Human Rights, Top Stories

The Betrayal of Asia Bibi

Among the string of resignations triggered by the draft Brexit agreement with the European Union (EU), one stood out. In a double whammy for an embattled Prime Minister, Rehman Chishti the MP for Gillingham and Rainham resigned as both Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party as well as the PM’s Trade Envoy to Pakistan. Aside from citing Theresa May’s shambolic handling of Brexit negotiations, Chishti said the British government’s failure to give Asia Bibi asylum had been a motivating factor in his decision.

Bibi’s case is a cause célèbre. She is a Christian who had been languishing on death row for nine years in Pakistan for blasphemy charges. To Christians worldwide, Bibi is a symbol of fortitude, faith, and unflinching commitment. After all, a conversion to Islam would have exonerated her, but she refused to recant her faith. She was imprisoned after fetching drinking water for fellow berry pickers on a Punjab farm in Pakistan in 2009. Her Muslim co-workers accused her of contaminating the water, because she was Christian. Following a verbal dispute, a complaint was lodged with a local Imam, alleging that Bibi had blasphemed against the Prophet—a capital offense under sections 295B/295C of the Pakistan Penal Code, introduced under the military regime of General Zia-ul-Haq. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of Pakistan acquitted her of the charges and said the accusations levelled against her were “concoction incarnate.”

Regardless of the Supreme Court decision, Muslim extremists believe Bibi must still be executed. They staged mass protests in major cities like Islamabad and Karachi threatening to kill the judges who acquitted her. A cursory look online reveals a palpable sense of anger among a section of Pakistan’s public with a petition entitled: “#Hang_Asia_Msih No Compromise on dignity of MUHAMMAD SAWW; We Support Khadim Hussain Rizvi.” Others have dedicated a song against Bibi, and uploaded it to YouTube, the lyrics of which roughly translate from Punjabi to “Don’t give electricity, don’t give water, just hang Asia.” This poisonous indoctrination is seemingly infiltrating more impressionable minds too—another video on YouTube rather depressingly shows children with a doll revelling in a mock execution of Bibi. There’s a fear that Pakistan’s Christian communities will now be targeted by Islamists in retribution for Bibi’s acquittal, and have requested the Pakistani authorities “beef up” security with military assistance to protect churches and properties.

In order to placate Islamists, who care little for secular law, Imran Khan’s government decided to prevent Bibi’s exit from Pakistan, until a petition from the Islamist group Tehreek-e-Labaaik can be reviewed by the Supreme Court. Cognisant of the ongoing danger to him and his family, Asia Bibi’s husband Ashiq Masih made a desperate video plea requesting Theresa May and Donald Trump “support and help to remove [us] from Pakistan in [a] safe place.” Having already survived attempts on his life, Saif Mulook, Bibi’s lawyer, managed to flee to Holland. However, despite this plea, Britain’s diplomats decided against granting Bibi asylum.

Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, told the Huffington Post that, “I’ve been lead to believe that the UK government had concerns that her moving to the UK would cause security concerns and unrest among certain sections of the community and would also be a security threat to British embassies abroad which might be targeted by Islamist terrorists.” The Foreign Office later admitted that fear of attacks on consulate staff influenced the decision not to grant asylum. So, hordes of angry men calling for murder and mayhem appear to have succeeded in making, not one, but two governments capitulate to their indignant demands. The battle of barbarism versus civilisation, isn’t going well for the civilised.

In his letter of resignation Chishti 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 that we can to help them.” Chishti is principled and right—Bibi’s case is a watershed moment—Britain has tragically lost her moral compass by implementing a policy of appeasement.

In fact, it’s hard to think of a more deserving recipient of asylum than Bibi, especially considering a recent Times report confirming scores of ISIS brides will be returning to our shores from Syria to enjoy all the trimmings of citizenship, which they readily rejected when joining the madness of an infidel slaying, sex-slavery promoting, and sharia enforcing caliphate. Would their return to Britain not cause “unrest among certain sections of the community”? Why is it okay to bring them back, but not give Bibi refuge? Perhaps Britain’s ruling class are only concerned about the reaction of communities who share the abhorrent views of Islamists in Pakistan? Most members of British society would prefer not to live next door to a former ISIS bride, but clearly the government cares little for the concerns of ordinary folk, including most British Muslims, when it comes to their return. It’s sobering to realise that a nation which has only just commemorated the centenary of the Great War, and its historical sacrifice against the forces of tyranny and evil, is no longer a country which readily offers sanctuary to those escaping religious persecution overseas. While Britain drags its feet, at least Canada has stepped up to help, with Prime Minister Trudeau confirming that “we are discussions with the Pakistani government.”

Asia Bibi’s daughter, Eisham Ashiq at NGO CitizenGo’s conference in 2015.

Of course, we should equally not underestimate the threat of violence that is especially linked to blasphemy cases, and the potential repercussions here in Britain. In Pakistan, two prominent politicians who dared support Bibi during her incarceration were murdered. Minorities Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti was shot dead in Islamabad in 2011 and, in the same year, the former Governor of Punjab, Salmaan Taseer was assassinated by a man charged with his security. The assassin Mumtaz Qadri, who was executed in 2016, has been hailed by some as Shaheed or martyr. We cannot deny that the ripples of such religious intolerance now extend across the globe—Qadri is reported to be an inspiration behind the murder of a Glaswegian shopkeeper Asad Shah, an Ahmadi who claimed to be a prophet on YouTube videos. His killer Tanveer Ahmed travelled from Bradford to Scotland, believing Shah’s blasphemous claims deserved punishment. This incident—along with the legacy of the 1989 Rushdie affair, the assassination of Theo Van Gogh, and the Charlie Hebdo murders, all essentially enforcements of a de facto blasphemy law through the barrel of a gun—are a constant reminder to the West that we are not immune to doctrinally inspired violent extremism on our streets. It is our new reality.

However, we must not allow fear to dictate policy, otherwise we are emboldening those who hate our way of life and our very existence. Bibi’s human rights must surely come first and, as Chishti asserts, Britain has a moral responsibility stand up for “core values” of religious freedom and justice. Moreover, as Douglas Murray points out in the Spectator, Bibi’s treatment makes a mockery of the British asylum system. It’s absurd that those who have defended the Iranian regime’s calls for Rushdie’s death are comfortably residing in Britain, while Bibi and her family have not been given immediate refuge.

