December 5th, 2010
05:24 PM ET

Pakistani cleric puts price on condemned Christian's head

A Pakistani cleric is offering a nearly $6,000 bounty for the killing of a Christian woman whose death sentence for blasphemy is being challenged by Pakistan's government.

Moulana Yousaf Qureshi made his announcement at a Friday service in the northwestern city of Peshawar. He condemned any effort by Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari to pardon or release Asia Bibi (pictured) and said he and his followers will call on millions to protest if Pakistan's blasphemy laws are amended.

"I will pay 500,000 rupees for the loyal follower of Muhammad who beheads Asia Bibi," Qureshi told a crowd of several hundred people. The amount is equivalent to about $5,800, or more than six times the country's average annual wage.

In November, a Pakistani court found the 45-year-old Bibi guilty of defiling the name of the Prophet Mohammed during a 2009 argument with Muslim fellow field workers. The offense is punishable by death or life imprisonment, according to Pakistan's penal code, and Bibi was sentenced to death.

But an investigation by a Pakistani government ministry found the charges stemmed from "religious and personal enmity" and recommended Bibi's release. Zardari has said he would pardon Bibi, but a court has ruled that the president can't act until the sentence is confirmed by a higher court - a process her lawyer says could take two to three years.

About 2 million Christians live in Pakistan, making up slightly over 1 percent of the officially Islamic nation's population of about 170 million, according to government statistics.

Journalist Nasir Habib and CNN's Reza Sayah contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Islam • Pakistan • Violence

soundoff (574 Responses)
  1. Say what??

    First off, forget this nutjob, religiously motivated or not, he's a sociopath. The courts in Pakistan already gmfiubd she was innocent and the charged against her were fabricated bc of a personal disagreement bt her and the accusers. Secondly, shame on CNN for giving this guy an international platform to spew his venom.

    December 5, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  2. PeaceNik

    With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil—that takes religion. *Steven Weinberg**

    December 5, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  3. Jim

    You'd think they'd have laws against conspiracy (paying people) to commit murder. Perhaps someone could resolve the issue by simply beheading the cleric and putting his head on a pike.

    December 5, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  4. Mark Elder

    Can we have some internet volunteers to double the bounty and have it applied to this ignorant cleric and put a price on his head even though he is a worthless cretin speaking in the name of an equally worthless religion.
    When you see stories like this it only reinforces the belief that Pakistan is not even an unreliable ally but a dangerous enemy to be treated as one and destroyed.

    December 5, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  5. Beeblebrox

    That cleric needs to have a bounty put on him! What an idiot.

    December 5, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  6. guest

    Michael! Wrongeffenplanet, Again!

    December 5, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  7. Bill Gibson

    Mohammad was a murderer, so why not...

    December 5, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  8. Fred

    @ UMMM
    Before you profess to know the bible check your facts. The old testament no longer applies after the coming of the Messiah. The rules of the OT were strict because the Israelites were stubborn and had to constantly be reminded that they were set apart as God's people and not to partake in the sin of their neighbors.

    December 5, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  9. SPA

    go kill yourself you moronic person.

    December 5, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
  10. Amrullah Yousafzai, Margalla Hills


    December 5, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
    • Amrullah Yousafzai, Margalla Hills

      I didn't post that

      December 5, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
    • WOW!!!

      WOW!!! We're ALL SCREWED!!!

      December 6, 2010 at 4:34 am |
  11. image42

    Qur'an (33:57) – "Lo! those who malign Allah and His messenger, Allah hath cursed them in this world and the Hereafter, and hath prepared for them the doom of the disdained"

    Sounds a lot like Christianity ... Believe and be saved or burn in hell.

    December 5, 2010 at 10:13 pm |
  12. G Martino

    If she's behead I wil be offer 2.5 Million Rupees for Moulana Yousaf Qureshi's head and 4 million for his wife and kids. It all about an eye for an eye.

    December 5, 2010 at 10:13 pm |
    • stmoyer

      i will match it......what a complete idiot this guy is. hang him immediately if not sooner. kill this guy please...he is useless in this world.

      December 5, 2010 at 11:06 pm |
  13. John Olsen

    What Christians have suffered at the hands of adherents of other religions, and what Christians have inflicted on adherents of other religions, cannot be compared. The former is far greater than the latter. They are not even in the same league.

    December 5, 2010 at 10:09 pm |
  14. Amrullah Yousafzai, Margalla Hills

    Female Pakistani Paratroops 5:40

    December 5, 2010 at 10:06 pm |
  15. paul

    Uncle Sam gives $2 billion to the Pakis. The generals keep a part of the money and give the rest to crazy mullahs who use it for crazy purposes.

    December 5, 2010 at 10:06 pm |
  16. Alf

    Henry Miller, Muslims are not doing anything that their prophet would not do. He owned slaves, had them killed, was a warlord, etc.

    December 5, 2010 at 10:05 pm |
  17. Henry Miller

    It baffles me why some Muslims insist on demonstrating to the world how barbaric they are.

    December 5, 2010 at 10:01 pm |
    • Amrullah Yousafzai, Margalla Hills

      Why couldn't Pakistani women be more like her


      December 5, 2010 at 10:04 pm |
  18. Jalal from Chitral

    You filthy capitalist, zionist puppet american infidels are no match for our new secret weapon! God Bless the Mujahideen! Allah Hu Akbar!

    December 5, 2010 at 9:58 pm |
    • LOL.

      You sir, an idiot. Go choke on a bacon double cheeseburger, with extra moo-ham-id, soaked in pork grease.

      December 5, 2010 at 10:03 pm |
  19. Gerald

    Some people find comfort in religion, not acts of violence. Others may find a glass of booze comfort them or make them violent. Leave religion alone.

    December 5, 2010 at 9:57 pm |
  20. OO

    mean't to say, If he wants her dead that bad. Why does he not do it himself.

    December 5, 2010 at 9:57 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
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.