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Candles Against the Darkness: Rallying for Asia Bibi in the UK, France and Spain
In mid-October Esmerelda Weatherwax of The Iconoclast attended and reported on a small rally that was held outside no 10 Downing Street to raise awareness of the plight of Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman who is on death row in Pakistan having been accused of "blasphemy" by her Muslim female co-workers, five years ago. Her latest appeal against the death sentence had just been rejected.
I must apologise for not having checked the British Pakistani Christian Association website more regularly, or British readers of this blog might have had advance notice of - and been able to attend - a follow-up BCPA protest rally on behalf of Asia Bibi - and all other victims of Muslim Pakistan's sharia-based Blasphemy Law - which was held on the front doorstep of the Pakistan High Commission in London, at the end of October.
The second protest got more than 100 people. Reported on at their website.
'Hundreds of Pakistani Christians Flock to Protest and Asia Bibi Re-Enactment Outside UK Pakistan Embassy.
And if the Catholic and Anglican Archbishops in the UK knew what was what, they should have been there in person. I hope they were invited; if they weren't, then I'd encourage the British Pakistani Christians group to make sure they are invited to the next such rally, and the next. It's time to put them on the spot. - CM
'Hundreds of protestors met outside the UK Pakistan High Commission on Saturday 26th October 2014, calling for freedom for Asia Bibi.
'This was the second of two London protests, the first was held at No 10 Downing Street on Saturday 18th October, after the now famous Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi - a mother of five children - was refused her appeal for freedom at Lahore High Court.
"Asia Bibi, who has now been incarcerated for over five y ears, will now have to appeal to the Supreme Court within thirty days of this latest refusal, her final access to freedom through the legal system of Pakistan.
That means that by 18th November she has to appeal. All who pray, should pray. And all persons reading this who reside in Commonwealth countries - notably Australia, Canada, the UK, NZ - must let their politicians know about Asia, and demand that all available leverage our countries possess be used to put pressure on Pakistan, on her behalf. - CM
'The protest was organised by the British Pakistani Christian Associaiton, and was partnered by International Christian Council. An attendance of over 150 people (they should have had a thousand or more! - CM) was made possible by a ground-breaking collaboration with several Christian groups.
'International outrage at this innocent woman's condition led to Catholic band Ooberfuse recording a Free Asia Bibi song which was sung live at the protest. The original video has already received much acclaim and over 105 000 YouTube views [link provided in original article]...
'Band leader Cherrie from Ooberfuse said "We hope this more modern catchy tune will gather in a younger generation of supporters for her freedom. We want people to join together and sing for her freedom as one voice."
'Pakistani Christians were joined by a multitude of leaders from other faiths, all calling for Freedom for Asia Bibi.
I wouldn't trust any Muslims who happened to turn up, in Damage Control mode...- CM
'Nazi Holocaust survivor and former medical student at Peshawar University Dr Martin Stern said, "I come not as a Pakistani or a Christian, but as a man concerned about the fate of an innocent woman, in the hands of extremists.'...
Not "extremists", Dr Stern. Muslims pur et dur, Muslims obeying the diktats of the sharia to the letter. - CM
'Alan Craig, former leader of the Christian People's Alliance (if I recall correctly, he is one of the main people involved in opposition to the enormous mosque that the sinister Tablighi Jamaat are proposing to build in London - CM) spoke towards the Pakistani High Commission and said:
"We will not stop protesting until this innocent woman is set free. The blasphemy laws are a tool for discrimination and settling personal vendettas. They must be stopped for equality to develop in Pakistan."
But Muslim Pakistan has no intention whatever of allowing non-Muslims - of whatever background - to enjoy equality with Muslims. Islam - orthodox Islam - views non-Muslims, qua non-Muslims, as inferiors, to be converted, or if they refuse, to be subjugated or killed. The best a non-Muslim can expect, in a fully sharia-compliant Muslim entity, is to eke out a perilous existence as a near-slave dhimmi status: functioning as milch cow, scapegoat, punching bag, chew toy, sex toy and sacrificial victim for their arrogant and murderous Muslim overlords. - CM
'A British National Champion in Lyrical, Modern and Acro-Dancing, Latasha Sinclair, a Catholic Christian, performed a symbolic and moving dance, expressing Asia's plight. The dance moved many spectators to tears, as vehicles stopped to observe her emotional performance.