Chowdhry has received threats for lobbying for Bibi’s safe passage to the West. He has been accused by hard-line Muslims of making up accounts about the British government’s decision not to grant Bibi asylum, despite having an email from an All Party Parliamentary Group secretary confirming the position. “This is a historic capitulation by our Home Office and Foreign Office which sends the wrong message to extremists,” Chowdhry said. “It seems our nation has been hijacked by the extremists and I am sure many Muslims living here will be just as disappointed as people of other faiths with this diabolical position.” He went on, “Jihadi brides and ex-ISIS soldiers are permitted re-entry into Britain despite treasonous behaviour and given rehabilitation, but Asia Bibi an innocent Christian is not?”

Other prominent British Christians share his concerns. Last month, Lord Alton, a veteran Catholic parliamentarian, travelled to Islamabad to meet Chief Justice Saqib Nasir, one of three judges who subsequently acquitted Bibi. He told me, “Asia Bibi is in mortal danger. Pakistan’s highest court has exonerated her and said that she has been wrongly imprisoned for nine years, under the sentence of death. But now her life hangs by a thread as lynch mobs demand her execution and that of the Judges who courageously vindicated her. This is no idle threat.”

“They murdered the Minister, Shahbaz Bhatti and the Punjab Governor, Salmaan Taseer, who had insisted on her innocence,” he added. “Britain needs to do two things. First, offer Asia Bibi sanctuary here; and second, until they uphold the rule of law and protect the country’s minorities, we should redirect the £380,000 we give every day to Pakistan—£2.8 billion over the past two decades—to more worthy recipients. Our failure to speak or act has been shameful.”

 

Hardeep Singh is a freelance journalist, Press Officer for the Network of Sikh Organisations, and Assistant Editor of the Sikh Messenger. He has written for the Telegraph, the Telegraph Magazine, the Spectator, the Guardian, the Independent, and Index on Censorship. You can follow him on Twitter @Singhtwo2

93 Comments

  1. Great article. Shouldn’t concern about potential unrest in certain communities in a Democratic country for giving a clearly innocent, dangerously persecuted person asylum give all of us pause? Should we NOT look at LEGAL immigration policy that allows people with such dangerously illiberal beliefs into a countries that supposedly value true equality, religious freedom and wisdom? England, like many other Western European Countries, have brought this on themselves because they’re too damn scared to talk about the dangers of mass Muslim immigration because of the accompanying false smears of ‘racism’ and ‘Islamophobia’ that accompany such pronouncements. (If you have an issue what what I’ve just written, you’re either clearly indoctrinated, naive or more concerned with looking morally righteous than being HONEST and truthful).

    • Gail Topher says

      Here’s something I notice:

      I don’t hear any of the habitually shrieking Women’s March and poundMe2 harridans in the USA calling to protect Asia Bibi. Radio silence. You could hear a cricket fart.

      These crusaders, who cry bloody murder if a man somewhere grabs boob one time, won’t get involved as a woman has been locked up for a decade and threatened with lynching?

      Where are the Hollywood actresses demanding her transportation to the states? Why isn’t Chelsea Handler taking off her clothes and posting Twitter pictures of her sagging backside to protest this injustice?

      It can’t be that they are afraid of the followers of The Profit. Islam is, as everyone well knows, a religion of peace.

      I have a pretty high tolerance for hypocrisy, but this craven behavior makes me want to shove their pussy hats up their pussies and point out that any soul they might once have had has evaporated.

      • Aerth says

        Feminists are already in the process of excommunication from the Left because of conflict with trans ideology, surely they won’t fuel the flames more by going against another “oppressed” minority.

        Which, of course, makes them nothing but spineless cowards.

      • Sandra says

        @ Gail Topher
        Third-wave feminism is about power. It doesn’t give a hoot about suffering women.

      • Grover says

        @Gail Topher, yes, the silence of the Great Feminist Hoards and the Righteous in Hollywood makes them seem rather mercenary.

        “Cognisant of the ongoing danger to him and his family, Asia Bibi’s husband Ashiq Masih made a desperate video plea requesting Theresa May and Donald Trump…”

        And I suspect the silence (so far) of Donald John Trump and Sec. State Pompeo is calculated, but in a different way. I’m speculating, but I think Trump and Co. realize that an offer of asylum from the US would do more harm than good for Bibi and get everybody enmeshed in a nasty game.

        If the US government made such an offer, it would turn Bibi into a political football, and the play is well established: Turkey used the prosecution and detention of that American pastor as a lever against Trump for a long time. Trump had to fight and make concessions to get him released.

        If the US offered asylum, Bibi might immediately find herself re-arrested on a pretense and used as a bargaining chip by the Pakistani government for who-knows-how-long, probably with the implicit demand for a resumption of foreign aid as the price for her release.

        • Grover you’re right about Trump. He’s just cut off aid to the pakistanis. It’s bad timing but I still feel he should do something. Rand Paul is the only one pushing the issue.

    • Sandra says

      This is submission par excellence. It is Islam incarnate.
      This battle has been lost before it was even waged: revisit the ineffectual European response to the Khomeini fatwa, consider the events surrounding the Muhammad Danish cartoons, the slaughter of the Charlie Hebdo staff, linger at the 9/11 posturing that “Islam is a religion of peace”, pay attention to the inane defense proffered on behalf of immigrants who rape European women, read about the Rotherham Pakistani grooming gangs and the conspiracy of silence, and you would have to conclude that submission was the default response. It still is.
      But after years of following these events and reading some excellent theories and analyses, I have yet to find a satisfactory explanation for the cultural self-immolation of the West.
      Simply put, it does not make sense.

      • James Lee says

        Sandra, I hear you.

        My best guess as to an explanation is that we are seeing a reaction to WW2 and the holocaust, accompanied by historically longstanding traits of Catholic guilt transferred from original sin to original “whiteness”, the lack of a cohesive culture in the wake of the weakening of Christianity in response to the scientific revolution, the resultant lack of an overarching system of personal meaning, the rise of nihilism and the grasping toward ideology in general as a tree branch to provide meaning and narrative structure to individual lives (the hero protecting the underdog against evil forces). I’m sure we could add many, many additional factors.

