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Thousands of Islamists Protest Pakistan Christian mother cleared of blasphemy

Discussion in 'Religion' started by schoolhelp, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. schoolhelp

    schoolhelp School Master (HOD) Staff Member Glaive Established

    Thousands of Islamists take to the streets of Pakistan to demand Christian mother cleared of blasphemy is BEHEADED
    By Afp and Charlie Moore For Mailonline21:53 07 Nov 2018, updated 16:32 08 Nov 2018

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    • Asia Bibi was arrested in 2009 on charges of insulting Islam's prophet
    • Her conviction was overturned last week and she was released today
    • Demonstrators marched in city of Karachi to protest her acquittal
    Thousands of hardline Muslims today demanded a Christian mother cleared of blasphemy gets beheaded.

    Asia Bibi was arrested in 2009 on charges of insulting Islam's prophet and sentenced to death the following year.

    Her conviction was overturned last week due to lack of evidence and she was released in a secret location today after eight years on death row.

    Furious demonstrators marched in Karachi to protest her acquittal and call for her execution.


    [​IMG]
    Protesters: Thousands of hardline Muslims today demanded a Christian mother cleared of blasphemy gets beheaded
    [​IMG]
    Demonstrators: Asia's conviction was overturned last week and she was released today after eight years on death row
    [​IMG]
    Supporters of the Pakistani religious Islamist group Mutahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) climb in trees to take part in a protest rally against the release of Asia Bibi
    [​IMG]
    Asia Bibi was arrested in 2009 on charges of insulting Islam's prophet and sentenced to death in 2010

    'We can sacrifice our lives but can never compromise on the honour of the prophet,' said a speaker at the protest.

    The demonstration comes hours after Bibi was flown from the central city of Multan - where she was in custody until yesterday - to a 'safe' place elsewhere in Pakistan.

    'She has been freed,' her lawyer Saif-ul-Mulook said in a text message to AFP. 'I have been told that she is on a plane but nobody knows where she will land.'

    European Parliament president Antonio Tajani has offered Miss Bibi and her family protection in Europe.

    Her lawyer has also been offered temporary asylum in the Netherlands after facing death threats - but they are still in Pakistan at the moment, friends said.

    Following protests at last week's ruling, the government agreed a deal with Islamists to impose a travel ban on Bibi, and not to challenge a review of the Supreme Court's ruling.

    One of the most vocal groups in the protests - the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) - called for 'mutiny' against the army's top brass and the assassination of the top court's justices.

    Following Bibi's release, the TLP vowed to return to the streets if she was allowed to leave the country.

    'If the promise is broken and she is sent abroad, then Allah willing, a movement will start and it will be decisive,' said TLP leader Afzal Qadri, after an earlier message from the group accused the government of reneging on the agreement.

    [​IMG]
    One of the most vocal groups in the protests - the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) - called for 'mutiny' against the army's top brass and the assassination of the top court's justices
    [​IMG]
    Following Bibi's release, the TLP vowed to return to the streets if she was allowed to leave the country
    [​IMG]
    The demonstration comes hours after Bibi was flown from the central city of Multan where she was in custody to a 'safe' place elsewhere in Pakistan
    [​IMG]
    The leader of Pakistani religious Islamist group Mutahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) Maulana Fazalur Rehman speaks to supporters during a protest rally

    Foreign ministry spokesman Muhammad Faisal on Thursday denied media reports that Bibi had left the country, telling AFP: 'She is in Pakistan'.


    Intelligence sources also told AFP that she had not left the country.

    An order for her release arrived Wednesday at the jail in Multan where she was held, a prison official told AFP.

    'Asia Bibi has left the prison and has been transferred to a safe place!' tweeted Antonio Tajani, president of the European Parliament.

    Another civil aviation official, in Multan, said a small plane arrived in the city with 'a few foreigners and some Pakistanis' on board to fetch Bibi.

    Her case has underscored deep divisions between traditionalists and modernisers in the devoutly Muslim country.


    [​IMG]
    Following protests at last week's ruling, the government agreed in a deal with Islamists to impose a travel ban on Bibi, and not to challenge a review of the Supreme Court's ruling
    [​IMG]
    Pakistani lawyer Saif-ul-Mulook said Asia Bibi has been freed and taken from prison by plane
    The conviction stemmed from a 2009 incident when Bibi was asked to fetch water while out working in the fields.

    Muslim women labourers objected to her touching the water bowl as a non-Muslim, and a fight reportedly erupted.

    A local imam then claimed Bibi insulted the Prophet Mohammed.

    Bibi has consistently denied the charges, and her prosecution rallied international rights groups, politicians and religious figures.

    Pope Benedict XVI called for her release in 2010, while his successor, Pope Francis, met her daughter in 2015.

    Bibi's husband Ashiq Masih has appealed for Britain or the United States to grant the family asylum and several governments including those of Italy and France have offered to help.

    [​IMG]
    The release order arrived Wednesday at the prison in the central city of Multan, where Asia Bibi was detained, a prison official told AFP
    [​IMG]
    Blasphemy is an incendiary charge in Muslim-majority Pakistan, where even unsubstantiated allegations of insulting Islam can result in death at the hands of mobs

    Her lawyer fled to the Netherlands on Saturday under threat to his life.

    Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini tweeted: 'I will do everything humanly possible to guarantee this young woman's future.'

    Blasphemy is an incendiary charge in Muslim-majority Pakistan, where even unsubstantiated allegations of insulting Islam can result in death at the hands of mobs.

    Mere calls to reform the law have provoked violence, most notably the assassination of Salmaan Taseer, the governor of Pakistan's Punjab province, by his own bodyguard in Islamabad in 2011.

    Taseer had called for Bibi's release, and his son Shahbaz tweeted 'Pakistan Zindabad' ('Long live Pakistan') following last week's ruling.

    [paste:font size="4"]Why was Asia Bibi arrested?

    In 2009 the 54-year-old mother of five, a farm worker, went to fetch water. An argument took place after two fellow farm workers refused to drink from the same container as a Christian.

    Nearly a week later, the two women said Miss Bibi had insulted the Prophet Muhammad and she was charged with blasphemy.

    The charge carries the death penalty and Miss Bibi was sentenced to death in 2010.

    Her case garnered worldwide attention and brought sharp criticism of Pakistan’s blasphemy law.
     
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