The acquittal of a Pakistani Christian woman sentenced to death for blaspheming Islam has led to massive protests which threaten to topple the government.
In 2009, Aasiya Noreen, better known as Asiya Bibi, was harvesting berries with a group of Muslim women. She was told to fetch water for the other women and while at the well, she stopped to take a drink with an old metal cup she had found lying next to the well. A neighbor of Noreen, Musarat, who had been involved in a running feud with Noreen’s family about some property damage, saw her and angrily told her that it was forbidden for a Christian to drink water from the same utensil from which Muslims drink, and that some of the other workers considered her to be unclean because she was a Christian. and the other women objected to a non-Muslim woman touching the bowl used to carry water.
Noreen recounted that Musarat said to her: “That’s right, you’re just a filthy Christian! You’ve contaminated our water and now you dare speak for the Prophet! Stupid b*tch, your Jesus didn’t even have a proper father, he was a bastard, don’t you know that.”
Arguing ensued. Noreen recounted that when they made derogatory statements about Christianity and demanded that she convert to Islam, she responded, “I believe in my religion and in Jesus, who died on the cross for the sins of mankind. What did your Prophet Mohammed ever do to save mankind? And why should it be me that converts instead of you?”