. . . that inconceivably had to wait 8 years
One only hopes that this lady and her family are welcomed into a safe Western country where they can tell their story. Of course, knowing our NZ media, it is quite another thing as to whether anyone will broadcast her story or even ask her. After all, that wouldn't reflect well on the terribly "oppressed" Muslims in the West would it? Doubtless it would only feed the running dog Islamophobes among us. While media pressure brings attention to governments and NGOs it seems some things are kept from the sight of ordinary people. As I said, on the popular level we strain out gnats but swallow a camel...
So reluctantly and at enormous cost one Commonwealth country has done something that all of us would have expected be done immediately. But even this is an unexpected and isolated incident made possible only by the amount of international media coverage it engendered and the embarrassment Pakistan's government was made to feel on the larger stage. I do wonder though if while Pakistan has been brought grudgingly but significantly closer to the norms of Western justice the West isn't also gradually moving closer to allowing Sharia compliance a place it should not have in our own countries. See the case of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolf.
So another question arises for me: what if there were no "safe Western countries" for such people to migrate to? What if the West - which perhaps we might understand as the "Christian homelands" these days, despite being very post-Christian in many cases - gets to the stage where it does not recognise genuine suffering under Islam? What if, for purposes of "tolerance" and "reconciliation", we reject the very notion that people like Asia Bibi were wronged? As Dr Wood alludes below, we have already seen such things - quite a few Western countries refuse to recognise persecuted minorities, even those under the threat of genocide, if those minorities happen to be Christian. See my last post on this.
The sense of justice of a group - even a large group like a nation - can change over time. It is changing now. As we see more and more the leadership of many Western countries denying the beliefs of the bulk of its citizenry we should also expect to see this continued inversion of the concepts of mercy and innocence. Even in NZ I've heard of a Christian leader who tried to persuade a government minister that a convert from the Middle East be permitted asylum here because to return home would be a death sentence. The response: "well, he shouldn't have converted then should he?" The man was ejected from our country.
Yet people have the right to change their Faith and if they are brave enough to risk everything for that decision we should, at least, protect them to the best of our abilities. But all around us we can see that this discussion doesn't even rate any more of a mention than the trials of this poor woman and her family.
Sadly, these genuine victims amount to nothing more than an embarrassment for so many of our politicians, academics and media.
Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi (Aasiya Noreen) was convicted of violating Sharia blasphemy laws after drinking out of a bucket used by Muslims. Bibi was sentenced to death. After spending eight years on death row, the Supreme Court of Pakistan overturned the conviction. Due to ongoing threats of violence, Bibi and her family must now seek asylum outside of Pakistan.