Key words: Pakistan, Islamic radicalism, Asiya Bibi case. terrorism
The end of 2010 and the first half of 2011 were another period of sharp activation of Islamist forces, which again found the opportunity to pursue an aggressive and offensive policy against the secular and liberal-minded part of society. The immediate impetus for active action was the desire of the radicals to protect and protect the current and most conservative Law on Blasphemy from the threat of its repeal or amendment.
This law of the time of M. Zia-ul-Haq (1977-1988) was particularly criticized among the intelligentsia: it actually served as a tool for judicial persecution and persecution of religious minorities. Thus, during 2007-2010, more than 600 people (mostly representatives of non-Islamic religions)were brought to justice on charges of blasphemy. 1
THE DEATH PENALTY FOR "BLASPHEMY"?
The case of Asiya Bibi, a Pakistani Christian farmer from the village of Ittanwali in the Shaykhupura district of Punjab province, was particularly resonant. It all started in June 2009. While working in the fields with other women (all of them Muslim) Asia was asked to bring drinking water. She did as she was asked. However, some women refused to drink the water, as it was brought, in their opinion, "wrong" and, therefore, was unclean.
A domestic dispute turned into a conflict. Muslim women complained about Asia to a local mullah, accusing her of insulting the Prophet Muhammad. The accusation of blasphemy turned all local residents against the Christian: an angry crowd broke into the Bibi family home and tried to punish her. The woman was saved from death by the police who arrived in time and took her to the police station for security reasons. However, police soon launched an investigation into Bibi's blasphemy charges, which was followed by her arrest and prosecution under article 295 of the Criminal Code. Asia spent more than a year in prison.
IT ALL STARTED WITH THE "WRONG" WATER
However, her misadventur ... Read more