We have today, signed a letter with numerous organisations and individuals, asking the Home Secretary to provide the option of sanctuary and refuge to Asia Bibi, who was released after 8 years of false imprisonment in Pakistan.
Faith Matters has consistently highlighted the extremism of groups like Tehreek-e-Labaik and its leader, Khadim Hussain Rizvi, who has inflamed tensions in Pakistan by rousing extremist mobs to attack the Government. Faith Matters also managed to work with Twitter to close down all of Rizvi’s Twitter accounts. Rizvi, on the other hand, has consistently tried to terrorise the Government of Pakistan into doing his bidding by pushing them to crack down on minorities such as Ahmadi Muslims.
We believe that the United Kingdom has had a history of providing shelter to those who are persecuted, from Kinder Transport children through to East African Asians and to those persecuted in developing countries throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s.
Asia Bibi’s case shows how fragile and insecure Islamist extremists are when they are frightened of a woman who is of another faith. They have taken away her freedom for 8 years and then chased her away from her own country. However, it is not Asia Bibi who has been weakened. She has shown how spiritually defunct and imbecilic Islamist extremists are.
Asia Bibi should be offered sanctuary in the United Kingdom. Her presence in the United Kingdom will send out the right message that people who are persecuted because of their faith are welcome in our country. It will also send out a strong message to Islamist extremists in the UK. If you cannot respect the rights and presence of Asia Bibi, maybe it is you who should not be in this country.
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