Blasphemy Laws

The International Solidarity Network, Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) is deeply shocked that a court in Nankana Sahib, Pakistan, has sentenced a 45-year-old Christian woman, Asia Bibi, to death on the charge of having committed “blasphemy”. Although illiterate, she has been accused of denying the institution of prophet-hood by citing copious examples from the key texts of Islam. We join local human rights organizations, international women’s groups and religious minorities in calling for Pakistan to urgently repeal its Blasphemy Laws. We also appeal to the authorities to guarantee the safety of Asia Bibi and her family from the rage of local extremists, as well as investigate the violent persecution of the Christian community in the Punjab.

Campaigners in Pakistan say the case of Asia Bibi – the first woman to be sentenced to death for blasphemy – highlights the need for urgent reform of laws that are routinely used to persecute minorities and settle grudges. The 45-year-old Christian, who has at least two children, was sentenced to death by a court in Sheikhupura, near Lahore, after prosecutors accused her of insulting the Prophet Mohamed and promoting her own faith. Her family have rejected the allegations and launched an appeal. "We have never ever insulted the Prophet or Islamic scripture, and we will contest the charges," said her husband Ashiq Masih.

طالبت كاتبة فلسطينية دول الإتحاد الإوروبي والولايات المتحدة واليابان بالضغط على السلطة الفلسطينية من أجل إطلاق سراح المدون وليد الحسيني المتهم بالالحاد. ودافعت زينب رشيد عن حق الحسيني في التعبير عن آرائه واستغربت قيام سلطة علمانية بالقبض عليه واعتبرت ذلك مناقض للدستور ولبيان الاستقلال.

La justice pakistanaise vient de condamner à la peine capitale par pendaison une chrétienne coupable de blasphème. Cette sanction est une première dans l’histoire du Pakistan, selon le quotidien britannique Christian Today. Les chrétiens d’Orient vivent de sombres heures. Après la vague d’attentats en Irak perpétrés à leur encontre depuis le 31 octobre dernier, c’est au tour d‘une pakistanaise de Lahore de faire les gros titres.

A Christian mother of five has been sentenced to death for blasphemy, the first such conviction of a woman, sparking protests from rights groups on Thursday. Asia Bibi, 45, was handed down the death sentence by a court in Nankana district in central Punjab on Monday. Pakistan has yet to execute anyone for blasphemy. Ms Asia’s case dates back to June 2009 when she was asked to fetch water while out working in the fields. But a group of Muslim women labourers objected, saying that as a non-Muslim she should not touch the water bowl.

Secular campaigners in the Irish Republic defied a strict new blasphemy law which came into force today by publishing a series of anti-religious quotations online and promising to fight the legislation in court. The new law, which was passed in July, means that blasphemy in Ireland is now a crime punishable with a fine of up to €25,000 (£22,000). It defines blasphemy as "publishing or uttering matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters sacred by any religion, thereby intentionally causing outrage among a substantial number of adherents of that religion, with some defences permitted".

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