you in rank above others, that He may try you by (the test of) that which He hath given you. Lo! Thy Lord is swift in prosecution, and Lo! He verily is Forgiving, Merciful. (165).

      Az-Zukhruf Sura 43:
      Is it they who apportion thy Lord's mercy? We have apportioned among them their livelihood in the life of the world, and raised some of them above others in rank that some of them may take labour from others; and the mercy of thy Lord is better than (the wealth) that they amass. (32). 

      November 24, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
    • Reality

      The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."

      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave attended to by his wives before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      November 25, 2010 at 8:02 am |
  8. Muneef"786"

    How many innocents were s-old to the American troops as a Qda and tlbn fig-hters  when many were just students or traders all beings (Afghanis and foreign Arabs or non Arabs) all were handed over against cash per head..!? Others said that the rejects or those disappearing with out a trace were sold as human parts...!? Well that what was heard in the news during those horrible times but only God knows the truth of things. Those same things were heard as well having happened in Iraq.. 

    November 23, 2010 at 8:13 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Muneef786

      Hey Muneef...! Been awhile. Hope you are well. I see you are into quoting the Qur'an today...?

      Peace...

      November 23, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
    • Muneef"786"

      @Peace2All.
      Hi there friend, yes did quote but did you read it ? It talks for it self and answers. But at least much positive than the long ones quoted to us by Reality's every day..! Haha

      November 23, 2010 at 8:50 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Muneef"786"

      Hello back at ya' Muneef... How are you doing nowadays...?

      Yes, read your quotes from the Qur'an...

      Peace...

      November 25, 2010 at 3:57 am |
  9. Muneef"786"

    After all God is there hearing the calls of the weakest of his creatures and rev-ange for the unjustly treated...15 Months in jail was that before or after the floods Pakistan had? Could those floods cased for their ill treatments to the weakest such as this case and the case of women r-ape cases heard of plenty and God knows what...
    It is only our ill doings that natural des-astors come to purify us from our gui-lts and the guilts of those given the good things (richest/powerful ones).
    Quran Sura 12:
    When We decide to des-troy a population, We (first) send a definite order to those among them who are given the good things of this life and yet trans-gress; so that the word is proved true against them: then We des-troy them utterly. (16) How many generations have We des-troyed after Noah? And enough is thy Lord to note and see the sins of His servants. (17)

    November 23, 2010 at 7:51 pm |
    • civilioutside

      Natural disasters occur because the atmosphere and geology of the earth are in a constant state of flux that occasionally produce violent extremes. They are not punishments from god for any behavior of the local population.

      And if they were, they are extremely ineffective being as god never delivers a pronouncement as to just what behavior the population is being punished for, and the punishments are inconsistently applied. Anybody who actually works with behavior modification in any way (such as your average parent) can tell you that punishments that are not explicitly connected to the behavior they are supposed to correct, and which are applied only sporadically, have no hope at all of successfully modifying the behavior.

      The notion is really just a tool to provide people with the illusory comfort of believing that they have control over the situation (if we just behave properly, god won't get angry and make the river flood), or to allow others to control the people for their own ends (if you just behave the way I tell you, god won't get angry and make the river flood).

      November 24, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
    • xoflores

      to "civill..."
      I think your educated, logical remarks are pretty much wasted on this forum... but point well taken.

      November 25, 2010 at 5:19 am |
  10. Muneef"786"

    By the way ... Even if there was some body a Muslim witnessed the conflict between these women and wanted to say a word in her favor would make him face endless troubles and accusations specially if an ordinary weak citizen...? Surely same would apply by you as well against a Muslim in the west if there is any?? Specially because of such individual actions in those third world Islamic countries or international ghostly terror...?!

    November 23, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  11. Muneef"786"

    That got me wondering while many Muslims being plotted by Muslims or non Muslims that have no one but God to hear their weak voice? Got me thinking now that if they hear converting to Christianity is going to save their necks they would all want to become Christians but the problem is they even think of deciding same they will face death as that afghani in the other blog converting to Christianity from Islam?? So both ways stuck those guys when unjust justice only achieved in favor of the strongest or the extraordinary citizens or officials on that piece of earth..? Wonder why God mentioned that there are others who are worshiped like Gods by ordinary weaker ones as a protection figure from being plotted by any framed accusation or for business and investments...! It is a jungle out there the strongest takes the weaker in the name of the fittest takes it all? ( Natural Selection ) they call it..!?

    November 23, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  12. Muneef"786"

    Women with personal conflict between them have used religion to plot each other for some personal interests or disputes and I am sure they all were guilty of wrong doing but she was alone and they were more but there sick personal acts has lead to all this media. But I say Al-hamed Lillah that a weak voice has been heard and gained mercy to have her case looked up justly.. Actually I thought that was a fresh case and did not know that she has been jailed for 15 months already? Such way she should be compensated for her time and the women told lies either jailed,fined,whipped for their wrong doing if proven so.

    November 23, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  13. Peace2All

    Well Christ.... I had to tell the family that we will *not* be going to Pakistan for vacation next year. If people over there would just

    stop 'blaspheming' about the Holy Prophet Muhammed(PBUH), we could be going... but 'noooooo' someone had to speak out as a Christian, and claim that Jesus could kick Muhammed's ass or something like that.

    All of those language lessons in Farsi... down the drain. *sigh* Oh well...

    November 23, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
  14. Logic

    So will they now cut out the tongues of the women who lied?

    November 23, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
  15. David Johnson

    My church was going to hang brother Fletcher for blasphemy. He would get all liquored up and and pee in the baptism fountain.

    We warned him 3 times, but the fourth time we decided to send him to Jesus.

    It is not easy. You have to get a permit...

    November 23, 2010 at 12:25 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @David Johnson

      Ahem.... Well, you 'thought' you sent him to 'Jesus.' However, Brother Fletcher is now at our Church 'still' getting all liquored up and now peeing in our baptism fountain. We have decided to 'Fed Ex' Fletch back to you guys.

      Get a better 'sending someone to Jesus permit' this time. 🙂

      Peace...

      November 23, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
    • Frogist

      @David Johnson: You didn't send him to Jesus... You sent him to Mexico with Jesus the coyote! That wasn't a permit you were paying for with that suitcase of cash... Some prophet you are.

      November 24, 2010 at 11:44 am |
  16. Frogist

    Part of me thinks this is damage control. After all the heat Pakistan is getting over this, I wonder if they haven't decided to declare that she may be innocent to avoid more outcry against their blasphemy laws. Not to mention the obvious turn the country has taken towards stricter religious control.

    November 23, 2010 at 9:39 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Frogist

      I agree with you. I predicted this woman would never be hanged. I am a prophet!

      Hope you are well!

      November 23, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Frogist

      Hey CK...

      We are in agreement...

      Peace...

      November 23, 2010 at 2:55 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.