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Don’t Let Aasia Die – by Haris Ubaid

Governor Punjab Salman Taseer has been assassinated for speaking in support of a christian woman Aasia Bibi, a 45 year old Christian wife and mother who was sentenced to death by hanging in Pakistan for being a Christian on November 8, 2010. This sentence was rendered under the horrendous “Blasphemy Law” which is used against Christians, other religious minorities and even the intra-muslim sects conflicts against each other.

The way religious sects have reacted to his remarks regarding the Blasphemy Law  and which subsequently resulted in his assassination, and the countrywide condoning of this barbaric act by the religious circles accompanied by the meek response of the politicians and the media has proven once again that “Blasphemy Law is untouchable” and even a rational debate will not be tolerated.

The whole development has sealed the fate of poor christian woman Aasia, as it is not possible now for the political leadership to talk sense or make any move to save the life of the innocent Aasia.

The sectarian issue, the death sentence and public response is drawing me back to the 1953.

Then, demands by the anti-Ahmadiyya elements to declare Ahmadis as non-Muslim resulted in the  Anti-Ahmadiyya riots  in West Pakistan.  These riots were concentrated in Punjab as it was facilitated by the officials in Punjab Govt.

The Army was deployed and Martial Law was imposed, Newspapers of Ahmadiyya community were banned and two religious figures were charged for inciting violence against Ahmadiyya community.  They were Abul Aala Maudoodi and Abdul Sattar Khan Niazi and the death senence was passed against them.

It was a bold move and could have proved to be very effective for the future, but the move was averted due to pressure. The  manner in which this whole act and Maudoodi’s statements were publicized presented clear signs of the emergence of a face for the desired theological narrative of the state. He was known for his relatively moderate social views( though very reactionary political ones) but this was only in comparison to the ultra orthodox Mullahs was more acceptable to the masses and the utilitarian religious interpretations have helped them laying out liaisons with the state.

How this tool proved to be very effective in the coming future is a known fact and is evident with the prominence he achieved in Pakistan and the Muslim world, when he was rendered with the title Of  Imam-ul-Muslimeen in the annual meeting of  Raabta-e-Aalam-e-Islami Saudia Arabia held in January 1974). It is not hard to understand the symbolism of the titled rendered by a Saudi body, at least those who cheered the Freedom Medal delivered to CJ Chauhdry by the Howard University.

The international links of Pakistani religious circles and the massive investments from the brotherly Muslim states can better be understood, when in late 60’s Pakistani religious circles were proud of their associations to Gamal Nasser from one side and King Faisal by the other side. Though the extended Saudi role with the passage of time has superseded all in terms of influence. And others along with the Maudoodi’s party have joined hands with the Saudi Arabia. Mufti Mehmood, leader of deobandi JUI also got together with Rabita-e-Aalam-e-Islami and once the “socialist mullahs” have now established Saudi links, abided by his son with the same sprightliness. The links were paid off  in the Afghan proxy war, and Pakistani state in collaboration with their tested allies have rendered their services to the Billion Dollar Gamble.

But the prominence of these major players cannot undermine other players from the majority Barelvi sect and Shia sect. As they also have joined hands with later ones in every occasion portraying religious zeal, as all have joined hands against Ahmedi sect or other minorities. Though their support to these causes did not materialize in violent militias.

Though Shia sect have attuned itself to the political slogans of Iranian clergy, when they blame US, CIA and Israel for any brutal act of terror against them, the escapist mind have not saved them from violence from the hardcore deobandi elements.

In Aasia Bibi case, once again they have proved it that there is no difference among them different muslims when it comes to prosecution of other minorities and pursuing their own set of delusions and deceptions.

The disastrous consequences of this baneful encompass today have stalked the whole state. And people are loosing faith on it. Now majority of Pakistanis are cheering the assassination of Salman Taseer.This is a  clear invitation to every lunatic monster to come forth and kill another Salman Taseer.

Now if we want to  subvert and thwart the bloodiest legacy of Maudoodi, we should raise our voice. Once the state saved Maudoodi from hanging resulting  in the current state of affairs, Now we can save Aasia BiBi from the death sentence to come out of the riddle.

Come On!!!! Don’t let Aasia Die……..

The writer is a freelance columnist. He can be reached at ubaidharis@gmail.com

About the author

Ali Arqam

8 Comments

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  • very well written…we will not let her die…no matter enough…we wont stay quite anymore…we wont be scared to not to call quaidianis mosque a mosque but an ibadat gaah….we wont be scared not to call a shaheed a shaheed anymore…this is the time to stand up and fight for humanity!

  • “Mother who was sentenced to death by hanging in Pakistan for being a Christian on November 8, 2010.” – Is Alex Stevins wrote this article under Haris Ubaid’s guise? If not then I am afraid you have or had already lost the religion for believing what you do; what you wrote above speak volumes respecting it all. In any case, accept Islam as soon as possible.

  • Ashadu Allailaha Illallhu, Wa Ashado Anna Muhammadan Abduhu Warasulhu….