        And the current self-inflicted implosion would be impossible without an unprecedented low degree of survival threat. I don’t think we moderns have a good understanding of just how rare the last 50 years have been relative to the prior 1 million years of hominid evolution.

        • Sandra says

          Thank you, James. i thought of all the possible explanations you mention. Pascal Bruckner has a good thesis on the tyranny of guilt, and Paul Bearman – along with Jeffrey Herf – have documented the apathy of Western intellectuals. And yes, the erosion of Christian morals has had a significant effect, along with the stubborn refusal of Marxism to throw in the towel in the face of mounting empirical evidence of its nefarious consequences on humanity.
          But I’ve had a lingering suspicion all this time:
          I began to study closely the commonalities between the Left (in general) and Islam. They are, by their respective natures, defining creeds, and stated goals, metaphysically incompatible. However, they are powerfully joined by their shared hatred of one common enemy, the Jew, and, by extension, the very existence of Israel.
          And the more I look into it, the more I am convinced that if you take the Jew / Israel out of the equation, you will have no equation left.

          • James Lee says

            Hi Sandra,

            I do see antipathy by many on the left towards Israel, but I don’t see it toward Jews, at least in the U.S. Most American Jews are on the left.

            Perhaps in Jeremy Corbin’s Labor Party there is some direct antisemitism (I haven’t studied that situation).

            I see the left’s hatred towards Israel as a reaction to what they perceive as the oppression of the victim group of Palestinians. As you know, in their metaphysics, victim groups possess the highest moral status. Also, everyone knows that as a group, Jews are quite successful. The far left generally dislikes successful groups, especially groups that have been persecuted and therefore aren’t supposed to be successful according to their theory of reality. If you are successful, that means you must be oppressing others somehow, some way. It’s a zero sum game.

            So, they want to ignore Asians and Jews, and when they do actively discriminate against them (like at Harvard etc.) they try to do it quietly.

            I also think the Left thinks the Right hates Islam, and therefore is following the old principle of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” The modern Western Left, up to this point, has not attacked all religions, unlike the Communists.

            Also, Islamic immigrants to the West check 3 boxes of virtue– immigrants, non-white, and from a perceived “victim religion”.

            However, no way does this alliance last more than 30 years. The rapid growth of Islam in the West will very likely hasten the collapse of the Intersectional religion, and will take out much of the foundation of Liberalism itself, at least what’s left of it.

          • augustine says

            Lawrence Auster has written about this odd suicidal Western liberal unresistance to the advance of Islam.

            If Europeans cannot muster the will to have more babies [which, as I’ve shown, won’t solve the Muslim problem) or to reject PC [which also won’t solve the Muslim problem, since the problem is the Muslim problem, not PC], then the only thing left for Europeans to think about is how they are going to pass on what’s left of their civilization to the Muslims.

            http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/004833.html

            Are liberals capable of writing on this subject, given their universal enshrining of the Other?

      • J north says

        My reply saying “extremely
        Well said ” was in reply to Sandra in case it wasnt obvious

  2. ADM64 says

    The elements of the community whom the British authorities fear are Muslims. What does this say about the success of assimilation and the claims that immigration is everywhere a benefit (and that all immigrants want the same thing as everyone else)? What does it say about the commonality of values between Islam and the West?

    • It means Trump is correct. In the long run, the only question which remains to be answered is do enough people have the will to fight for enlightenment/ Judeo Christian values.

      • Ray Andrews says

        @Vicki Heal

        It is a sad thing that we have only Trump and ‘the far right’ to take a stand on this. If it is only ‘extremists’ who are willing do defend civilization, then I guess I’m an extremist.

    • Aerth says

      There was a country named Yugoslavia, a boiling pot of multiculturarism. It ended up being dismantled and replaced with several smaller, independent countries.

      Why Western Europe didn’t learn from this experience and wants to be turned into such pots – is beyond me.

    • Sandra says

      @ ADM64
      “What does it say about the commonality of values between Islam and the West?”
      There is no such thing as commonality of values between Islam and the West.
      Not only are Islam and the West incompatible, what is lost on the vast majority of people is that Islam is only compatible with itself!

      • Sandra, Islam is not even compatible with itself, hence Sunnis, Shias, Sufis etc; and the reason they are always at loggerheads with each other. There are some sects which are more peaceful but, they are not the Sunnis or Shias!

        • Sandra says

          Gwyn, I can’t argue against the existence of the various and conflicting strains of Islam. But my focus is Sunni orthodoxy. It is mainstream, the vast majority of Muslims adhere to it, as does the vast majority of Muslims who resides in Europe, and it has many “Vaticans” in the form of Al Azhar, Mecca, Deoband, Jakarta, etc.
          with no official central authority. As for the peaceful sects, they are, alas, a pitiful minority.

  3. Farris says

    “Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs.”
    Sir Charles James Napier

    Oh how much Britain has strayed.

    • dellingdog says

      So you’re looking back with fondness to the “good old days” of British imperialism? Make the U.K. Great Again!

      • Farris says

        I would be willing to bet you reside in a country that owes its prosperity to British imperialism. What can’t be demonstrated is where some of those countries would be today without the Brits. Were the Brits perfect? Far from it. From the Magna Carta to the defeat of the Nazis, I would say the Brits have done alright.

      • Peter from Oz says

        I’m sure that many Indian widows were very happy about British Imperialism.
        But seriously, just because Britain was culturally sure of itself when it was the imperial power, does not make cultural strength a bad thing.

        Like most Americans, you probably have no idea about the Commonwealth. Britain’s role as the leader of the Commonwealth means that it should step in in cases like this.

      • Umpire Steak says

        @dellingdog

        During the good old days (no irony quotes) and imperialism, Russia wouldn’t dream of strolling in and murdering people on British soil when they felt like it, nor would Britain cower at the threat of destabilization from The Armpit of Asia. An empire that kicked in doors and assholes took care of business and make it known that nobody fucked with Dad without getting their ticket ripped.

