Asia Bibi Freed

By Richard Nelson

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November 9, 2018

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The Pakistani Supreme Court freed Asia Bibi, a Christian woman who was sentenced to death in 2010 for blasphemy. Protests erupted in the streets but the court found that the evidence wasn't sufficient.  The court said Bibi "appears to be a person, in the words of Shakespeare's King Lear, 'more sinned against than sinning.'" Yet many Pakistani's are openly calling for Bibi to be murdered which has led to several countries offering Bibi and her family asylum. Such hatred is hard to comprehend. The ruling the Pakistani Court handed down is significant in that in an age when mob demands threaten to derail civility, they stood on the side of justice. Pakistan may seem a world away but it brings our religious freedom and free speech rights into focus—rights that we too often take for granted here.

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Director, Commonwealth Policy Center