'Latasha herself was so moved by the story of Asia's attack (which was triggered by Asia drinking from a shared well and offering water from the same cup to Muslim co-workers on the field where she was employed to pick berries) that she broke down in tears at the end of her performance.
'The performance involved her offering water to women, being pushed away, being beaten and calling for help, she then banged on the doors of the Pakistan Embassy for help, much like Asia looked to the Pakistani authorities for help but was left on her own.
'The performance was filmed by Web TV...
'The protest ended with Dr Martin Sterm, Ooberfuse, Taskeen Khan from Glory TV, Christian Voice and Latasha Sinclair, among others, delivering a petition to the Pakistani High Commission.
'Later Taskeen Khan from Glory TV and his partner joined Wilson Chowdhry and Latasha Sinclair at No 10 Downing Street, to hand a copy of the petition to the Rt Honorable David Cameron, Prime Minister for Britain.
'Taskeen Khan said, "This was a day for unity and solidarity for Pakistani Christians, we are all disgraced by her ill treatment, she is our sister (and she, this Catholic Christian suffering persecution in Pakistan, she is my sister also; my heart goes out to all non-Muslims who suffer abuse at the hands of Muslims - CM). Asia Bibi has been incarcerated in a dingy Pakistani cell (and, indeed, sentenced to death - CM) simply for offering kindness to Muslim co-workers. She must be set free!"
'Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the BCPA, said. "Pakistan has breached International Human Rights Conventions in restricting the freedom and liberty of Asia Bibi on religious grounds...".
Understatement of the year. But since when did any Muslim entity ever give two hoots about the human rights of any non-Muslim? - CM
'The British Pakistani Christian Association are planning more protests in the coming weeks and are calling for people of good conscience to sign their petition, which already has in excess of 7000 signatures [see link to click, in original.]
'The BCPA will be sharing regular updates on Asia Bibi which can be found on their website'.
Anyone reading this who happens to reside in Britain is encouraged to check that website regularly for notices of upcoming rallies and other actions on behalf of Asia Bibi, so as to be able to attend those rallies whenever possible. And besides signing the petition it would be as well to keep up the pressure by writing directly to one's elected representatives. Americans, Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders, and persons in the countries of continental Europe; if our nations have diplomatic and trade and "aid" relations with Pakistan, then we need to be demanding that our governments raise the little matter of Asia Bibi with Pakistan, over and over, and apply all available leverage.
And so to the related stories, for which I will supply the links, and some excerpts only (my translation: apologies for any errors and/ or infelicities of phrasing) because the main reports are in French. We will conclude with a very telling interview (in English) that was conducted with Wilson Choudhry.
The rally for Asia Bibi in Paris was attended by something like 2000 people; a much better turnout than in London.
'Paris: pres de 2000 manifestants pour Asia Bibi.'
"It cannot be denied that the demonstration that Christian Solidarity called for in Paris yesterday was a great success.
"People can always dispute about numbers, but having been there I can assure you that the figure of 2000 which was circulated on social media was certainly not an overestimate...Later today I hope to get some photos and videos of the event which was once again organised by Bernard Antony, president of Christian Solidarity, and one of his right hand men, yes, Bernard Antony, and among others, the indefatigable Vivien Hoch.
"There were many Eastern Christians, some ex-Muslims who are now Christians, and a small group from the Pakistani Christian community in France...
"One noted the presence of many priests...".
There is a more detailed description of some of the participants here:
"...Chretiente-Solidarite, en cette occasion, a resserre ses liens avec la communaute catholique pakistanaise de Paris dont le president,Mushktaq Bhatti, a ete tres applaudi and les prieres a la Vierge Marie en langue ourdou ecoutees tres religieusement. (- Christian Solidarity, on this occasion, strengthened its links with the Pakistani Catholic community in Paris, whose president, Mushtaq Bhatti, was loudly applauded, and whose prayers to the Virgin Mary, in the Urdu language, were heard very devoutly.)...