        A firm hand is nothing to sneer at. Being small and weak sucks. The UK may find out how much sooner than later.

      • Evander says

        @dellingdog

        More than once you’ve disclosed the fact that you teach philosophy and ethics at a Community College. Are you familiar with the concept of ‘charitable interpretation’? It’s where you interpret another’s, even an opponent’s statements in the fairest possible way.

        Do you think Farris’ remarks were an endorsement of English colonialism?

        Do you assume that he endorses simplistic sloganeering of the kind you exampled?

        Don’t you realise you’ve just straw-manned his views?

        Farris seems to want a Britain that stands for what is right and will exert its power to achieve that, damn the cost: an anti-widow-burning Britain then and an anti-murder-of-innocent-minorities Britain now.

        Your philosophical and ethical standing on this platform just took a serious hit.

        • But, Evander, d.dog somehow was right, the courageous and wise Salomon stance of Sir Napier was only possible in a colonial setting, one political system superior to another, patriarchy, the oppressed had no way out anymore (otherwise hanged by police force of the oppressor). However, in that particular case, superiority was something good, of course, and not ony for that case, also for so many other widows, women and the civilisation process in general. Those times are over now, that may be clear.

          • Evander says

            @dirk

            Yes, in that instance, the erasure of an abhorrent custom was only possible because of the lopsided power relations then between coloniser and colonised.

            But I took Farris’ comment of Britain ‘straying’ to be cultural, and not a sigh over lost empire. (Maybe the distinction seems a Jesuitical nicety.) Britain has influence that it should use: if the threat in Pakistan and at home is credible, evacuate the consul, threaten to remove aid, and prepare a strategy on the home front for local resistance. Logistical difficulty can get stuffed: this is justice.

            In any case, dellingdog interpreted it cynically. And I find that disappointing coming from a practising ethics teacher.

      • Paul Ellis says

        Yes. Napier was right. He had a spine. You’ll notice that culturally confident nations continue to act in this way, especially if they are Muslim.

      • Daniel says

        People, just look at #dellingdog’s history of posts on this site. He’s not even serious. He’s just trolling. Ignore him.

        • hail to none says

          Like you I don’t agree with most of dellingdog, but I think many of his posts are thoughtful rather than just trolling.

          • Exactly, that’s how I see it too, no trolling, but serious, from his heart, which is different as that of most (uptil now) commenters here, but I feel more and more d.dogs and vicky’s are frequenting this site, that’s maybe the difference, after all! Hilarious!

      • The anti- colonialist, anti- imperialist nutjobs simultaneously argue that nationalism, protectionist isolationists are wrong.

        Make up yer damn minds.

        If western whitey world existed as portrayed there would be an exodus not an infiltration

        • There is no contradiction in opposing both imperialism and isolationism. It is like how sexual harassment in the office is wrong, but so is never mentoring women. There is a big middle ground where you can interact with other people and countries in a consensual way.

      • Ray Andrews says

        @dellingdog

        Really sir? Whatever sins they may have committed, the Raj did stop suttee, you are opposed? Your multicultural purity is so shining that you’d not risk cultural insensitivity by taking a stand on that? So might I conclude that you’d also let Asia Bibi be lynched, least the Islamists be offended? Please correct me if I’m wrong.

  4. TarsTarkas says

    This kill-all-the-infidels attitude is why Genghis Khan was so vicious towards Muslims in his western campaigns. He was well aware of the dangers of Islamic fanaticism and jihad, and knew that only complete terror and mass slaughter would quell the danger to his armies and reign.

    This is also what happens when the instigators of bloodshed are allowed to get away with their incitement, in this case the religious authorities. This is why Nobunaga slaughtered the warrior-monks of Mt. Hiei, to stop their continual bloody interference in politics. At a certain point you simply cannot tolerate an inviolate class of people whose perpetual goal is your extinction. The ordinary Iranian people are getting close to that tipping point. I see a lot of dead imams and ayatollahs in that nation’s future.

  5. Emmanuel says

    The case of Asia Bibi is fascinating in many respects.
    First, as Douglas Murray pointed it out, it clearly shows that British (or European in a more general way) asylum system has become a bad joke : we welcome openly terrorists while abandoning people victim of barbaric oppression? This summer, when I read the story about the former ISIS sex slave Yazidi girl who met her rapist in Germany, was threatened by the man, was told by the German police that they could not do anything and finally decided to go back to Iraq as it is safer for her, I told myself that it would be impossible to do worst. Congratulations to the British government for their achievement.
    Second, those Pakistani crowds calling for Asia Bibi’s death prove that the leftist narrative about violence committed in the name of Islam having nothing to do with actual Islam and the beliefs of people from the Muslim world : as we are all witnessing, the “death to the infidel” narrative is very popular among the Pakistani population.
    Third, that case is one more evidence of the massive double standard of Western feminists and other activists. The same people who create scandals about literally anything and spend their day talking about how women are oppressed in the West, how minorities are oppressed in the West, how intolerant the West is… aren’t very loud when it comes to supporting Asia Bibi.
    Last, as the author of the article reminds us, it shows us how poorly western countries use development aid : rather than treating it as a tool to influence the developing world either in the name of humanitarian ideals or of national interest, we are subsidizing barbarians who hate us and our values.

  6. Political conservatives and moderates in the US have directly and publicly petitioned President Trump to offer Asia Bibi asylum in the country if she is unable to secure it elsewhere, but I’ve heard little or nothing about Ms. Bibi from the left. Imagine the furor if Ms. Bibi had been a Muslim imprisoned for nine years in a Christian country on charges of saying something unpleasant about Jesus. (Oh, but predominantly Christian countries don’t have the death penalty for people who insult religions, do they?).

    It wasn’t until about a year ago that I fully realized just how removed from reality the American left had become about Islam. There was a poll somewhere, and it asked people across the political spectrum for their views of certain groups, like the military, gays, blacks, large corporations, and, also, various religious groups.

    When liberals were asked their opinion of various religions and sects, Islam came out on top. I don’t remember the exact percentage, but it was something like 60 percent of those polled on the left had a favorable view of Islam. At the bottom –- dead last –- was evangelical Protestantism. Something like only 20 or 30 percent of the liberals polled had a positive view of that group.

