Friday, 19 November 2010

Asia Bibi

I rarely repeat news that you can read on other sites, but sometimes I feel that I need to do so, if only to add weight to the general opinion.

You will no doubt be aware that Asia Bibi stands condemned to death for an alleged blasphemy against Mohammed. It appears sometimes that merely to make an accusation against a Christian in certain places in certain countries is as good as proving guilt.

Setting aside the question of whether Mrs Bibi did malign Mohammed or not, justice does not appear to have been done, and a certain amount (but by no means enough) international pressure is being brought to bear. Even within Pakistan, there is in some circles a sense that this action is doing Islam no good whatever. The Jinnah institute itself has condemned the sentence, which is said to have been the consequence of revenge by a malicious landlord.

Now it seems that President Zidari is examining the evidence. He has a difficult path to tread; Like Turkey, only more so, Pakistan likes to look west, and think of itself as a modern state, but it also has a substantial hard-line Islamic presence without whose support any government's position is always going to be precarious.

Let us pray for our sister in such peril, and for her family, and, if we can, do more. Pakistan is sensitive to public opinion abroad, and it must be encouraged to see that the world is watching what happens in this case.

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