Blasphemy – WOMEN’S Case Examples – Global Laws
Author: Womens UN Report Network
Date: July 22, 2005
Full Article: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-26901433 –
5 March 2914
PAKISTANI COUPLE GET DEATH PENALTY
“Human rights groups say
blasphemy laws are often used to target minorities.”
PAKISTAN – ASIA BIBI BLASPHEMY CASE
March 26, 2014 – The Lahore High Court has, for the second time in two
weeks, delayed the first hearing on Asia Bibi’s appeal of her conviction for
blasphemy and the resulting death sentence.
A hearing last week was delayed because one of the two judges set to hear
the case was unable to be in court. Today the court convened once again, but
had to delay the proceedings when the attorney for the complainant was not
present in the court room. The judges waited ten minutes and then announced a
delay in the case.
In the case of Christian woman Asia Bibi, the complainant, or “counterparty,”
is Muslim mullah Qari Muhammed Sallam. Sallam is the man who submitted the
original complaint in the case on June 19, 2009. The complaint accused Asia
Bibi of speaking against the Islamic prophet, Mohammed, on June 14 of that
year. Asia Bibi’s lawyers told Agenzia Fides that they will point to
the five-day gap between the alleged statements and the complaint being filed
as evidence that the charges were fabricated.
Asia Bibi was sentenced to death on November 8, 2010. Her appeal, No. 2509,
was filed with the Lahore High Court on November 11, 2010.
Reportedly, April 14 was set for the next attempt to have this initial
Israel – Ramat Gan’s Chief Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, one of
most prominent Religious Zionism rabbis, rules women must not be allowed to
engage in biblical discourse during Shabbat prayers at synagogues
Kobi Nachshoni – November 26, 2013
…….Rabbi Ariel has strongly
slammed the phenomenon of women being called up to read from the Torah in
synagogues……..Rabbi Ariel said, “Throughout the entire prayer men and
women must be separated.” He stressed that “there is no room for a
biblical discourse by women in the middle of the prayer, even if they are
dressed modestly, and all the more so when their clothes and appearance are
immodest. This is blasphemy.”…….
—– Original Message —–
From: Lois A. Herman
To: WUNRN ListServe
Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2014 5:35 PM
Subject: Blasphemy – Pending Pakistan Death Penalty – Global Laws –
Poised to Make Death Penalty Compulsory for ‘Blasphemy’
Via AHRC – Asian Human Rights
Commission – January 5, 2014
Pakistan – Update – Pending Aasia Bibi
……People seem to have forgotten Aasia Bibi while she languishes in one
jail or the other for the last four and a half years. Her appeal for review of
her death conviction remains pending before the Lahore High Court. In June
2009, Aasia Bibi was asked by her co-workers to fetch water while working on a
farm in Lahore’s outskirts. Some of the Muslim women are said to have refused
to drink it because they considered the utensil “unclean” after being touched
by a Christian woman. An argument ensued where Bibi allegedly uttered
derogatory remarks about Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). A few days later Bibi was
charged of blasphemy and arrested from arrested in Ittanwalai village.
Bibi, a blasphemy accused under Section 295-C of Pakistan Penal Code, was
sentenced to death by a local court in December 2009.
Under the blasphemy laws, a high court must confirm a death sentence from a
lower court. Due to this legal procedure, many of those who are convicted
remain on death row for years…….
—– Original Message —–
To: WUNRN ListServe
Sent: Friday, June 21, 2013 7:22 AM
Subject: Blasphemy – Laws that Penalize – Women, Girls, & Rights
BLASPHEMY – LAWS THAT PENALIZE –
WOMEN, GIRLS, & RIGHTS
Pew Research Center: The Pew Forum
on Religion & Public Life
Laws Penalizing Blasphemy, Apostasy
and Defamation of Religion are Widespread
Several recent incidents have drawn international attention to laws and
policies prohibiting blasphemy – remarks or actions considered to be
contemptuous of God or the divine. In a highly publicized case last summer, for
example, a 14-year-old Christian girl in Pakistan was arrested and detained for several weeks after she was
accused of burning pages from the Quran.1 In neighboring India,
a man reputed to be a religious skeptic is facing blasphemy charges because he
claimed a statue of Jesus venerated by Mumbai’s Catholic community for its
miraculous qualities is a fake.2 The man reportedly is staying in Europe to
avoid prosecution.3 In Greece,
a man was arrested and charged with blasphemy after he posted satirical references
to an Orthodox Christian monk on Facebook.4
Pakistan, India and Greece are not alone in actively pursuing blasphemy prosecutions.