    Now think about that for a second, and ask yourself this question: What are the issues that liberals are supposed to care most about? We assume these are things like gay rights, women’s rights, and sexual freedom -– these traditionally have been, of course, very specific to the left –- as well as other issues like violence against women, terrorism, and personal freedom of action.

    On none of the above core issues are Muslims in the US or around the world as close to the left as are American evangelicals.

    How many evangelicals support the death penalty for adultery or leaving the faith? Any? It’s certainly less than one percent. Yet, vast majorities of Muslims in some countries -– sometimes over 90 percent of Muslims -– are in favor of capital punishment for these “sins,” according to polling by Pew Research Center. Same thing for committing homosexual acts. In many Muslim countries, according to the same polling, most think executing a gay person for engaging in such behavior is absolutely what their faith requires.

    Great majorities of Muslims in most countries believe a woman should be required to cover herself (i.e., she should not have a choice in the matter), and cannot inherit ahead of any male sibling. Huge percentages also believe that a woman should not travel away from home without the permission of her father (even as an unmarried adult) or her husband (if married). How many evangelicals believe in such things? Any?

    How many times in the past twenty years have evangelicals planned or committed acts of terrorism against Americans SPECIFICALLY in the name of Jesus? Any? In that same period of time, dozens of terrorist plots have been foiled, and many terrorist acts have been committed, by Muslims on American soil SPECIFICALLY in the name of their religion. Hundreds of Americans have died.

    Why would a group of Americans (the left) have a substantially more favorable view of a religion that is more inimical to its views and represents an actual confirmed threat to the physical safety of Americans than one that does not? And why would it go through the trouble of inventing a previously non-existent term (“Islamophobia”) just so it could muzzle any expression of concern about the behavior of Muslims in the US and abroad?

    The answer, I think, is that the contemporary American left frames the world through a lens that, above everything else, searches for “victims,” and then extrapolates everything else from that. Victim status is typically reserved for groups that are best able to manage avoid being tainted by European ancestry, Christianity, or heterosexuality. This reflexive and ultimately child-like impulse to place everything and everyone on one or the other side of an oppressor/oppressed dichotomy makes it possible for the left to look upon the least enlightened and the most violent religious group in the country with the most favor. (Listen carefully: When I say “violent” here, I mean a violence which directly seeks its justification in religious teaching. I am not suggesting that Muslims are more violent than other groups in the US with respect to acts of violence which do not arise from religious justification, i.e., “secular” crimes.)

    So, we should not be surprised that when someone like Asia Bibi shows up at the doorstep, she’s viewed as more of an annoyance and embarrassment than anything else by the organized American left. Because she’s an unpleasant reminder of the actual face of Islam in much, if not most, of the world..

    • E. Olson says

      Excellent comment NRC – I think the Left supports Muslims because they see a lot of themselves in their tactics. The Left of course doesn’t usually kill people who oppose their cause (although Steve Scalise might disagree), but like the Muslims they often violently attack and threaten “infidels” to Leftist dogma, they often do make false charges against their opponents, and like politicians and media in Pakistan, Democrats and the mainstream (aka Leftist) media condone it all because of course their side is right and the “debate is over”.

    • D-Rex says

      I think Sam Harris, Ben Shapiro and Douglas Murray among others have all said that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” is a strong reason why radical leftists fawn over muslims, because they both hate christians.

    • They are largely both fundamentalist arsewipes – the difference for homos, heretics and infidels is Muslims murder us – evangelicals think they have the right to impose conversion therapy

      • Elwood says

        Evangelicals don’t think that.

        The left and islam align because both are utopian ideologies which lean totalitarian. They worked together in the Iranian revolution and after power was taken the marxists found themselves tortured and killed in jail. They were no longer of use.

    • Farris says

      @NRC
      Or don’t forget the exceptionally brave Ayana Hirsi Ali, who is a bane to the Left.

    • Andrew Leonard says

      Why would a group of Americans (the left) have a substantially more favorable view of a religion that is more inimical to its views and represents an actual confirmed threat to the physical safety of Americans than one that does not?
      The answer, I think, is that the contemporary American left frames the world through a lens that, above everything else, searches for “victims,” and then extrapolates everything else from that.

      Asia Bibi is a victim, as are the targets of Pakistani rape gangs and Islamic terrorist incidents, so the apparently counter-intuitive position of the left requires a better explanation.

      Take a look at Lauren Southern on Sky News in Australia, debating multiculturalism with host Rita Panahi (who has appeared on the Rubin Report), and another guest. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOV53YCzvW8

      So now what is the multiculturalist position on the following basic questions:

      1. What happens to a multicultural society when the hosting culture ceases to be the majority culture?
      2. Is multiculturalism fundamentally about the assimilation of many cultures into one, or rather is it about many cultures (somehow) living side-by-side in a given territory?
      3a. How are ideological and cultural disputes to be handled?
      3b. Should the host culture always give way to the incoming culture?
      3c. How should the ensuing friction be managed?

      What is fascinating about multiculturalism compared to other isms and theories favored by the left, is how little seems to have be written on the subject. There are many rows of texts on Marxism and Critical Theory, but where is the theory behind multiculturalism written down?

      When we think of the left and right in relation to government, it is almost always in the sense of government being the agent by which each sides values, theories and ideologies are implemented or achieved. We do not normally think of governments having values, theories and ideologies of their own, more or less independent of left & right politics. However, I think that is a mistake.

      Governments do have their own semi-explicit ideology, which could simply be called Governmentalism. Governmentalism is a ideology born out of a capacity for managerial and operational simplification. Governments think about social elements and issues the same way the designers of Brasília thought about the management of a city. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brasília

      Governments only want one culture (aka diversity), because one culture is easier to manage.
      Governments only want one race, because multiple races may not be fully compatible with social harmony.
      Governments want <i<no religions, or at most one, because religion is an alternative source of authority, and they can clash with each other.
      Governments only want one gender, because 2 (or more) genders is a complication with no upside.
      Governments want all individuals to think and act and be treated the same, because that makes the people easier to educate and govern.
      Governments answer Q1 above by considering the government itself, to be the host culture.
      The reason multicultural theory is so light-on, is that it is more a Governmentalist than public ideology, and therefore the thinking behind it is less a public matter also.

