Pakistan’s Supreme Court hears Asia Bibi’s ‘blasphemy’ appeal but delays ruling

Aasiya Noreen, a Pakistani Christian woman, has been on death row for over eight years for alleged blasphemy. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Pakistan’s Supreme Court in the capital Islamabad has finally heard the much-delayed appeal of Asia Bibi, the first Christian woman sentenced to death under Pakistan’s blasphemy law, today, 8 October. It has not announced its decision, saying it will ‘reserve judgment’ for several days or possibly weeks. Aasiya Noreen, commonly . . . Read More

Blasphemers should be put to death, says one Pakistan party as elections near

Blasphemers should be put to death, says one Pakistan party as elections near
Ahead of Pakistan’s general elections later this month, the newly established Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) party is gaining traction with its anti-blasphemy agenda, Al-Jazeera reports. The party calls for blasphemers against Islam to be put to death and for those who kill alleged blasphemers to be celebrated. Its election posters often . . . Read More

Gunman shoots Pakistan minister over blasphemy law

Gunman shoots Pakistan minister over blasphemy law
Pakistan’s interior minister, who has championed the country’s minority communities, has survived an assassination attempt by a gunman protesting against the country’s blasphemy laws. Ahsan Iqbal was shot in the arm before police overpowered his suspected attacker, 21-year-old Abid Hussain, the BBC reported. Iqbal was shot on Sunday (6 May) . . . Read More

Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy protests showcase minorities’ plight

In November there were widespread anti-blasphemy protests in Islamabad and other cities in reaction to proposed changes to an election law. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Anti-blasphemy protests in Pakistan have once again highlighted the fragile position of the country’s religious minorities. Life in various parts of Pakistan virtually came to a halt on Saturday (25 November) after the police, paramilitary and other law enforcement agencies clashed with rioters in the capital, Islamabad, resulting in protests . . . Read More

70 years after Pakistan’s founding, what PM’s recent ousting means for minorities

70th Annual General Assembly DebateMuhammad Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan, addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventieth session.30 September 2015United Nations, New YorkPhoto # 646792UN Photo/Cia Pak
Pakistan celebrates its 70th birthday today (14 August). And there’s a new Prime Minister after Nawaz Sharif, founder of the largest political party, was disqualified by the apex court on 29 July on charges of not being “righteous” and “ameen”*. This Supreme Court decision about Sharif “will throw the governing . . . Read More

Who speaks for Islam in Pakistan – and where does that leave non-Muslims?

Who speaks for Islam in Pakistan – and where does that leave non-Muslims?
Last week, a Muslim student was killed by a mob after posting allegedly “blasphemous” content on social media. His murder was the latest in a long line of religiously motivated attacks in Pakistan, many of which were inspired by the country’s strict blasphemy laws. Below, World Watch Monitor takes a look at . . . Read More

Pakistani Christian accused of blasphemy after ripped Qur’an found outside home

Pakistani Christian accused of blasphemy after ripped Qur’an found outside home
A Pakistani Christian could face 10 years in jail or even the death sentence after torn pages from a copy of the Qur’an were found outside his home, with his name written on them. Babu Shahbaz Masih, 40, from the Kamahan district of Lahore, was arrested on 30 December after . . . Read More

Governor Taseer’s son accused of hate speech

The son of a senior politician murdered six years ago for criticising Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy law has been accused of committing “hate speech” for echoing the criticism. Shaan Taseer, son of the former Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, said the law was “inhumane” during a filmed Christmas message shared via social . . . Read More

Asia Bibi’s appeal delayed; 150 Islamic leaders call for her to hang, whatever the outcome

Asia Bibi’s appeal delayed; 150 Islamic leaders call for her to hang, whatever the outcome
After more than seven years in prison, the first Pakistani Christian woman to be sentenced to death for blasphemy has had her Supreme Court appeal delayed, amidst renewed Islamist calls for her to die. Aasiya Noreen, commonly known as Asia Bibi, in prison since the summer of 2009, was arrested . . . Read More

Pakistan’s Supreme Court makes landmark judgment

Pakistan’s Supreme Court makes landmark judgment
n Mumtaz Qadri was showered with rose petals by supporters for killing Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer over his criticism of the blasphemy laws.Getty Images In a landmark judgment on 7 October the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) upheld the death sentence of Malik Mumtaz Qadri, 30, who murdered the former . . . Read More