Tomorrow, Asia Bibi has one final chance to prove her innocence, or be sentenced to death. The world must scream in her defense.
Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman accused of blasphemy in 2009, is scheduled for her final appeal against execution on Monday.
Bibi was accused of insulting the Prophet Mohammad after a dispute with a Muslim woman who said that a non-Muslim woman should not touch the same bowl of water as Muslims.
The supremacy and entitlement that one must feel to not want a member of a different religion to touch the same bowl of water may sound shocking to some. Unfortunately, however, this sentiment permeates Pakistan, often resulting in horrific violence against Christians and other religious minorities.
Last year, a Pakistani Christian boy was beaten to death by his classmates, while his teacher was in the room.
This past week, a Christian family in Gujar Khan went into hiding after six Muslim brothers set their house and car on fire. This happened a day after the brothers demanded that the Christian husband and wife go inside because their “ritual impurity” was contaminating the air.
In April, a Muslim man burned a 17-year old Christian girl to death when she refused to marry him.
The roots of this hatred are systematic. The British Pakistani Christian association has called for a reform of Pakistan’s education system, which it says “openly demonizes and characterizes minorities.”
The World at Large
Across the world, religious minorities are persecuted. From the Yazidis of Iraq, to the Baha’is of Iran and Yemen, to the Copts of Egypt, to the Rohyngas of Myanmar.
This persecution involves rape, torture, threats of execution, imprisonment, and murder.
If Asia Bibi is saved, minorities around the world will know that there is a glimmer of hope amidst a black sky of injustice.
If Asia Bibi is executed, minorities will see the world fail them once more.
The world must scream out in Asia Bibi’s defence. We must let Pakistan know that we are watching.
Please sign the petition below to free Asia Bibi.
Tara is a journalist and campaigner based in San Francisco, US