Charity appeals for Irish Muslims to rally for Asia Bibi

Charity appeals for Irish Muslims to rally for Asia Bibi Ashiq Masih (R), the husband of Asia Bibi, with their youngest daughter, Eisham Ashiq, in Rome in February 2018.

Irish Muslims should be “advocating far more loudly” for the rights of persecuted Christian Asia Bibi, who continues to be prevented from leaving Pakistan after blasphemy charges were dropped against her, a prominent Christian rights charity has said.

National director of the organisation Aid to the Church in Need, Dr Michael Kinsella, has urged Muslims in Ireland to speak out against the injustices the mother of four has been subject to, and rally for her release.

“Muslims in Ireland, particularly Pakistani Muslims, should be advocating far more loudly, far more vociferously and forcefully about the rights of Asia Bibi, because a huge number of Pakistanis seek asylum in Ireland and in many other countries around the world, and Muslims as well,” Dr Kinsella told The Irish Catholic.

“So, I would have thought it would be morally incumbent upon them to advocate for the same rights that they so earnestly sought and were entitled to themselves.”


Ms Bibi was sentenced to hang for blasphemy in 2010, and remained in solitary confinement for eight years. Last year she was declared innocent by the highest court in Pakistan, and following the dismissal of a petition for the judicial body to review its acquittal, was legally free to leave the country.

Despite this, it is understood that the Pakistani army are actively involved in preventing her from leaving.


Commenting on the continued denial of Ms Bibi’s rights, Chair of the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council Dr Umar Al-Qadri told this newspaper that Irish Muslims have been very vocal in supporting “victims of religious extremism”, and condemn any injustice carried out in the name of Islam.

“As Muslims, we feel very saddened at how [Ms Bibi] has been treated because our Islamic teaching does not in any way inspire or motivate to treat non-Muslims, and particularly Christians in this way,” Dr Al-Qadri said, adding that he hopes that she is released and welcomed warmly into another country.

“I would advocate that the government grant her freedom, and that she is then embraced and accepted in any part of the world, and we’d be happy in Ireland to welcome her.”