    Dont let Aasia Die, we have the blood of millions on our hand, please let it not be happened,

    Khuda Salman Taseer(Rehmatullah Alaihe) Ki Shahdat Qabul Farmay, Unhe Apni Jawar Rehmat Mey Jaga Ata Farmay…Aamin

  • Thank you LUBP for posting the article without editing its contents…
    As Praising Maudoodi has some serious drawbacks…
    Jamatis work as spammers on the website, thank God, the place is spared

  • Your heart is in the right place, but political problems are not resolved by reverse hatred. Read the Munir report into 1953 and you will find that it was not as straightforward as you describe it, and the killing of a couple of people sparked outrage, which it does not now.

    While we wholeheartedly condemn the assassination, we cannot scream at the ‘majority’ hoping that they will understand — this is not different from the other side.

    It is definitely a small minority that is cheering the assassin, but we need to support the silent majority that are too scared to differ — they need hand-holding and support right now. I have canvassed a lot of people and ulema for my TV show on Sunday, and this is the feedback we’ve got.

    A combination of religious incitement, illiteracy, class jealousy of an opulent lifestyle, political rivalry, impotence at American power projection, and police corruption led to the assassination.

    In short, screaming like the ‘mullahs’ at the top of your lungs at the ‘ignorant majority’ is not going to solve the problems. If we do think that Pakistanis are otherwise calm, cool, generous family-oriented people, then we have to look at the root causes. If the majority of Pakistanis are good enough that we trust them with our food, our children, our cars, our bank accounts, our airplanes, etc., then they are not sub-human and we as the thinkers need to think and guide them in this tense hour.

    The most urgent need is to tell the silent majority to not be afraid and speak up.

  • Aasia’s fate uncertain after Taseer’s murder

    Thursday, January 06, 2011

    By Amir Mir

    LAHORE: The fate of Aasia Bibi, a 45-year-old Christian woman, already condemned to death by the district and sessions court of Sheikhupura on November 9, 2010 for allegedly committing blasphemy, hangs in balance, especially after the assassination of the Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, who was vigorously seeking a presidential pardon for her.

    The murder of Aasia’s chief supporter, Salman Taseer has left her simply terrified in the Sheikhupura district jail where she is simply at the mercy of prison guards, amidst renewed fears that some other person in police uniform could kill her anytime, as had happened with the Punjab governor. Aasia’s husband, Ashiq Masih says his wife feels extremely insecure after the murder of Salman Taseer and fears for her life.

    Although, Salman Taseer had forwarded Aasia’s clemency appeal to the Presidency shortly after his meeting with the accused at the Sheikhupura district jail on November 20, 2010, no action could be taken because of a restraining order issued by the former chief justice of the Lahore High Court (LHC) Khawaja Muhammad Sharif, directing the Presidency on November 29, 2010 to abstain from pardoning the Christian woman before the court ruled on her appeal.

    The interim orders were issued on a petition filed by Allah Bukhsh Advocate, praying to stall any possible attempt to grant presidential pardon to the Christian woman. The petitioner pleaded that although the accused has already approached the high court, challenging her death sentence, it seems that the president of Pakistan tends to pardon her, which he cannot do according to the constitution because her appeal is still pending.

    Khawaja Sharif had retired a few days after issuing these restraining orders and Aasia as well as her backers, including the Punjab governor, had been waiting since then for the LHC to set the date to hear the appeal.

    However, before the court could set a hearing date, the governor was killed by one of his security guards, saying he had committed blasphemy by siding with Aasia. As things stand, Aasia’s only hope is Asma Jahangir, the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), who denounced the court decision, saying that a stay had been granted on an action that was yet to take place.

    “If the judges want to get popular, there are other ways to do it. Do not twist the laws as court verdicts become precedence,” she remarked, while speaking at a seminar on the blasphemy laws, organised by Jinnah Institute, a think-tank launched by former Information Minister Sherry Rehman.

    Aasia, mother of five children, was sentenced to death for blasphemy on November 7, 2009 when an ATC ruled that the woman, a farm worker, had offended Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).

    Aasia Bibi denies having committed the crime and maintains that she was implicated falsely after she refused to convert to Islam. She told the court that women in her village were trying to get her to convert to Islam for some time.

    She held out and chose not to debate it but would only say she wouldn’t because she was comfortable with her faith. As she defended herself and her religious choice, she was accused of using derogatory remarks against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and thus having committed blasphemy. Aasia’s husband Ashiq Masih then decided to approach the LHC to overturn the ruling.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=3149&Cat=13

  • Salman Taseer laid a milestone as a Muslim(Shaheed). He was an honorable,noble and righteous man. Lived for Humanity and even didn’t Frightened to meet the Death for his right Cause.
    But, It is NOT “THE END” rather it’s the START of REVOLUTION long waited by the minorities(Christian, Hindus and others etc) and Ahmadis in particular. We all Pakistanis join hand together ” Bool Kay Lub Azad Hain Tery” 1st Listen to Every Point of View and be Patient in expecting their Views or else their are more Salman Taseer coming on their way. We will Change “THE BLASPHEMY LAW” .