      Now consider how liberals and conservatives differ according to Moral Foundations Theory https://moralfoundations.org/

      “The current American culture war, we have found, can be seen as arising from the fact that liberals try to create a morality relying primarily on the Care/harm foundation, with additional support from the Fairness/cheating and Liberty/oppression foundations. Conservatives, especially religious conservatives, use all six foundations…”

      I think the left can best be understood by perceiving the relationship between leftist moral thinking and Governmentalism. Social Justice could be seen as the intersection of the two styles, and each may be feeding off the other, which would explain why Social Justice is progressing so rapidly through the culture, and why SJWs are so self-righteously nasty and militant.

      Hopefully this can also give a partial explanation of the left’s puzzling attitudes toward Islam and related matters.

    • Ray Andrews says

      @A New Radical Centrism

      “Because she’s an unpleasant reminder of the actual face of Islam in much, if not most, of the world..”

      Exactly so. Better to pretend she does not exist.

    • James Lee says

      @ANRC

      Good comment.

      In my view, modern Western hyperliberals have a simplistic and powerful antipathy to virtually all of their cultural past—which, due in part to ignorance, they believe was far more “oppressive” and violent than non-Western cultures.

      I was cured of this mindset in my early 20’s when I learned that highly intelligent dolphins will practice kidnapping and gang rape, orcas will eat other intelligent whales alive, and many “holistic” native american tribes practiced slavery and horrific torture. Historically, humans around the world have been chillingly brutal… it’s not a Western thing, or even a human thing.

      Western hyperliberals are raised with very little religious knowledge in general and appear to know practically nothing about Islamic history or Islamic legal customs such as stoning to death for female adultery in Saudi Arabia, or about women being required to pass the virgin “two finger” test in Malaysia before being permitted to join the armed forces or the police force, etc.

      In my opinion, this evolutionarily novel Western package of Hyperliberal beliefs and cultural practices, which attacks its own historical, cultural, and even ethnic foundations, could only arise (at least in part) as a response to an environmental trigger of low threat. If your society is being brutally attacked by invaders, you aren’t going on and on about your elite privilege and how your culture is uniquely wicked- you are bonding together, far more cohesively than before, in order to repel the attack.

      Perhaps a suite of progressive cultural traits historically originated as an adaptation where, during an era of relative safety and stability, significant experimentation with new customs, technologies, and practices could yield quantum survival benefits… but because humans have *never* lived in our modern era of ultralow threat, what may have been a positive adaptation is now in dangerous overdrive.

      This radical culture continues to implement an agenda of radical change (including through mass immigration), and the results are guaranteed to be chaos and instability.

      Bret Weinstein insightfully pointed out in his recent interview on the Rubin Report that humans (and life forms in general) can’t cope with this pace of change. We aren’t giving ourselves enough time to adapt. And if we don’t start exercising some wisdom and start to slow things down (including our technology) we are likely going to create hell on earth.

  7. Evander says

    As a Christian, I have followed the case of Asia Bibi with prayerful interest since her monstrously unjust treatment began. The blasphemous statement in question? “Jesus Christ died for my sins. What did Mohammed ever do for you?”

    I am incandescent with rage over Western cowardice. We are moral minnows, men without chests, unworthy heirs, prodigiously selfish.

    Politicians, thinkers, artists, captains of industry all loudly proclaim their commitment to human rights. Then, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye – total, unreserved cravenly moral capitulation.

    Leaders, I see through your facade and I’m disgusted.

    fiat justitia ruat caelum.

    Maranatha!

    • Ray Andrews says

      @Evander

      One might charge cowardice with good reason, or one might suspect stupidity on equally strong grounds. But there is another possibility: evil. If the goal is actually the destruction of Western civilization then it is quite understandable that appeals to just that civilization’s standards will be most pointedly ignored, no?

      • Evander says

        Cowardice is a passive form of evil inasmuch as it’s acquiescent.

        I don’t think democracy-denying, barbarism-fearing-and-thus-enabling leaders like Theresa May want to destroy Western Civilisation. The reason for refusing moral imperatives like saving Asia Bible are simple: they suck at standing up for costly justice because they’re cowardly, convictionless and selfish. Being pro-queer is easy because the most you’ll have to face down is polite disagreement from mostly powerless people. Saving the life of a Christian Pakistani refugee? Too costly: Muslims at home and abroad will become murderous.

        Their commitment to justice extends only so far as ease and self-interest.

        It’s not conspiratorial or unduly pessimistic to say that moments like this indicate the actual moral stature of our society – and it’s depressing.

        • Ray Andrews says

          @Evander

          Sure, cowardice is a perfectly respectable explanation. Over all, I do think that the agenda to destroy the West is there in the minds of some people. But as you say, Theresa May is likely just a coward.

  8. E. Olson says

    I wish I was skilled at drawing, because the political cartoon writes itself: Picture Prime Minister Theresa May standing at a podium in front of the microphones waving a sheet of paper (which has the name Asia Bibi and “Reject” prominently displayed) saying she had negotiated “Peace in our Time”, with a throng of hijab wearing ISIS brides and masked ISIS fighters standing in the background.

    • D-Rex says

      Once again brilliant E.. Cartoons by Josh would be a perfect vehicle for this, I’m seeing it in my mind’s eye now.

    • Ray Andrews says

      @E. Olson

      Brilliant. But perhaps it should read: “Diversity, Diversity in our time.”

  9. Lee Floyd says

    America, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand…..some European countries (eastern, strangely) all compromised in the arena of public safety…But all infinitely safer than most other countries across the globe. It is a small world for civilisation.

