With all of the criticism of asylum cases at the border, it is easy to forget that there are many worthy applicants for asylum and one that should get priority view is Asia Bibi and her family. After the Pakistani Supreme Court overturned her abusive death sentence for blasphemy, Muslims violently rioted demanding the reimposition of the sentence. Asia Bibi was originally given a death sentence for insulting Mohammad.
The incident leading to the charge began when Bibi fetched water as a farmhand and offered it to other women. The Muslim women refused because it had been touched by a Christian (Bibi) and thus “polluted.” Later a mob tried to beat her to death and she was rescued by police, who then charged her with blasphemy after the same women accused her of saying bad things about the Prophet Mohammed.
The Supreme Court ruled that the evidence used against her was highly dubious. She spent eight years under the death sentence but Muslims are demanding that she either return to death row or be executed outright.
Her husband Ashiq Masih is calling for asylum and the United States should grant it.
While the Supreme Court brought a modicum of integrity to their much maligned court system, the government has already yielded to the mob. Authorities promised the hardline Tehreek-i-Labaik (TLP) party that they will start proceedings to bar her from leaving the country.
Since 1990, at least 65 people have reportedly been killed in Pakistan over claims of blasphemy.
There could not be a stronger case of persecution or abuse. The United States should send a message to Pakistan and others that we stand by free speech and free exercise.