"Se pressaient la aussi en nombre nos freres refugies chretiens d'Irak, et autre pays soumis, selon les cas, aux persecutions legales au nom de la charia coranique ou aux abominations du jihadisme terroriste (Present in force were our refugee brethren, Christians from Iraq and from other countries that have been subjected either to persecution legalised in the name of Quranic sharia or to the abomination of Jihad terror.- CM)
"Le Comite executif de Chretiente Solidarite a constate aussi la realite du resserrement continu des liens et des projets entre les musulmans convertis au christianisme et le chretiens des peuples persecutes. (The executive committe of Christian Solidarity notes also the reality of the ongoing strengthening of ties and of projects between muslims converted to Christianity, and the Christians of the persecuted peoples - CM).
'Le comite a felicite pour cela ses deux membres tres actifs a cette fin, Christophe Bilek, le fondateur de Notre-Dame de Kabylie et l'irakien Elish Yako (The Committee congratulated, for this, its two members most active to this end, Christophe Bilek, founder of Our Lady of Kabyle, and the Iraqi, Elish Yako. - CM)..."
And then there was the gathering in Madrid, described here:
"Madrid: Belle Vigile Chretienne de Priere Pour Asia Bibi"./ Madrid: Beautiful Christian Prayer Vigil for Asia Bibi.
'L'association de laic catholique Mas Libres avait convoque hier a une vigile de priere devant l'ambassade du Pakistan a Madrid.
(The association of catholic laity, Mas Libres, met yesterday [23 October] for a prayer vigil in front of the Pakistani Embassy in Madrid)...
Serving notice that Spain is not under the heel of Islam; for public acts of Christian prayer, within the sight and hearing of Muslims, are absolutely forbidden under the viciously-oppressive Pact of Omar, the template of all the many other oppressive "rules for dhimmis" that were developed by Muslim rulers in order to humiliate, degrade and render perilous the lives of non-Muslim persons in lands taken over by Muslims. - CM
'De nombreux Chretiens, de differentes confessions, se sont donc retrouves pour prier et mediter ensemble sur des passages du livre de la Sagesse, puis, selon leurs affiliations chretiennes, les participants se sont reunis en petits groupes, les catholiques priant et meditant les "Mysteres lumineux" du Rosaire.
(Many Christians, of different traditions, then met to pray and to reflect together upon some passages from the book of Wisdom, then, according to their various affiliations, the participants met in small groups, while the Catholics prayed and meditated upon the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary)
The "Luminous Mysteries", added by John Paul II, comprise the Baptism of Jesus, the Last Supper, the Marriage at Cana, and the Transfiguration. - CM
'Le Porte parole de Mas Libres, Miguel Vidal, a declare: "Voici des annees que nous apportons notre soutien a Asia Bibi et a sa famille, et nous continuerons a accompagner jusqu'au bout du processus judiciaire, quoi qu'il se passe...Nous continuerons a maintainer la pression internationale pour obtenir sa liberation"...
The spokesman of Mas Libres, Miguel Vidal, said, "For years we have given our support to Asia Bibi and her family, and we will continue to accompany her to the end of the judicial process, whatever happens...We will keep up international pressure to obtain her freedom..".
The organisation 'Christianophobie hebdo" interviewed the head of the British Pakistani Christians, Wilson Choudhry. The full interview:
'2000 People Gathered in Paris Calling for Freedom For Asia Bibi'.
'Christianophobie Hebdo held a 2000 strong protest in Paris...
"They interviewed our chairman Wilson Chowdhry for the forthcoming weekly edition of Christianophobie Hebro.
Q: In your capacity as chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, how do you react upon the decision of the High Court of Lahore upholding the death sentence for Asia Bibi?