  10. Whyaxye says

    Here is a case of genuine asylum, as deserving as that of the Huguenots and German Jewish refugees. But the British government, which accepts many thousands of economic migrants and blurs the boundaries between the persecuted and illegal chancers, does nothing. It is obvious that May et al are fearful of the UK Pakistani and wider Islamic backlash if they take Asia Bibi. It is equally obvious that they do not have the will and the resources to physically protect her if she lived here. The Pakistani community is too large, which results from stupid immigration policies; and it has special protection of its perceived interests, courtesy of spineless liberals who have bent over backwards to ensure that every minority gets exactly what it wants. The British establishment seems to live in perpetual fear of inter-communal strife, and we are constantly and condescendingly lectured to about the virtues of minorities (racial, religious, sexual, etc.) and how these groups need to be “celebrated”. The BBC, for example, usually has several articles about how gays or Asians or transsexuals or refugees are just ordinary fun people who are “just like you and me”. Rarely are white indigenous people “celebrated” in this way. And all of it is done de haut en bas via clunky pop sociology concepts which make our “establishment” sound like earnest but stupid cultural studies undergraduates.

    May’s strategy appears to be one of “pass the parcel”. If we delay for long enough, and quote due procedure, etc., then some other country (Italy has been mentioned) will step up to the mark. Or Bibi will have been murdered. Then, when the problem has gone away, we can start with the inspiring rhetoric about freedom and sanctuary again. Ironically, if Bibi had managed to escape from Pakistan before being arrested, she could have smuggled herself into the UK as an economic migrant and been safely working as a barista in Central London.

    • D-Rex says

      Perhaps the British police could spare some of their blokes from arresting people who post naughty stuff on twitter to provide a bit of security for Asia. Or better yet, how about the famed mayor of London provides her with asylum under the condition that whatever happens to her will also happen to him. Sounds fair to me.

    • Evander says

      “It is obvious that May et al are fearful of the UK Pakistani and wider Islamic backlash if they take Asia Bibi. It is equally obvious that they do not have the will and the resources to physically protect her if she lived here.”

      Right then wrong.

      Put her in a safe house with a security detail indefinitely and monitor the threat level. Note discontent from any section of the community and interrogate it. Make it plain to all that the concept of a blasphemy is utterly, utterly, utterly repugnant to modern Western society and will never, ever, ever gain ground.

      She was exonerated by the bloody Pakistani Supreme Court. She is a refugee at nation-wide risk of brutal murder. Save her.

      You couldn’t strike a greater blow for human rights globally.

  11. Burlats de Montaigne says

    It is mob rule, albeit not the ‘flaming torches and pitchforks on the streets’ type of mob rule but mob rule nonetheless It is the tacit threat of violence and civil disorder which has the British Govt. running scared. It is, in effect, endorsing another county’s primitive laws of blasphemy and accepting their authority in Britain. Compare and contrast with the welcome and protection given to Malala Yousafzai. But she was a refugee from “bad” Islam – the Islam of stonings and beheadings – ‘radical’ Islam.. This is ‘good’ Islam – the Islam of trade deals and fighter jet sales to that nice ex-cricketer Mr Khan. I would suggest that the dividing line between the two is so microscopically thin as to be invisible.

  12. I suggest she asks asylum in Denmark, where few Pakistani live, and where even cartoonists are not afraid to hurt Islam feelings. Indeed, just for technical reasons(riscs, tremendous protective needs), the UK is not the best choice. Other problem: the West has a law system for a rather reasonable and peaceloving population, and not for hate loving mobs. Colonialism (that of Lord Napier) is over! The remaining imperia are purely stategic and economic.

    • Emmanuel says

      @ Dirk, your comment about the West having a law system for people who are relatively peace-loving and reasonable sounds very wise. I honestly don’t believe such a system with survive the catastrophe provoked by unrestrained mass immigration without any attempt of integration and the left’s desire not to sound racist at all cost.

      • Just a matter of time, I think, as in all natural and socioeconomic systems. Attempts of integration and assimilation are made, but only halfheartidly, not seriously, if I only look at the question lists and exams for true citizenship for those new immigrants, as roads to help them with that assimilation. I have lived in those countries, and I hear them laugh at the naivety and good naturedness, the intentions of us, spoiled by centuries of enlightenment and modernisation. What are they after with those lists, trying to cope with human laws and culture, and not by the superior one of God (invented by humans in the 7th century, of course) himself!! Maybe more than just a short time, but at last, the human factor will overturn, I,m sure, only, not in my lifetime, I fear.

        • Emmanuel says

          Dirk, you make another excellent point when you talk about people from the third world laughing at the naivety and good feelings of kind-hearted westerners. I am always amazed to see that nobody has the honesty to discuss publicly the colossal gulf between the values and worldview of Westerners (or rather of some segments of Western societies) who have enjoyed easy lives thanks to the institutions created by the toil and sacrifices of now despised forefathers, and of people from the Third world used to much harsher conditions.
          I mean, when I try to imagine how the average fundamentalist Muslim living in the West sees the left-wing intellectuals supporting him, I can only laugh nervously. And the most amazing part of the story is that the people who are the most eager to let the Third World brings its values and mores are often the one with the most to lose : women, homosexuals, jewish people…

          I would say that on those issues, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is one of the very few public personalities who dare speak the truth.

          • Ayaan is not the only one warning in the NL, and the strange thing is, indeed, that all are immigrants with a muslim history. It has to do, I think, with the negative feeling and guilt of our colonisation, of us, white westerners, long ago, and with the positive feeling about the decolonized nations, with their cultures and beliefs, whatever. Not so with the intellectual fugitives of the likes of Ayaan. In her book she describes features of our culture and manners that we, westerners, don’t see anymore, just like fishes are not able (in fables) to describe the nature and characteristics of water and wetness.

  13. Rupert Stubbs says

    It is truly shameful. As if we British didn’t already have enough to be ashamed of at the moment. I didn’t support Teresa May’s defenestration until now, but this lack of moral courage on the behalf of the people of the UK shows that she is fundamentally unfit for the office…

    • Stephanie says

      Shame is exactly the feeling that got you British where you are. Like my country, Canada, your people bought into the notion that your colonial past means you deserve destruction today. It’s an awful legacy of guilt to impart on children. The educated are indoctrinated into accepting their destruction, while the uneducated flee to Australia. I meet British migrants all the time who love that everyone speaks English here and they aren’t afraid they’ll get beat up. I’m afraid the UK is a lost cause. They’ll never find the strength to save themselves.

  14. Aerth says

    Only good ISIS fighter is dead ISIS fighter. Only thing better than dead ISIS fighter is dying ISIS fighter who tells you where to find his comrades.

