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Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
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Friday, November 19, 2010

Sentenced to Death for Blasphemy

In Itan Wali, Pakistan, 45-year-old Asia Bibi is being sentenced to death by the Pakistani church. Not because she had killed, injured, or stole from someone, but due to something she said. Prosecutors say Bibi, who is a Christian, broke Pakistan's strict blasphemy law by insulting Islam and the prophet Muhammad, a crime punishable by death or life imprisonment according to Pakistan's penal code. As stated in what we would call a constitution they have a distinct code 295-C, which states whoever defiles the sacred name of the Hole Prophet Muhammad shall be punished by death.

The alleged incident happened in June 2009 when Bibi, a field worker, was picking fruit in a village two hours west of Lahore. Prosecutors say when Bibi dipped her cup into a bucket of drinking water during a lunch break; her co-workers complained the water had been contaminated by a non-Muslim. They were not going to accept her ways and were definitely not willing to assimilate her into the community. In spite of her outrage, according to CNN "She said your Muhammad had worms in his mouth before he died," Satar told CNN, a crude way of saying Muhammad was no prophet. The town cleric, Qari Muhammad Salim, reported the incident to police who arrested Bibi. After nearly 15 months in prison came her conviction to the death sentence. Bibi, has appealed her conviction but it can take months before they receive a decision.

Asia, a loving mother and wife, is being sentenced due to her belief in another god and for disrespecting the Muslim religion. But, was she wrong for the statements she had said. Pakistan has never executed someone convicted of blasphemy but in Bibi's village public opinion was unanimous. Human rights groups have long blamed Pakistan's blasphemy laws for persecution and violence against religious minorities. There is no unity or acceptance for anything other. The town cleric, who made the initial complaint against Bibi, called her death sentence one of the happiest moments of his life. This is unnecessary and outraging, this reminds me of stony in Nigeria, as well as honor killings. Countries outside of America do things differently and we can respect that but when does it become too far? At what point do people say we need to do something about this? This is a story of discrimination and social alienation.

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