Thursday, December 16, 2010

Evangelical Petitions to Stop Execution of Asia Bibi

[Christian Post:] An evangelical professor launched a petition calling on the Pakistani government to change blasphemy laws and release Asia Bibi, the first woman sentenced to death under the laws.

Warren Throckmorton, a professor at the Christian institution Grove City College and a psychology and public policy fellow of its Center for Vision and Values, started the petition on Wednesday through, calling for the jailed 45-year-old mother to be released.

“Asia Bibi’s case requires an international outcry from people of all religious views. The bullying and murder of minority religious adherents in Pakistan must stop,” the petition reads....

Bibi’s story of persecution has led many to call for an end to the blasphemy law.

The law dates back to the 1980s. Penalties for sins against the sacred such as blasphemy were enacted under the dictatorship of General Zia Al Haq. There is also another law which states that defiling the Quran merits imprisonment for life. Critics say the rules were meant as a means to prop his reign using Islam.

Throckmorton calls the laws “archaic” and says they’re now used as a means of control.

“These are methods or means of control that the devout or non-devout can use against their enemies,” he asserted....

There has been much backlash over the laws since Bibi’s sentence was announced. The U.S. Department of State mentioned the laws in its 2010 Annual report on International Religious Freedom.

Under global pressure, Paskistani President Asif Ali Zardari is reportedly considering revisions to the country’s blasphemy laws. Catholic foreign news service AsiaNews reported that Pitambar Sewani, a member of the Sindh Assembly, announced at a press conference that Zardari confided in him that revisions should be made, if necessary. The press conference was organized by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

Throckmorton hopes that media coverage of Bibi’s case will put political pressure on Pakistani officials. His petition is currently being sent to Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, and its Minister of Human Rights, Syed Mumtaz Alam Gillani, among others.

So far the online petition, launched early Wednesday morning, has gained nearly 300 signatures.

Throckmorton is “very pleased” and is encouraging others to sign.

“Every little bit helps,” he urged.

Notably, another petition was launched on to save Bibi’s life.

I encourage you all to go sign the petition. There are numerous petitions, articles, etc. out there in support of Asia Bibi, but each voice MATTERS; do what you can to help. And most importantly, don't forget to pray for Asia and her family.

"For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister." ~  Hebrews 6:10

1 comment:

  1. Blasphemy law, extremists’ reaction and life threatening comments
    It potentials to be a dangerous and threatening Christmas for the Christian community in Pakistan. A radical alliance – which includes Pakistan Muslim Leagues, religious political parties allied with banned militant groups – has called a large mass national demonstration entitled Namos-e-risalat, that is, defending the honour of the Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) on 24 December, after Friday prayers, to say “no” to the release of Asia Bibi and any changes to the blasphemy law. Even JuD chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed attended the meeting. Addressing the gathering, Saeed stressed the need for a well-organised media campaign in favour of the blasphemy law.

    The alliance has called on the “ummah” (Islamic community) in all the world, demanding universal support in the defence of the blasphemy law. Moreover, the radical leaders say: “Asia Bibi is a blasphemous woman and should be repudiated by Christians. Anyone who defends her, an ordinary citizen, politician or Minister, is guilty of blasphemy along with her.”

    A pretty naked threat from extremist lobby will also put pressure on the PPP led civilian government as well as on Parliament, which in those days could examine the parliamentary motion presented by PPP’s lawmaker Ms Sherry Rehman, who is proposing substantial changes to the blasphemy law.


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