It's one thing to be acquitted and another to be free. No one knows that better than Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi, who may have been released from prison last October but spent months living in fear for her life. For Bibi, who won a historic victory from nine-year-old blasphemy charges in court, the idea of seeing her children and living a somewhat normal life seemed impossible. Until now.
This morning, after weeks of grim reports on international religious liberty, people around the world finally got the news they'd been waiting for: the brave mom was finally safe on Canadian soil! "It is a big day," her attorney, Saiful Malook, told reporters. After seven months of living under guard, "Asia Bibi has left Pakistan and reached Canada. She has reunited with her family. Justice has been dispensed." Malook tipped his hat to the global cooperation that helped them smuggle Bibi out of Pakistan, where riots and protests carried on for days after her charges were overturned. At several points, no one was sure if Bibi would make it out alive on the streets where men held signs saying, "Hang Asia Bibi!"
Leaders around the world deserve credit, Malook insisted, for "st[anding] by Bibi in hard times and work[ing] for her freedom." Across North America, diplomats are breathing a sigh of relief. If there is a silver lining to the case, which resulted in the assassination of at least two of Bibi's outspoken defenders, it's that the world finally understands the danger of apostasy, blasphemy, and anti-conversion laws. Just last week, FRC released a report on the status of apostasy, blasphemy, and anti-conversion laws, which threaten the ability to freely live out, choose, or change one's faith.