Monday, August 26, 2013

Asia Bibi and Hangovers of Caste Hatred In Pakistani Islam

A Pakistani woman named Asiya Noreen “Asia” Bibi, faces a death sentence in Pakistan for daring to drink from a well frequented by Muslims. Since Bibi is Christian, the local imams declare that water touched by her is unclean, and therefore "haram" for Muslims to drink. The fact that Bibi was reeling from thirst did not matter a bit to fellow berry pickers. In addition to her alleged brazenness, Bibi faces charges of blasphemy for saying that Jesus would have judged here more benevolently than would Mohammed. The village imams offered Bibi the option of conversion to Islam, an option that she refused. The New York Post printed an excerpt of Bibi's account of four years spent in a remote Pakistani prison, caught between bigoted mobs calling for her death and a government in Islamabad that is embarrassed by her plight. The book is called Blasphemy, and was dictated to her husband during her long imprisonment. Fifty percent of the sales of the book go to supporting Asia Bibi and her family as she languishes in prison.

The travails of Asia Bibi resemble stories of treatment meted out to untouchables in devoutly Hindu parts of India that were in keeping with Hindu customs. As a result of Hindu case bigotry, many untouchables became Christians or Muslims.This has left a hangover of Hindu customs and attitudes that have seeped into the Islam of the Indian subcontinent. It should be remembered that British India later split into India and Pakistan, and that in 1971, Bangla Desh seceded from Pakistan and became an independent country. The religious communal map of British India looked far different from that of India, Pakistan and Bangla Desh today. Communities were uprooted and put to flight, forced to live on "their" side of new and artificial borders during the bloody partition riots of 1947, as well as various outbreaks of local unrest in subsequent years. Many historians and scholars have speculated about the degree to which Pakistani Islam is adulterated with Hindu, polytheistic ideas.

 Asia Bibi may well be the victim of ignorant clergy who see themselves as Muslim when they are really practicing a bastardised form of Islam laced wit idolatrous customs. The problem is not Asia Bibi defiling a well. The so called Muslims of Asia Bibi's village have already contaminated their alleged monotheism with idolatry. It is not Asia Bibi who needs "purification" but those who persecute her. All of this speculation is of little help to Asia Bibi and her entire family. It would be wonderful if the United States, Canada or some other enlightened western country would accept Asia Bibi and her entire extended family as immigrants and refugees. Perhaps Pakistan and its people can be shamed by infidels into living up to their constitution. NY Post Book

 Excerpt Hinduism in Pakistani Islam article 1

. Hindu customs in Pakistani Islam article 2

  Hindu Caste prejudice in Pakistan article 3

 Hindu Caste prejudice in Pakistan article 4


No comments: