Asia Bibi

Blasphemy – what does it mean? The very idea that something, a loving intelligence which permeates and supports the universe itself, the same ‘Something’ which gives to all, high and low, bright or dim, a soul which transcends time and space can be insulted strikes me as a concept which comes from a mind which actually has very little real faith in the reality of God – whatever one conceives God to be.

The danger of embracing and accepting the concept of blasphemy lies in the fact that anyone can be accused of blasphemy if they dare to question the dogma which clothes any religion. And, of course, it can be done with the lowest of motives.

A Christian woman has a drink of water on a hot day and her Moslem neighbours feel that they can’t drink out of the same cup and, thus, they’re insulted … and so is their religion. ‘Death to the Christian’ is the demand of the mob. Eight years of solitary confinement and although that death sentence is overturned the end result for Asia Bibi remains uncertain.

What a sad reflection on Islam - or rather on that sect and variety of Islam that holds sway on so many in Pakistan today.

There is nothing that I can see in the anger of the mob which is spiritual in nature. It may be religious but it isn’t spiritual. It is vicious, shows no mercy and therefore, to my mind and understanding, if there be such a thing as blasphemy, it is the concept of blasphemy itself.

When I see the extent of paedophilia and Satanism rampant in both Church and State, the level of corruption evident throughout society, that’s a ‘blasphemy’ and where is the outrage of the mob?

Easier to become the equivalent of a football hooligan and condemn someone to death for a drink of water.

The morning sun here in the garden lights up a tree whose name I don’t know. It flowers yellow scented before its leaves start to appear and is so bright that my soul, my spirit is in wonder and delight.

The Satin Bower birds, shy and quick to disappear, arrive at dawn and share with each other a bowl of porridge that I put out before my morning walk. Unlike the coast where dawn finds many people out taking their exercise, here I seldom meet anyone at that early time.

Strange, terrible and beautiful times in which to live.

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