A: With frustration and sadness, but no especial surprise. It is normal for Christian blasphemy victims to be convicted at a lower level when huge pressure from Islamic clerics and extremists (that is: the Mohammedan mob, plain and simple, and its gang bosses - CM) are brought to bear on local judges, and then for the sentences to be overturned at a higher court.
"However, what is significant is that reports from Christian lawyers at the court reported that the same Islamist (sic: Muslim, Muslim, Muslim - CM) mob, including a group of Islamist lawyers (that is: Muslim lawyers who take Islam firmly to heart - CM) who routinely try and prevent justice in blasphemy cases against Christians, were there in force, and putting great pressure on the judge.
"Pakistani society is getting more radicalised and extremist (that is: ever more truly, madly, deeply Muslim - CM); it's like a tide that keeps getting higher and higher. The level of pressure that could be exerted on lower judges is starting to be applied to higher courts also.
In other words: this movement toward more and more Islam, ever more brutal, comes from the grassroots, from the ground up, from the Ummah, the general body of Muslims, and the local mosque, where the local gang bosses of the Mob hang out. In Asia Bibi's case it was perfectly ordinary working-class Muslim women, her co-workers among the berry bushes, who first picked a quarrel with her and then, the moment she said Jesus was better than Mohammed, pounced on her and shrieked "blasphemy!", knowing that this would likely get her killed. Indeed, they and their menfolk might well have killed her then and there had the police not - reluctantly - intervened; as has just been done to two other Christians in Pakistan, whom the mob pushed into a brick kiln and burned to death. In Asia Bibi's case, she is merely being done to death in agonising slow-motion in public by the Pakistani judiciary, gloatingly in front of the whole world, rather than being suddenly torn to pieces by the average Muslim mobster on the Muslim street. - CM
Q: Are you supportive of global and peaceful Christian street demonstrations aimed at freeing Asia Bibi, or are you considering that they might be counterproductive?
'A: We have been doing our own protests, both in the past, and now. I don't think they are counterproductive per se. They send a message, but the more people involved, the greater the weight.
Yes. The more the better. Because the only thing that the Mohammedan Mob understands is a determined show of strength; preferably, a show of strength by superior numbers; whilst western politicians will only act if they begin to realize that there are Votes to be had, should one start saying NO to Muslims and to Muslim countries like Pakistan. The crowds rallied to pressure western governments on behalf of Asia Bibi - and on behalf of every other person shriekingly accused of "blasphemy!" within miserable Muslim Pakistan, need to become visibly larger than the howling Muslim mobs that have rallied and will rally in Pakistan to demand her death. Because if the Pakistanis see more and more and more ordinary infidels rallying, they will begin to wonder uneasily whether just perhaps the flow of "aid" into their coffers from western governments might be cut off, as those governments listen to angry infidel voters. - CM
"I think they are necessary, but aren't enough. The issue is finding the right balance of resources and effort.
"Remaining silent is not an option, but speaking effectively is a balancing act.
"What I think might be counterproductive is the focus on Asia Bibi to the neglect of many other victims of blasphemy laws.
Good point. Those others should not be forgotten, either. - CM
"There are a number on death row and many more in prison or awaiting trial - not to mention those acquitted or otherwise not in jail but living in fear of their lives (because of the ever-present self-appointed - or perhaps under-mosque-orders sharia assassins seeking to do to 'blasphemers' - to anyone perceived as a critic or questioner of Islam, Muhammad, Muslims - what Mohammed's assassins did, back in the day, to Abu Afak and Asma Bint Marwan - CM), having to live in hiding, on the run...
'The danger is that if she gets out alive, or wins the appeal, people in the West will feel good about themselves, because the case that caught the international media attention has been "solved", and will drift off while the fundamental problems remain. Maybe another case might make headlines again, but maybe not. And in the meantime, many others will fall prey to the extremists (to the sharia-pushers - CM) and the blasphemy laws.
Q: Some reckon that only governments and diplomatic pressures might get some kind of Presidential clemency for Asia Bibi. What's your feeling?
