Aasia Bibi – the scandal of Western press coverage
Excerpt: Last week, Pakistan’s Supreme Court postponed hearing Aasia Bibi’s appeal against her death sentence for blasphemy. As soon as the court hearing commenced, one of the three judges excused himself on the grounds that he had judged the case of Mumtaz Qadri. Salman Taseer, a Muslim who was governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province, had been murdered by Qadri because he had supported Aasia Bibi and called for changes to Pakistan’s “blasphemy laws”. It is now likely to be several months before another judge is appointed to hear the case. Meanwhile Aasia Bibi has almost completed her sixth year on death row and is in her seventh year in prison. However, what is equally disturbing is the reporting of this case in much of the Western press. In some countries, major national newspapers and TV simply did not cover the story at all. In those which did, rather than explaining why Aasia Bibi and hundreds of other Christians have suffered under the “blasphemy laws”, some Western media twisted themselves in contortions to avoid making any link between Islam and Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code, which specifies a death penalty for defiling the name of Muhammad.