    People who left any European country to fight for ISIS and now return should be shot dead on sight and bathed in pig blood for good measure. Only fate they deserve.

    • E. Olson says

      Aerth, I wish you would stop being so wishy-washy – tell us how your really feel about the true followers of the religion of peace.

  15. Stephanie says

    Chowdhry (and perhaps the author) are woefully naive if they believe UK Muslims are as upset about the rejection of Asia Bibi as most British. Pew Opinion Research polls demonstrate that over 70 % of British Muslims believe that insulting Prophet Muhammad should be punished by law. The British government is not misreading their Muslim citizens, and the implication they are seriously undercuts the argument presented.

    Faced with the fact over 70 % of British Muslims have values incompatible with that country, what has Britain decided to do about it? Appeasement, it seems. The failure of this generation to act while it can be done humanely will soon require subsequent generations to either face genocide, or genocide the Muslims first. Either way, this is the end of Europe. Take your bucket list vacations while you can!

    • E. Olson says

      Appeasement worked so well in 1939 with that German fellow who actually liked and respected the British, but I’m sure it will be even better this time with people that hate Western Civilization.

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  17. Travis says

    Great article. Thanks to Quillette for publicizing this important issue.

    The moral weakness of the British government is concerning.

  18. Jezza says

    How can we get Asia and her family out of danger? Any ideas?

  19. Sydney says

    I’m sure the author knows what’s going on in Canada. I’m sure he knows Canada’s wonderful Tarek Fatah. But maybe others here aren’t Canadian and don’t know:

    I’ll just say that if globalist, neo-marxist PM Justin Trudeau did actually grant asylum to Bibi and her family, that of course he would only be doing it to politically virtue-signal to someone (I’m not sure who at this point). [Interested in the organizations that Trudeau’s government funds? Look at ISNA Canada, Palestine House, Paramount Foods, and more.]

    Trudeau has called Canada “post-national,” erased our borders, and plans to push through the UN Migration Pact. Ordinary Canadians are aghast at his attacks directed at Canadian history, culture, sovereignty, and ordinary Canadians. He and his government have not only been completely silent in the face of Islam-linked terror attacks in Canada, but after a 13-year-old girl was murdered in a park by a favoured, so-called “refugee” from Syria (who Trudeau practically rolled out the carpet for in Vancouver), Trudeau’s only public reply was an on-camera snicker and smirk.

    Trudeau pushed through a bizarre motion specifically protecting Muslim rights in Canada, when there has never been any threat whatsoever to Muslim rights and in fact they enjoy millions of dollars in community and building grants everywhere in Canada and preferential treatment in all walks of life. Trudeau has appointed several Muslims to his Cabinet, and anytime there is even the faintest whiff of an issue related to Muslims not getting preferential treatment he’s the first to leap up and howl (to his embarrassment, re: “Hijab Hoax” and the strange issue of convert-to-Islam Joshua Boyle).

    He spends vacation time with the Aga Khan (and is in trouble with conflict of interest here), and has proclaimed his “love [for] Islam” repeatedly on video and in photos. Trudeau has repeatedly defended returning ISIS terrorists, to the horror of ordinary Canadians who would prefer that people who left Canada in order to murder others would remain gone (or at least be imprisoned once in Canada).

    Asylum for Bibi would not happen because Trudeau cares about minority Christian rights, or Western values, or about a monstrous injustice toward an innocent woman; it would simply be to virtue-signal. Trudeau is known for his narcissism and sociopathic behaviour. This would be a political selfie.

    Ordinary Canadians would be proud and happy to receive Bibi and her family, and to grant them safe haven. But, please, don’t imagine that Trudeau would do it for her or for her beliefs, which he clearly cares nothing about.

    • Sydney says

      OK, you asked:

      Clueless millennials and grandmas. A wave of mass hysteria (no other way to put it) took hold of Canadians to “stop” and hate the incumbent PM, Stephen Harper, whose gov brilliantly steered Canada completely away from the global recession, and is a Canadian nationalist, which is a four-letter word now. But that wasn’t enough for the millennials and grannies. They picked at Harper’s shortcomings, and he headed the Conservative Party, which was losing favour in a growing far-left climate.

      Plus, Justin Trudeau’s modern selfie-style and bare-torso running photos (shades of Putin…) appealed to these idiots. He’s a wealthy trust-funder and son of a flamboyant ex-PM, Pierre Trudeau, so nostalgia played with the grannies. The IG millennials didn’t care that the younger Trudeau had NO education, NO skills, NO work history (part-time skateboard instructor; part-time drama teacher); they simply liked that he was young and cute. It’s all the stuff of psychological projection. Neither grannies nor young people saw themselves in a traditionalist statesman Stephen Harper. Grannies recalled his cool dad (and their lost youths), and millennials saw an idealized reflection of themselves (someone rich and carefree who took lots of selfies, including with hip, bare-breasted 20somethings).

      The story ends badly. He sees himself turning Canada into the EU and UN unicorn-vision of the world’s first glittering, “diverse”, “post-national”, “green” state. But there’s no solid plan; he’s a narcissist and a sociopath backed by Soros and Aga Khan. By hollowing out our resource- and manufacturing economies, previously solid Canada will turn into a sh*thole nation in the space of a few years with mass, unskilled migration sucking up a disappearing tax base.

      It’s worse, but that’s the nutshell version of it.

      Of course right-thinking Canadians (which excludes members of Trudeau’s Cabinet, who would not want her here since they instituted “Islamophobia” Motion 103 to protect Islam) would be happy for Bibi to be here; but it would be for all the wrong reasons on the part of Trudeau.

  20. Johnny Liu says

    The Islamists require that Asia Bibi be scapegoated so that they can stop their violent ways.

    This is how apocalypses start…

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  22. Michael Godfrey says

    I can’t think of a more deserving case for sanctuary in the UK – together with the Christians across the Middle East and Africa being persecuted and killed for their religious beliefs by followers of a totalitarian Medieval ideology that is increasingly undermining the culture and values of Europe. Political leaders like Theresa May – the daughter of a Christian priest – make me feel ashamed to be British.

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