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Friday, June 21
The Indiana Daily Student


Pakistan's ruling is wrong

The Lahore High Court of Pakistan has ruled against reason, decency and human compassion. It has chosen not to give amnesty to Asia Bibi.

In 2009, Asia Bibi was sentenced to death. Her crime? Blasphemy. She didn’t commit murder, rape or another heinous crime — she said a few words that insulted the prophet Muhammad.

But even still, as unworthy of capital punishment as it sounds, the crime in which she is accused of has been stretched out of proportion. She did not desecrate a holy place or provoke a hate crime — she just spoke her mind. She voiced her opinion.

According to reports by CNN and the Duetche Welle, a German news outlet, Asia Bibi, a mother of five, was working in a field. She was then asked to go get water for the group, presumably by her employers. Some of her fellow employees did not like the idea, and so they protested, and an exchange of words ensued.

Sounds common enough, nothing deserving of death yet — but just wait.

You see, Asia Bibi is not Muslim, and that posed a problem for her Muslim co-workers. They did not want to drink water that had been fetched by a non-Muslim. This frustrated Asia Bibi, understandably so, and in her frustration she insulted Islam and its prophet.

Since the 1980s, blasphemy, or in other words insulting the prophet Muhammad, is punishable by death in Pakistan. She was arrested and sentenced to death in accordance with this law.

This latest ruling was the denial of her appeal. And furthermore, from my standpoint, the denial of her dignity and the denial of their humanity. It is difficult to comprehend that such things still take place in our world — or maybe it’s not. We are constantly bombarded with news montages of cruel ?violence in the Middle East.

T his didn’t happen in the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. It happened in Pakistan — a country that according to the U.S. State Department has been a “Major Non-NATO alley” since 2004. It is a country that is a nuclear power and considered by many to be a stabilizing force in the region and an emerging economy.

Pakistan is wrong. And if this woman is executed, the entire world should see it as a human rights violation.

It should be seen as it truly is — the systematic persecution of religious minorities and the marginalization of all of those who harmlessly have different beliefs. As a citizen of this country, I am ashamed we count such a barbaric nation as an ally. It is not an ally. It is evil.

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