Asia Bibi’s case looks as if it is coming from “another, medieval world.”
Her “guilt,” as an “unclean” Christian, was for drinking water from a communal well, used by Muslim neighbors. Two Muslim women alleged that because she, a Christian, had touched the water from the well, the entire well was now haram (forbidden by Islamic law). Bibi responded by saying “I think Jesus would see it differently from Mohammed,” that Jesus had “died on the cross for the sins of mankind,” and asked, “What did your Prophet Muhammad ever do to save mankind?” She was accused of insulting the Islamic prophet Muhammad and put on trial for “blasphemy.” She was told to convert to Islam or die.
Bibi spent more than eight years in a Pakistani prison, in solitary confinement, much of that time on death row. On October 3, 2018, Pakistan’s Supreme Court acquitted her. Then, for a whole week, her fate remained unclear. After violent protests by “hard-line Islamists call[ing] for her execution” that “paralyzed large parts of the country for two days,” the government made “concessions” to the Islamists, and capitulated to their demands. The government pledged not to oppose adding Bibi to a “no-fly list,” which would prevent her from leaving the country.
So, after being found not guilty and freed from prison, Bibi is still being held against her will in Pakistan — ostensibly for her own “safety,” but in reality, it seems the purpose is to allow a mob to murder her more easily. Now, amid government concerns that her departure would spur renewed violent protests by the Islamic extremists, Bibi is apparently in an secret location. “Fake” images on social media have been circulating, purporting to show Asia Bibi leaving the country or out of Pakistan.