Asia Bibi’s final appeal to overcome the death penalty for allegedly insulting Islam was postponed on the 13th of October when one of the judges, Justice Iqbal Hamid-ur-Rehman, recused himself at the last minute. It is imperative that people act now! You can help save this innocent woman by simply posting on social media. I know that for many this assertion sounds far-fetched, but it is a fact. A 2012 study published in the journal Nature, “A 61-Million-Person Experiment in Social Influence and Political Mobilization,” tested the idea that voting behaviour can be significantly influenced by messages on Facebook. Further, The Centre for European Studies released a publication entitled, ‘Social Media – The New Power of Political Influence’, in which the authors demonstrated the power of social media on global politics, evincing the dramatic impact of social media on the 2008 US presidential election, the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, among various other global events. Social media’s power to influence governmental decision making may also be implied by the efforts of certain governments to limit its citizens access to it. During Obama’s visit to Vietnam in May of this year (2016), the Vietnamese government blocked its citizen’s access to Facebook in a bid to silence human rights activists who might have embarrassed the government. It should come as no surprise that Pakistan was ranked the 10th worst country for internet censorship in 2014 by Freedom House. In their report they stated:
‘Though framed as necessary to combat terrorism and preserve Islam, censorship in Pakistan continues to reflect political motives or the influence of religious extremists. Religion also influenced a series of incidents which eroded user rights during the coverage period. At least four women were violently killed in rural areas of Pakistan for using digital technology, which their communities condemned as immoral. In the central province of Punjab, several people faced blasphemy charges based on SMS or Facebook messages, including one couple in their forties who were sentenced to the death penalty, though the phone they were accused of using was not in their possession. A lawyer defending another digital blasphemy suspect was fatally shot in his office for accepting the case’.
Nothing threatens the bondage of religious and political tyranny like free thought and nothing perpetuates free thought like free and unencumbered speech. Certain governments restrict their citizen’s access to social media because they are cognizant of the restrictive impact that the uncensored voices of the people have on a government’s ability to act arbitrarily and abuse human rights to further the depraved designs of religious and political tyrants. Further, should we raise enough hell over this issue, it is entirely possible to pressure leaders of democratic governments to pressure Pakistan with threats of trade sanctions and other coercive political and diplomatic measures.
Asia Bibi’s final appeal has been indefinitely postponed, which gives us time to build an influential social media revolution. We already have celebrities spreading the word and raising awareness. your voice on social media has the proven potential to save this innocent woman’s life. You have a choice to make. Do you keep scrolling and share witty quips and memes about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, or do you take a moment to participate in the social media revolution to save a mother of five who may well be executed in Pakistan for blasphemy?
I sincerely hope you make the right & responsible choice. Let’s make some noise!
Sign and share this petition – URGENT: Petition to Save Asia Bibi
Donate – Abolish Blasphemy Laws Fund