PM defers to UK’s Muslims, denies asylum to targeted Pakistani Christian woman

by WorldTribune Staff, November 26, 2018

British Prime Minister Theresa May has rejected a Pakistani Christian woman’s asylum request after being advised that the move would “stoke tensions” among the UK’s three million Muslims.

May refused to grant asylum to Asia Bibi, a Christian who has been hunted by Muslim lynch mobs since her death sentence in Pakistan for “blasphemy” was overturned.

A supreme court decision to acquit Asia Bibi prompted protests from in Pakistan. / AFP / Getty Images

Related: Husband of acquitted Pakistani Christian seeks asylum in West; Radical cleric threatens ‘war’, November 5, 2018

Wilson Chowdhry of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said: “Britain was concerned about potential unrest (in Pakistan), attacks on embassies and civilians. They have not offered automatic asylum, whereas several countries have now come forward. They won’t be coming to Britain. The family will definitely not be coming to Britain.”

It was reported that Bibi has been offered asylum by Australia.

In his letter of resignation last week, the UK Conservative Party’s now-former vice chairman Rehman Chishti emphasized that one of his reasons for stepping down was the “manner in which the Government has dealt with the case regarding Asia Bibi.”

“This is a case that I have worked on passionately since 2012 … to ensure that justice is done which was handed down by the Pakistan Supreme Court only recently,” he wrote. “What I found shocking, is that the British Government is failing to put into practice the core values that our country stands for; religious freedom, justice, morally doing the right thing, and that when we see injustice where an individual’s life is in clear danger and they have been persecuted for their faith, we do all we can to help them.”

According to reports, in 2010, a village imam in Pakistan declared Bibi, who refused to convert to Islam, had committed blasphemy by defiling the name of the Prophet Mohammed. A mob dragged her before a makeshift sharia court with a leather noose around her neck and beat her with sticks when she again refused to convert.

The mob then handed Bibi over to the authorities, who charged her and sentenced her to death by hanging after a 30-minute hearing.

After Bibi spent eight years on death row in solitary confinement, her conviction was overturned in a supreme court appeal.

The supreme court’s ruling set off a wave of protests by thousands of Muslims who demanded her execution. Lynch mobs have been hunting Bibi since she was released.

Two of Bibi’s political supporters, Punjab governor Salman Taseer and Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti, have been assassinated.

Bibi, a mother-of-five, remains hidden in Pakistan after Imran Khan’s government agreed to allow a petition against the court decision, as part of a deal to halt the protests.

The Daily Mail noted that while Britain denied asylum to a Pakistani Christian accused of “blasphemy,” it has given a home to “a host of hijackers, extremists and rapists”:

  • Iraqi teen Ahmed Hassan told immigration officers he’d been “trained to kill” by ISIS but was given a home in the UK and went on to set off the Parsons Green bomb.
  • Dejan Tolic was one of Serbia’s White Eagles, a paramilitary group linked to the massacre of Bosnian Muslims, but was allowed to stay in Britain.
  • Reshad Ahmadi was one of nine Afghans who hijacked a jet, forcing it to land at Stansted in 2000. After release from jail they were allowed to stay in the UK.
  • Joseph Lissa was branded a war criminal over his alleged involvement in killings and rape in Sierra Leone’s civil war but was allowed to stay in the UK.
  • Abu Qatada, said to be a key Osama bin Laden lieutenant, was granted asylum in 1994 and only returned to Jordan after an eight-year legal battle.

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