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Blasphemy: A Memoir: Sentenced to Death Over a Cup of Water Paperback – August 26, 2013

4.8 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Bibi, a Pakistani wife and mother, was sentenced to death in 2009 because she is a Christian who drank from a well used by Muslims. Working with French journalist Tollet, Bibi has been able to tell her story through her husband, Ashiq. The 42-year-old mother of five recalls the incident that landed her in prison on a day she went fruit picking and, overcome with thirst, went to a well and drank. Accused of contaminating the water because she is Christian, she defended her religion even when brought before the village imam and given the choice of conversion or death. Bibi describes horrific conditions and the slow death of unjust incarceration and the constant fear of being hanged or killed by other prisoners when a bounty is placed on her. She is thrown into solitary confinement when her case gains the attention of people of prominence from Hillary Clinton to Pope Benedict XVI. This is a harrowing story of a woman’s strong religious convictions in the face of death and of the urgent call to save her life. --Vanessa Bush

Review

“A devastating, anguished read which brings to mind the witch hunts of medieval Europe.”  —Herald

“It’s almost impossible not to be moved by the real-life plight of this Pakistani Christian mother of five who has been convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death . . . a must-read.”  —Blackpool Gazette

"In this moving memoir—the result of a clandestine collaboration with a French journalist—Bibi gets to tell her story in her own words. As the religious persecution of Christians and others is currently receiving greater public attention, her book gives an up-close account of the ugly effects of religious intolerance, vicious discrimination, and unjust blasphemy laws."  —U.S. Catholic
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press; First Edition, First US edition (August 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1613748892
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613748893
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,031,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Morton Hughes on November 10, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
On June 14, 2009, Asia Bibi, a wife, mother of 5 children and a Christian, went to harvest fruit for 250 rupees in Pakistan. Thirsty, she went to a water bucket and used the cup to get a drink of water. The other women (all Muslims) working with her turned hysterical at the thought of drinking after a Christian, who are considered unclean. An argument began, then she was chased, beaten and dragged to a police station. There, she was unjustly accused of having blasphemed against the Muslim prophet Mohammad. She was sentenced to death by hanging on November 8, 2010. You will read about the appalling and inhumane conditions Asia and her fellow women prisoners are held in. You will read about the two Pakistani government officials, the Governor of Punjab, and the Minister for Minorities who tried to help Asia and were assassinated by fundamentalists for their efforts. Pakistan's Blasphemy laws persecutes everyone, including other Muslims. Most of Asia's fellow women prisoners were found guilty of the Hudood Ordinance, that makes a criminal of any woman who has sexual relations outside marriage. Most of Asia's fellow inmates had been raped, and then found guilty of adultery, because they could not provide 4 eyewitnesses to their rape, as required by law. Asia asks "Tell other people you know about what has happened to me. Spread the word. I believe this is the only chance I have of not dying in this dungeon. I need you. Help me." As of this date, Asia is still in prison. Please do as she asks and help her.
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This book is very informative about how people are treated, especially women, under Islamic rule in Pakistan. In reading this you learn that all minorities are discriminated against as well as Muslims. All it takes is for someone who doesn't like you , to cry "Blasphemy", and you are presumed guilty. What a terrible law.
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I was surprised by how short a story it was, but it was very well told. Considering that it had to be told to a lawyer or family members and then retold to a translator, it's amazingly well done. The narration is her voice throughout. It's not a happy story, but it is not depressing either, though nothing is glossed over. Unbelievable as to how long this ordeal has dragged on. Sure hope they can get her out!
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This story broke my heart. The idea that this woman is still in prison, still sentenced to death, for merely disagreeing with some of the village women who did not think she should drink water from the well only because she is Christian. The women of the village turned in a mob, wanting to harm this woman, who has a child with disabilities, and other small children who need her. The blasphemy laws in much of the Muslim world are there to seek revenge against others. I always thought women would be less cruel than men, but in this case, the women of the village were as mean and vicious as any man alive.

I dread to think of her life, and how this is going to end. Everyone please read this book, and write to the government who is supporting this injustice. Perhaps if they receive thousands of letters, they will see how this makes them look to the rest of the world. Ignorant and COLD BLOODED MEAN!
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What an amazing story of faith and endurance! This book will put you in the cell with Asia. You will experience the ups and downs of
being persecuted for Jesus. I will never forget Asia! This dear mother of 5 children ripped out of her loving family to endure unbearable treatment. But somehow God gets her through it! And you are experiencing this in real time. She is still there, under sentence of hanging. Our job is to pray for her and her family that is in hiding.

You will get a real glimpse into what it is like to be a humble Christian in a country 96% muslim. Pakistan which gets more dangerous
for Christians every day!!!! 85 Christians killed in a Church double suicide attack just last week.

What a beautiful lady, such a contrast to the vicious muslims who
hate her, but truth is....it is Jesus they hate.

Glad to know that the proceeds of this book go to help her family.
I will pray for you Asia each and every day till you are freed!!!!!!
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Those who stand for humanity are not pressing the issue of religiuos bigotry which resulted in the false accusation of Asia frequently enough. I abhor to live in a country where being a member of a minority group means to face such inhumanity.
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This is a moving book and a sad story about a Christian woman in Pakistan. I was moved to actually purchase the book after reading that her legal fees are paid from book-sale proceeds. I believe her appeal was recently denied and that her death sentence, for alleged blasphemy, has been upheld.
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The is the story of the first woman in Pakistan to be facing the death penalty simply for standing up for her faith. She has been in dungeon-type prison since 2009. She has a family, including a mentally handicapped child & all the proceeds from the book go to support the family. This books is worth the cost on several levels.
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