02/06/2019 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – Last week, Pakistan’s Supreme Court upheld the acquittal of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman acquitted of blasphemy charges in October 2018. This decision, made in the face of intense pressure, was a positive message sent by Pakistan’s highest court to the country’s religious extremists.
Commenting on the decision, Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa said, “You think we give the death sentence to someone on the basis of false evidence? Such lies were told that one statement doesn’t match with another.”
“The image of Islam we are showing to the world gives me much grief and sorrow,” Justice Khosa continued, speaking directly to the mobs of fanatics calling for Bibi’s acquittal to be overturned. “The beauty of a Muslim community is that non-Muslims are taken care of.”
With these strong words, many Christian leaders are hopeful that the decision in Bibi’s case will have a positive effect on the treatment of other Christians falsely accused of blasphemy. Fr. Emmanuel Yousaf, Director of the National Commission for Justice and Peace, said, “The decision by the Supreme Court means that the lower courts should have the courage now to think twice about handing down the death sentence.”
With Bibi and her family finally free to flee Pakistan, attention must now be turned to the 187 other Christians facing similar blasphemy charges in Pakistan. As has been shown in many cases, the majority of blasphemy accusations in Pakistan are false and motivate by personal grievances or religious hatred.
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