Asia Bibi, a member of Pakistan’s oppressed Christian minority, was put through hell after being falsely accused of blaspheming against Islam, and was nearly executed. After the ruling by the Supreme Court throwing out the case against her, Islamist mobs are now tearing apart Pakistan and demanding her head.
A Christian woman who was acquitted by Pakistan’s Supreme Court after spending eight years on death row for insulting Islam is still being held in an undisclosed location. Her release was delayed after negotiations failed between the government and an extremist religious group that is demanding she be killed.
Asia Bibi’s sentence was reversed on Wednesday in Islamabad. Almost simultaneously, followers of a hard-line Pakistani religious group rushed onto major highways across the country to paralyze traffic in protest of the decision.
They called for Bibi to be killed, along with the three Supreme Court judges who issued the verdict. They also called on Pakistani military forces to disobey the army chief of staffs, accusing him of not being a Muslim.
Then Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the leader of the group known as Tehreek-e-Labbaik, told followers at a rally that Pakistani forces would use violence against them if they did not disperse their sit in. In response, he said, “We are ready to die to show our love for the prophet,” according to The Associated Press.
Underscoring the threats against Bibi on Friday, thousands of followers of Tehreek-e-Labbaik, students of religious seminaries and others rallied through the capital and on a nearby intersection, vowing they would not be removed.
“What is the punishment for insulting the prophet?” the men chanted in central Islamabad. “Separate the head from the body!” they responded.
Their goal is to stop Bibi from escaping Pakistan. And even if she does manage to leave the country, it’s rather clear at this point that she will face the threat of death anywhere she goes, much like Salman Rushdie. Certainly anywhere that Pakistani Islamists can be found. Which is in the United States, Canada, Australia and much of Europe.