A new analysis by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life
finds that as of 2011 nearly half of the countries and territories in the world
(47%) have laws or policies that penalize blasphemy, apostasy (abandoning one’s
faith) or defamation (disparagement or criticism of particular religions or
religion in general). Of the 198 countries studied, 32 (16%) have
anti-blasphemy laws, 20 (10%) have laws penalizing apostasy and 87 (44%) have
laws against the defamation of religion, including hate speech against members
of religious groups.
As an extension of
its continuing research on restrictions on religion around the world, the Pew
Forum counted and categorized (“coded”) reports of the presence of these laws
in 2011.5 The coding relied on 19 widely cited, publicly available sources from
groups such as the U.S. State Department, the United Nations, Human Rights
Watch, Amnesty International and the International Crisis Group.6 Although it is possible that more laws penalizing blasphemy, apostasy
or defamation of religion exist than are reported by the 19 primary sources,
taken together the sources are sufficiently comprehensive to provide a good
estimate of the presence of these laws in almost all countries.7
This is the second time the Pew Forum has analyzed laws against
blasphemy, apostasy and defamation of religion as part of its ongoing study of
global restrictions on religion.8 However, the original study, which covered the period from mid-2006 to
mid-2009, looked only at the number of countries that had laws against
blasphemy, apostasy or defamation; it did not look at each type of law
separately. In addition, the first study did not include hate speech laws. By
contrast, this analysis uses a broader definition of defamation that includes
laws against hate speech aimed at religious groups. Laws against the defamation
of religion and religious hate speech overlap to some extent, but, in general,
defamation refers to the disparagement or criticism of a religion while
hate speech refers to words or actions that vilify, disparage or intimidate a
person or group based on religion.
The previous study found that countries that have laws against blasphemy, apostasy or
defamation also are more likely to have high government restrictions on
religion or high social hostilities involving religion than countries that do
not have such laws. This does not mean that laws against blasphemy, apostasy
and defamation of religion necessarily cause higher restrictions on religion.
But they do suggest that the two phenomena often go hand-in-hand: countries
with laws against blasphemy, apostasy or defamation of religion also tend to
have higher government restrictions on religion and higher social hostilities
In calendar year 2011, a total of 32 countries (16%) had laws penalizing
blasphemy (remarks or actions considered to be contemptuous of God).
Anti-blasphemy laws are particularly common in the Middle East and North Africa;
13 of the 20 countries in that region (65%) make blasphemy a crime. In the
Asia-Pacific region, nine of the 50 countries (18%) had anti-blasphemy laws in
2011, while in Europe such laws were found in eight out of 45 countries (18%).
Just two of the 48 countries in sub-Saharan Africa – Nigeria and Somalia – had such laws as of 2011. (See table for a list of
countries in each region that had anti-blasphemy laws.)
In 2011, a total of 20 countries across the globe prohibited apostasy
(abandoning one’s faith, including by converting to another religion). Such
measures were in effect in more than half the countries in the Middle
East-North Africa region (11 of 20, or 55%) as well as in five of the 50
countries in the Asia-Pacific region (10%) and four of the 48 countries in
sub-Saharan Africa (8%). Laws against apostasy were not present in any country
in Europe or the Americas.
defamation of religion were far more common worldwide than laws against
blasphemy and apostasy. As of 2011, 87 countries (44%) had a law, rule or
policy at some level of government forbidding defamation of religion or hate
speech against members of religious groups.