A: Well, for a start, extremists (that is: the pious Muslim sharia-pushers - CM) have already worked hard several years ago to block that route. The prosecution lawyers got the High Court to block a presidential pardon. Yes, Government and diplomatic pressure are vital, but remember that the internal pressure in the opposite direction (that is, the pressure to make Pakistan ever more purely and ferociously Sunni Muslim - CM) is incredibly strong.
"Partly this is an honour thing. For the extremists (for the orthodox Muslims - CM), those who support blasphemy laws and death in such cases - and that is a very large proportion of the Pakistani population (that is, a very large proportion of all the Muslims in Pakistan; so much for the nonsense we're always hearing about the tiny minority of extremists! - CM) if you look at the polls and surveys that are quite regularly done - will be determined that international pressure from the infidels will not get in the way of Sharia law and the "honour" of Islam and its prophet.
Its so-called "prophet", who was a murderer, slave-trader, caravan-robber and rapist. - CM
"This will be especially the case after Rimsha (the little Pakistani Christian girl who was "framed" and accused of blasphemy by a Muslim cleric, and sentenced to death, but ultimately freed due to international pressure and now, with her parents and siblings, lives in freedom in a Western country - CM). One got away, so there is a greater determination not to "lose" this one. For that reason, if she is set free, than like Rimsha Masih, it will be vital to get her and her family out of Pakistan, before they get murdered or lynched. You can guarantee that many clerics and groups would call upon their listeners to kill them. Indeed that has already been happening."
And the information in that paragraph, just quoted, especially the material I have put in bold, should be laid repeatedly before every immigration and foreign and defence minister of every non-Muslim country in the world - especially the western world - as a good and sufficient reason why no Muslim from Pakistan should, henceforward, be permitted even to visit, let alone migrate into and settle within, any non-Muslim country. Because the odds are very high that any such Muslim from Pakistan is exactly the kind of person who, back home in Pakistan, would be baying for Asia Bibi's blood. We do not want, entrenching themselves in our countries, and building their gang bases - their mosques - in our countries, even one more person who shares the mindset of those who are demanding the ritual judicial murder of a Christian woman for no other 'crime' than that she said she thought Jesus was superior in character to Mohammed. - CM
Q: Is there a reasonable hope that the Supreme Court of Pakistan could overturn the death sentence as it did in the case of Rimsha Masih? And how long could it take?
A: Define "reasonable hope!"
"In a reasonable world she would never even have been brought to court, let alone been sentenced to death. I think there is a reasonable hope, but then, there was a reasonable hope that the appeal would have won at the last level, but it didn't happen. The Supreme Court did rule in Rimsha's favour, but I don't know what level of politics was involved in what happened there.
"As to how long, I really don't know. The last appeal was postponed many times. The Pakistani justice system is notoriously slow, for the most part.
"It could go fast, particularly if there was a perceived need to get the case out of the international public eye, as seems very much to have been the case with Rimsha, or if there is an assessment that a long time period would let her case drop off the international radar, then it could be dragged out and dragged out to try and let that happen.
Then it is up to all of us who know and care, to foil that little game; even if it means rallying outside every Pakistani Embassy and High Commission in the Western world, day in and day out, for months and even years, so as to keep this case - and the vile sharia-based Islamic Pakistani "blasphemy" "law" (or License to Lynch Non-Muslims) - in the public eye of the entire non-Muslim world. Let's refuse to shut up and go away. Let's embarrass the hell out of the Muslims; and embarrass the hell out of those who are appeasing them. Time for regular pray-ins on the front doorsteps of every Pakistani Embassy in Europe (and in Latin America) and every Pakistani High Commission in every last majority-Infidel Commonwealth Country. CM
"Rimsha was such a firestorm because of her age and apparent learning difficulties. Asia does not have that (she is a middle-aged matron - CM) but there is the inherent injustice, and the children - but then these are also usually factors in the other blasphemy victims that languish in effective anonymity".
Then let Asia Bibi, and before her Rimsha, stand for them all. - CM