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. me

    Anyone ever hear of the inquisition or "missionaries" in the americas? they murdered many people in the name of christ. this is essentially the same thing. people killing other people because their beliefs are different. i don't believe jesus ever instructed us to kill other people neither has muhammed. i believe jihad was supposed to be a battle within each person's own heart, not attacking each other because of differing beliefs.

    December 6, 2010 at 1:10 am |
    • Chris

      Yeah those things happened hundreds of years ago. Just like Muslims now are living their lives in the last centuries

      December 6, 2010 at 1:36 am |
  2. Rob

    Religion is so overrated

    December 6, 2010 at 1:06 am |
  3. Kbritt

    to injure another in the name of god cannot be representive of a godly person

    December 6, 2010 at 12:50 am |
  4. Mark S. Alexander

    What's up? U don't like my blogs? M.S.A.

    December 6, 2010 at 12:48 am |
  5. Freethinker

    I will put up $10,000 (I have $110,000 in equity in my home) for some one to deliver Moulana Yousaf Qureshi's head to my front door...

    And yes, I know who he is, and what he looks like...

    December 6, 2010 at 12:46 am |
  6. Mark S. Alexander

    It should Gigi Janel Alexander, and all her susan silva ilk & cohorts in London, and elswhere, like the piersons in Chicago, whose price is on their heads. D.D./M.S.A.

    December 6, 2010 at 12:45 am |
  7. Al

    And this muslim says someone should put a bounty of $ 6 million on this idiot cleric. Let's see who collects first.

    December 6, 2010 at 12:43 am |
  8. Robert Noval

    So this woman's head is worth $6000.00 to some intolerant fanatic?
    And what does CNN do?
    Why, publish her photo, of course.

    December 6, 2010 at 12:38 am |
  9. Reality

    The solution: Delete the flaws in the koran and "pink slip" all the "red-neck" imams. "Pink-slipping" all the "red neck" Christian preachers, "profits" and priests and "we are the chosen" rabbis is also part of the solution.

    December 6, 2010 at 12:32 am |
  10. Mark S. Alexander

    All LUNACY generates from religions. We live in a UNIVERSE that is NOT owned by anyone, but religions were formed, – then their minion governments, – to control & own pieces of one planet – Earth. Each religion (& it's corresponding government) restrict, constrict, & inhibit the FREE Expression of the Universe, & human right to UniversalNatural FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION, – which, when practiced & exercized according to the Universal TRUTH Principles & Laws, are Fair & Just 4everyone,but GigiJanel DefilesM.S.A.

    December 6, 2010 at 12:29 am |
  11. Jeff Paulson

    It's not the religion that promotes hate ... it's man ... a person or persons ... who distorts or high-jacks a belief system for their own personal agenda. And it's been made evident on many levels, those who believe in a God and for those who don't. The most evident abusers today seem to be using Islam as their means of promoting hatred. Christianity has had it's not so distant abusers as well, let's not forget the KKK. And for those who think that only "religious" people do these acts of hatred, let's not forget Communisum, and it's anti-religious core to promote intolerance and hate. Selfishness, intolerance, hatred are the driving force behind the acts of terror where the foundations of a belief systems are simply used as the cloak they choose to hide behind.

    December 6, 2010 at 12:27 am |
  12. TrackDog

    Say it isn't so.....the "Religion of Peace" condeming another female to die for talking about the prophet mohamed? I don't understand how you worship somebody that you can't show a picture of, mention his name, but allows grown men to marry, and have 5ex with little girls.

    December 6, 2010 at 12:17 am |
  13. Artie

    I am Agnostic. I am Existential. I am a Free thinking individual. I have NO patience for organized religion except for those who practice with a benign patience. So, for those who would prosthelytize in the name of "follow me or else" I warn you, look over your shoulder and see the wrath which may be upon you fior such selfish [behaviour].
    Let the World live – in peace. Yours – is NOT to judge. Yours, is to live – in peace, with ALL mankind.
    Go ask Allah, go ask GOD, Go ask your mother..........
    Ask me....... I will tell you the Word of a Diety.
    Peace be amongst us.

    December 5, 2010 at 11:59 pm |
  14. dss

    and @Micah j, let's not forget the hundrends of thousands killed in the names of God, Yahweh, and all other pagan gods. it's not right to single out a single religion for a comment one man made. if this man was catholic, religion wouldn't even be brought up

    December 5, 2010 at 11:54 pm |
  15. Ellen

    This is orthodox Islam. It's in Koran. Mohamed had such women torn limb from limb.

    December 5, 2010 at 11:49 pm |
    • Chris

      Tell me where in the Koran. Have you read it? or did some Imam tell you. My bet is that you do as your told and dont read much

      December 6, 2010 at 1:39 am |
  16. Mercyisrighteous

    John 8:7
    So when they continued asking Him, He lifted up Himself, and said unto them, he that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

    James 2:13
    For he shall have judgement without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgement.

    Romans 12:19
    Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

    December 5, 2010 at 11:45 pm |
  17. image42

    "islam is not any more violent than any other religion"

    Yes. CNN is in business to make money and we all know that sensationalism pays well. There will always be a "nut job" cleric calling for a beheading or a "nut job" pastor calling for a Koran burning party. These folks dont represent that vast majority of followers.

    December 5, 2010 at 11:45 pm |
  18. Artie

    Moulana Yousaf Qureshi – I will offer the same amount to anyone who will behead YOU for the same offense to Asia Bibi – if you have her killed, we would also like to see you killed because of offense to humanity – the same humanity that speaks for free speech, free chhoice of religion, free choice of politics, etc.
    In other words, a$$Whole, go find a rock to hide under because the REAL World Police will find you and..... your days are numbered. Get another LIFE. YOURS, as you know it are over.

    December 5, 2010 at 11:36 pm |
  19. Mercyisrighteous

    So when they continued asking Him, He lifted up Himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him cast a stone at her. John 8:7

    December 5, 2010 at 11:34 pm |
  20. dss

    dear anyone who cares. i'm still in high school, but i'm probably more informed than most people on this site leving mesages. islam is not any more violent than any other religion. the culture might be, as may the people, but that can be said about many places in the world. and there are many terrorists who are not muslim. anybody remember okc? and it's ok for us to send drones to bomb them, but this is not? please think before you send out racist slurs that make you seem idiodic and a bigot. thank you

    December 5, 2010 at 11:25 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.