Christian Sentenced to Death by Hanging for Drinking Water Reserved for Muslims
Aasiya Noreen "Asia" Bibi has been sentenced to death by hanging in Pakistan for drinking water "from a well belonging to Muslim women, [and] using 'their' cup in the burning heat of the midday sun."
According the The New York Post, Asia described her plight thus: "I have been sentenced to death because I was thirsty. I'm a prisoner because I used the same cup as those Muslim women, because water served by a Christian woman was regarded as unclean by my stupid fellow fruit pickers."
After her initial lockup, Asia was then moved to a remote prison, where she sits isolated in a cell. She says she has no idea how long she has to live and admits that her heart beats faster every time her cell door is opened.
Her terrible ordeal began in June 2009, as she was picking fruit with fellow female workers from her village. At the height of the mid-day heat she drank from a well, only to hear someone yell, warning no other women to drink from the well because it was haram. In other words, it had been "dirtied" by the Christian and was therefore "forbidden."
Asia responded to this declaration with a declaration of her own: "I think Jesus would see things differently than Mohammed." This statement made its way through her village, and days later, as she was picking fruit once more, both male and female villagers closed in on her.
Asia was beaten so badly that she was brought to the brink of unconsciousness, her tormentors stopping only to ask her if she would recant her Christianity and convert to Islam. When she answered "no," she was beaten again.
In the end she was charged with blasphemy, "handcuffed and chained," and now sits in a cell, awaiting death that will come by a hangman's noose if not brought on sooner by a fellow inmate.
Asia says her experience is fast proving that being a Christian in Pakistan is not just "a failing" in the eyes of Pakistanis but actually a crime.
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