Laws against the
defamation of religion were most common in Europe, where
36 of the region’s 45 countries (80%) had such laws or policies in 2011. In
most of these countries, these laws tended to penalize religious hate speech
rather than defamation of religion. In the Middle East and North Africa,
by contrast,15 of the 20 countries (75%) had such laws and most tended to
penalize defamation of religion while relatively few penalized religious hate
speech directed at specific persons or groups.
In the three other
major geographic regions covered in this analysis, a third or fewer countries
had laws against the defamation of religion, including religious hate speech.
Such laws were found in 17 of the 50 countries in the Asia-Pacific region
(34%), 13 of the 48 countries in sub-Saharan Africa (27%) and six of the 35
countries in the Americas (17%), including Brazil
analysis was written by Brian J. Grim, Senior Researcher and Director of
Cross-National Data, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. Research
assistance was provided by Angelina Theodorou, Research Assistant, Pew Forum on
Religion & Public Life.
1 The girl was released after an imam at a local mosque was accused of
planting evidence against her. See “Bail Allowed for Christian Girl Accused of
Blasphemy in Pakistan,” The Washington Post, Sept. 7, 2012, http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/bail-allowed-for-christian-girl-accused-of-blasphemy-in-pakistan/2012/09/07/abcc51be-f8d7-11e1-a073-78d05495927c_story.html. On Nov. 20, 2012, a Pakistani court ordered all charges against the
girl dropped. See “High Court Rejects Case Against Girl in Pakistan,” The New York Times, Nov. 20, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/21/world/asia/pakistan-court-orders-blasphemy-charges-against-christian-girl-dropped.html. (return to text)
2 See “Christ Statue in Mumbai Prompts Blasphemy Spat,” The Wall Street
Journal, May 15, 2012, http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2012/05/15/religion-journal-christ-statue-in-mumbai-prompts-blasphemy-spat/. (return to text)
3 See Friendly Atheist, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/06/19/an-update-on-sanal-edamaruku/; New Humanist Blog, http://blog.newhumanist.org.uk/2012/11/sanal-edamaruku-event-in-london-21_12.html; Free Thought Blogs, http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/11/19/where-is-sanal-edamaruku-now/comment-page-1/. (return to text)
4 See “Blasphemy in Democracy’s Birthplace? Greece Arrests Facebook
User,” The Christian Science Monitor, Oct. 2, 2012, http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2012/1002/Blasphemy-in-democracy-s-birthplace-Greece-arrests-Facebook-user. (return to text)
5 The Pew Forum’s latest findings on global restrictions on religion can
be found in its September 2012 report “Rising Tide of Restrictions on
Religion,” http://www.pewforum.org/Government/Rising-Tide-of-Restrictions-on-Religion.aspx. (return to text)
6 For a full list of sources, see Appendix 1: Methodology of “Rising
Tide of Restrictions on Religion,” http://www.pewforum.org/Government/Rising-Tide-of-Restrictions-on-Religion-methodology.aspx#info. (return to text)
7 Although the sources used for this study did not indicate that the U.S.
had blasphemy laws in 2011, several U.S.
states, including Massachusetts, Michigan and Oklahoma, still had anti-blasphemy laws on the books. (return to text)
8 See the Laws Against Blasphemy, Apostasy and Defamation section of the
Pew Forum’s 2011 report “Rising Restrictions on Religion,” http://www.pewforum.org/Government/Rising-Restrictions-on-Religion(6).aspx. (return to text)
Photo Credit: ©
in Egypt Sentenced for ‘Defaming’ Islam
beyond ability to pay; civil trial looms
Morning Star News (11.06.2013) – A judge
in Upper Egypt found a Christian teacher guilty of defaming Islam today and
levied a massive fine against her after prohibiting her lawyers from presenting
a single witness during the trial.
Dimyana Obeid Abd Al-Nour escaped jail
time, but she was fined 100,000 Egyptian pounds (US$14,270), far beyond her
ability to pay.
She is on the verge of a nervous
breakdown, her father, Ebed Abd Al-Nour, told Morning Star News. He said his
daughter did nothing wrong.
“I am very upset right now by the
sentence,” he said. “My daughter is innocent and should not have been
given such a sentence.”
He then became overcome with emotion and
declined to comment further.