Asia Bibi, a Christian woman, has been sentenced to death under Pakistan's notorious blasphemy law for insulting Islam. She is now in prison. The law is often used to settle grudges, persecute minorities and fan rage of the Islamic devout.
The same thing is coming here. The recent cancellation of my event by a Houston hotel, and the subsequent cancellation of an anti-Sharia conference in Nashville represent the first stage of the application of Islamic blasphemy laws here in America. Where full-on Sharia is enforced, "blasphemers" get the death penalty. Here in America, your character is assassinated.
As part of my work to aid those whose lives are threatened for leaving Islam, I have been in touch with Asia through the Pakistani journalist and human rights activist Xavier William. William is the Regional Director in Islamabad of Life for All, which works for the human rights and education of Pakistani Christians. William recently visited Asia Bibi in prison and asked her questions I gave him. Here are her answers:
Pamela Geller: What happened when you were arrested?
Asia Bibi: When I was arrested, I was assaulted and harassed by the police. I was in a state of shock for many days. I fasted and prayed. My family has been in trouble; they have been moving one place to another. But I have forgiven the Muslims who put me and my family in this situation.
PG: How are you being treated?
AB: I live in a confined cell. I am allowed to go out for only 30 minutes every day, and allowed to meet my family for one hour every Tuesday. I am given raw material to cook for myself, since the administration fears I might be poisoned, as other Christians accused of blasphemy were poisoned or killed in the jail. The security on my duty is polite. Last week, a few hot words were exchanged with the warden over a minute issue, and she tried to strangle me. She has been suspended.PG: What are your expectations for the future?
AB: I pray and fast. I want to be with my family, hug my daughters, kiss them. I am waiting for a date from the Lahore High Court for the appeal regarding my death sentence. Life for All is supporting my family and has hired a lawyer for the case. A petition has been filed at the Lahore High Court asking them to accept the case for hearing. I am hopeful that I will be released, although there is a bounty of about $8,000 offered by the Islamic clerics to anyone who will kill me. I have left everything on God, I will accept His will.
PG: Do you have a message for the Christians of the U.S.?
AB: I request them to pray and do something for the Christians in Pakistan who are suffering and persecuted. There are many other Christians in jails who need help. The Christians in the U.S. can help the human rights organizations who fight for the persecuted, and become the voice of the voiceless.
PG: Is there any way Americans can help you?
AB: They can pray and ask their government and representatives to do something for the persecuted Christians.PG: What do you think of the Pakistani blasphemy law?
AB: Blasphemy law is a manmade law. It is being misused in Pakistan to settle personal vendettas, it should be repealed or at least amended. It has claimed so many innocent lives. I have also been falsely accused.
PG: What is the general situation of Christians in Pakistan?
AB: It's not very good. The Christians specially in the villages are living the worst life. They are mistreated, abused and framed for false cases, as they cannot afford to fight for their rights. The NGOs need support to help them; they are denied government jobs and not given respect. Only 10% of the Christians are able to get good jobs and are settled only because they are educated. The odd jobs in the country are reserved only for the Christians.
William also talked with Asia's daughters. Her daughter Alishba said, "We are praying and fasting for our mother so that she can be with us. I visit her with my father and each time I meet her, I can't stop myself, and tears pour out. My mother tries to hold my hand through the gaps between the grilled window and says, 'Have faith in the Lord, He will bring me home one day.' Every time I hear these words, I cry to the Lord to bring back my mother so that we can be with her again."
Asia's youngest daughter said: "It has been months since I last saw my mother. I am scared. I just see her pictures and can't control my tears. I fear that I will not be able to see my mother in the condition she is in. As I have the pleasant memories of her when she was with us, I cannot even imagine what she is going through. There are times I even lose all the hope of seeing her ever again, so I want to keep the memories of her smiling and playing with us. If she comes back to us, I will forget this whole thing as a bad dream."
If only it were.
Pamela Geller is the publisher of AtlasShrugs.com and the author of the WND Books title "Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance."