Even as Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani (picture, left), was declaring his nation’s harsh blasphemy laws to be “categorically excluded” from any possibility of reform, those very laws were allegedly being used once again to persecute a Christian woman for the sake of private gain.
The Pakistan Christian Post reports that on February 16, Agnes Nuggo was accused of blasphemy after Muslims took an interest in her property:
Agnes Nuggo wife of Bashir Masih resident of Ibnne-e-Marriam Colony, Faisalabad, had a dispute on plot of land on which Muslims had also an eye and wanted to grab that valuable piece of land.
When Muslims failed to acquire plot from Agnes … they filed a complaint against her on defiling Islam in Saddar Police Station, Faisalabad. Agnes … was arrested under Section 295 A PPC under FIR No. 136/11, on complain[t] of Mohammad Adress Gujjar son of Mohammad Yousaf, resident of Chak No. 225?RB, Nazir Colony, Faisalabad.
The case of Asia Bibi drew attention to Pakistan’s blasphemy law, which — in keeping with the harsh tenets of the Koran — decrees death for those whom Muslims deem guilty of blasphemy against Allah or Mohammed. Several prominent political officials in Pakistan believed the case against Asia Bibi was fabricated, and that the sentence was unreasonable even for a person found guilty of blasphemy. However, when Punjab’s Governor, Salman Taseer, was assassinated because he sought clemency for Asia Bibi, and Sherry Rehman (a prominent member of the Pakistani parliment) was essentially abandoned by her own political party for trying to reform the law, many of the voices raised against the blasphemy law were intimidated into silence. (In fact, Rehman has now been threatened with the possibility of facing charges of blasphemy.)
Prime Minister Gilani stifled most hope for changing the brutal law when he declared the blasphemy law to be “categorically excluded” from reform; Christians such as Agnes Nuggo and Asia Bibi will continue to be persecuted at will for supposedly blaspheming against a religion in which they have never believed, and against Mohammed, the so-called “prophet,” who preached violent jihad against anyone who opposed his teachings.
The prominent cases of Asia Bibi and Agnes Nuggo are simply a small part of a much larger whole. Muslims use their “blasphemy” laws against one another as well: For example, in 2009, Muslim clerics in Afghanistan deemed a translation of the Koran to be in error, and as a result, several men were sentenced to 20 years in prison for making the translation, and then distributing copies of the text — a “modest” sentence, since there were calls at the time for them to be put to death.
It is utterly beyond the realm of possibility that governments under the sway of Islamic law will ever permit an honest examination of the life of Mohammed who, if he lived today, would be subject to arrest for mass murder and pedophilia, among his other crimes.
The cases of persecution which manage to gain the attention of the West point to the more systematic harassment which Christians routinely face living in Islamic nations. A report from Agenzia Fides, the Vatican’s news agency, while discussing the persecution of Asia Bibi and Agnes Nuggo, gives some perspective on the plight of Christians living in Pakistan:
Fr. Pascal Paulus, a Dominican priest in the Waris Pura area, told Fides that “the situation is critical for us Christians. We need to be very careful. The Islamic radicals want to exploit these cases to attack the Christian minorities. We are exposed to spurious attacks, which have already been happening.”
Haroon Barket Masih, from the Masihi Foundation which is looking after Asia Bibi’s case told Fides: “She is a new Asia Bibi. Agnes’ case is one of many cases of persecution that continue to occur. Most of the episodes don’t leave a trace and do not reach the clamour of the spotlight. Only when the victims’ families trust in the Churches, foundations and NGOs, then the injustices come to light. Families often keep silent for fear of retaliation. And institutions are absent: in this situation, what can Christians do?”
Rosemary Noel, head of the Pakistan Catholic Women’s Organisation tells Fides: “Being a Christian woman in Pakistan is a dual challenge. Even the status of women is itself exposed to discrimination, violence and abuse. Women struggle to gain access to education and the world of work. Those Christians are doubly discriminated against. They are considered as objects by Muslims and suffer all sorts of abuse and injustice to general indifference.”
The pattern of murders and bombings throughout the Islamic world this past Christmas gave a sense of the plight of those Christians who still try to follow their faith while remaining in their homelands. The combination of a 1,400-year history of genocide and rapine joined with the pernicious influence of the Socialist International has formed a toxic combination which has already hurled several nations into chaos. To see the goal of those who are engineering the current uprisings as a step toward reestablishing a caliphate, one need only examine the past and present history of the systematic persecution practiced under Islam to see the future which the alliance of radical Islam and Socialism portends.