Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi, who was sentenced to death for blasphemy after proclaiming her faith in God, has been given the chance to appeal for her freedom after spending six years in prison.
The 50-year-old Bibi, a mother of five children, will face the Pakistan Supreme Court on Wednesday, July 22, to challenge for one last time her penalty of death by hanging, and to plead that she be freed.
A Christian-run bakery will be up in court on 26 March for refusing to bake a cake.
The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland claims that Ashers Baking Company broke political and sexual orientation discrimination laws by declining to produce a pro-gay ‘marriage’ campaign cake last year.
Daniel McArthur, manager of Ashers, whose name comes from the biblical tribe of Asher who had many skilled bakers and created bread fit for a king (Genesis 49: 20), said that fulfilling the order would have involved promoting a cause which goes against their conscientious view that marriage is between a man and a woman.
Leading human rights lawyer Aidan O’Neill QC has written a legal opinion in which he outlines the dramatic consequences which could follow if Ashers Baking Company loses.
He states that if Ashers loses there would also be no defence to similar actions being taken against other businesses in any of the following scenarios:
A Muslim printer refusing a contract requiring the printing of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed;
An atheist web designer refusing to design a website presenting as scientific fact the claim that God made the world in six days;
A Christian film company refusing to produce a “female-gaze/feminist” erotic film;
A Christian baker refusing to take an order to make a cake celebrating Satanism;
A T-shirt company owned by lesbians declining to print T-shirts with a message describing gay ‘marriage’ as an “abomination”;
A printing company run by Roman Catholics declining an order to produce adverts calling for abortion on demand to be legalised.
The McArthurs have received widespread support, including from a gay activist, Northern Ireland’s First Minister, MPs and MLAs (Members of the Legislative Assembly of Northern Ireland).
DUP MEP Diane Dodds has described the legal action against Ashers as a “deeply regrettable” challenge to the “right to exercise faith”, and a “violation of Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights”.
A poll has shown that the majority of the general public think the legal action brought by the taxpayer-funded quango is over the top.
Will you stand with Ashers and the McArthur family as they face this difficult trial, and thank them for their good example?
Sign a petition requesting the help of United States Ambassador to Pakistan, Richard Olson, to use his influence on behalf of Asia Bibi, condemned to death on charges of blasphemy and apostasy for holding fast to her Christian faith in predominantly Muslim Pakistan.
25-year-old Sorn Reab spends six days a week waking up at 4:30 a.m. in order to travel to Phnom Penh to begin work at 7 a.m. in a garment factory, which supplies apparel to Adidas. Despite working 11 hours a day, Sorn cannot afford to live in Phnom Penh. Tired and weak from malnutrition, Sorn faces the real possibility that today may be the day she faints and ends up in the hospital. With the threat that her short-term employment contract may not be renewed in six months, the pressure to produce as many Adidas garments as possible is constant.
Sorn Reab’s life in Cambodia is not an exception, but the norm for the estimated 500,000 garment workers – over 90 percent of whom are women under the age of 35. In fact, a majority of the world’s garment workers are young women struggling to survive on their poverty wages. At its core, the garment industry continues to perpetuate a system of extreme inequality, providing inordinate wealth for the privileged few, while condemning the vast majority of workers in the supply chain to unconscionable poverty. It would take Sorn Reab in Cambodia over 7,000 years to earn Adidas CEO Herbert Hainer’s annual salary.
Tell Adidas to go all in for a living wage for Cambodian garment factory workers. Sign the petition.