Threats, Protests Surround Pakistani Christian Woman Convicted of ‘Blaspheming’ Mohammed

December 6, 2010 05:40

Thousands of Islamists gathered in the Pakistani capital on Sunday, warning the government not to touch the country’s blasphemy laws or to pardon a Christian woman on death row for allegedly blaspheming Mohammed.

By Patrick Goodenough at


The case of Asia (or Aasia) Bibi has triggered considerable debate in overwhelmingly Muslim Pakistan, where the federal government has been unwilling or unable to confront hard-line elements such as the fundamentalist cleric who has offered a reward to anyone who murders her.

Bibi, a 45 year-old mother, was sentenced to death by hanging on Nov. 8, 17 months after being arrested following allegations that she had insulted Islam’s prophet. She denied the claim, saying she had been falsely accused by Muslim co-workers who objected to sharing a water bowl with a Christian.

Appeals from Pope Benedict XVI and others prompted the governor of Punjab province, Salman Taseer, to ask President Asif Ali Zardari to pardon her.


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