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Islamic leader calls for prompt execution of Asia Bibi

Pakistan cleric says failure to punish Catholic housewife was cause of student's lynching

Islamic leader calls for prompt execution of Asia Bibi

Pakistani protesters shout slogans against Asia Bibi, a Christian woman facing the death sentence for blasphemy, at a protest in Karachi in this Oct 13, 2016 file photo. (Photo by Asif Hassan/AFP)

April 20, 2017

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An Islamic leader in Pakistan is calling for the prompt execution of Asia Bibi, claiming that the state’s failure to punish her alleged blasphemy is the cause of the lynching last week of another man accused of blasphemy.

After Mashal Khan, a university student in Mardan was beaten, tortured, and shot because he was suspected of blasphemy, Mufti Muhammad Haneef Qureshi said the killing took place because Muslims have lost patience with the country’s legal system, Catholic Culture. org reported.

"If sinners declared blasphemous by the courts were not granted extensions in their punishment, students would not act this way," he said.

The imam said that similar incidents were likely to occur "as long as people feel insulted in their religious sentiments."

The imam called for the hanging of Asia Bibi, the Catholic housewife who has now spent seven years in prison, condemned to death, on a blasphemy charge for which no substantial evidence was produced.

A Supreme Court appeal of her case has been postponed, apparently because of pressure from Islamic militants.

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