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Blasphemy: the true, heartbreaking story of the woman sentenced to death over a cup of water

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  275 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Punjab, Pakistan, June 2009. The temperature is 45 and Asia has been out picking fruit for several hours. It's exhausting, sweaty work, but Asia and her husband have five children to feed. At midday she goes to the nearest well, picks up a cup and takes a long drink of cool water. She refills the cup, drinks some more and then offers it to another woman. Suddenly one of ...more
Paperback, 137 pages
Published 2012 by Virago (first published May 2011)
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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Nov 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jenna by: Asif
"Blasphemy is a victimless crime." ~Richard Dawkins

Imagine you're working in a hot field all day picking fruit, bending over, standing up, over and over. Sweat runs down your back. Your throat is parched in the heat. Imagine your need for a glass of water.

That was Asia Bibi 9 years ago (as of the time of this review). She innocently walked over to a well and took a refreshing drink of water, then another. Most of us cannot imagine what happened next. We can imagine the heat; we can picture
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is a very difficult book to rate and review for a few reasons. First off it is written as if meant for a 4th or 5th grader not an adult.

Secondly I live by the motto that if you want to have a fruitless fight and lots of hurt feelings, then never discuss politics or religion. This book is only about those two subjects and I do not wish to write anything that stirs up anything or triggers/annoys anyone.

Just finish by saying that I have signed a few petitions on for her release.

Lisa Houston
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a terribly sad story. All the more poignant as its a true story. How awful it must be for christians living in these terribly backwards lands. Was hoping for a happy ending but it didnt come. Not terribly well written which i imagine was due to the fact Asia never had an education. Couldn.t imagine being brought up the way they were living life like this. Powerfull story
Jul 29, 2017 rated it liked it
3 stars for the writing, not the story. Asia Bibi's story is extremely sad and unfair, and she is still in prison today after seven years. Blasphemy laws are a joke. I hope that one day soon she will be released although the likelihood doesn't seem very high. Poor woman.
Nur Huda
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is not a review, for I believe every human being in their right mind would have the same opinion about this story. This is a synopsis of her story, written based on several references apart from this book. This book serves an important story that needs to be told. It can be read in a day, so there's no excuse for anybody not to read it.

Aasiya Noreen Bibi (Asia Bibi) was involved in an argument with a group of Muslim women with whom she had been harvesting berries after the other women grew
Rosanne Hawke
Jul 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pakistan, christian
Incredible story of what it's like to be innocent and in prison since 2009 for blasphemy in Pakistan. Asia Bibi is a mother of five children and can't see them as she is on death row. She is also in solitary confinement for her own safety; only her husband can visit her. Two government officials trying to change the situation have been assassinated. The book has been written so we won't forget her.
James Hutton
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Blasphemy, by Asia Bibi, is the memoir of a Catholic woman who was sentenced to death over a cup of water. It tells the story of a simple, illiterate farmer's daughter who was accused of blaspheming against Mohammed and the religion of Islam. This book records what led up to her imprisonment, the first two years of her terrible treatment, and attempts to free her.

On a blazing hot day in June 2009, Mrs. Bibi took part in the big falsa-berry harvest where she hoped to earn 250 rupees for her
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The title just about says it all, Blasphemy: the True, Heartbreaking Story of the Woman Sentenced to Death Over a Cup of Water. Asia Bibi in 2009 was a Christian woman living in a very rural town in the Punjab Province in Pakistan. She lived there with her loving husband and five children. They got by doing menial jobs and trying to raise their children to be good Christians. They generally got along well with their Muslim neighbors and did their best to respect Muslim customs. She was picking ...more
Hillary roberts
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My Review: This book shows the human side ofPakistan blasphemy law. WE have all heard about it but with this book it shows just what harm it can do not only to Christiansbut also to other religions. Bibi herself can't read and write but the french journalist that wrote this book did an excellent job in telling her story. THis is a short book I read it in a couple of hours, but it packs a punch. It tells of the situation that led to her jailing and how she was treated.

One thing I have often
Kerry Letheby
Jan 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A short and undemanding read about a confronting and topical issue, as Asia Bibi is interviewed from within the confines of her prison cell in Pakistan - falsely imprisoned as a Christian woman for the crime of blasphemy. Given that the only people allowed to visit her are her husband and lawyer, the means by which Anne-Isabelle Tollet interviews Asia for this account are unique and clever. Asia and Anne-Isabelle have never met, but Anne-Isabelle has discovered and revealed Asia's deepest, ...more
Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is not a review on the literary value of the book but on the urgence of the cause it represents and informs about. Asia Bibi is a Christian martyr of our time, for years subjected to solitary prison, humiliation and constant danger. All this because once she dared to drink from a glass reserved to Muslims and refused to convert as an apology. Sentenced to death she's still in prison waiting for the result of her last appeal. It's urgent to learn and spread the word about this woman and the ...more
Dec 16, 2013 rated it liked it
This is the story of a Christian woman in Pakistan who was imprisoned with a death sentence under the guise of blasphemy. Her two advocates in the country's leadership were killed as a result of their alliance with her side. It is amazing to me how much we take our freedoms for granted in the US. And human nature is the same no matter what continent you are on - power can make people ugly and depraved.
Josephine Burks
Nov 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was mortified reading this story of a woman imprisoned and sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan. A Christian woman who got into an argument with Muslim women over a cup of water was accused of blasphemy by her irate villagers.....she was jailed in 2009 and still is in prison today. This woman has had to ensue so much, two men who were openly defending her have been assassinated from coming to her defense. An extremely sad story.
Mar 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unbelievable! This poor woman has been in prison since 2009 for drinking water from a cup at a well and then offering it to her Muslim neighbors. She, being a Christian, is considered unclean. She was sentenced to death under Pakistan's blasphemy laws. Her husband and 5 children have to live in hiding as they are considered blasphemers by association. Please Google Asia Bibi, Voice of the Martyrs, to petition the Pakistani government for her release!
heather hays
Apr 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hard to believe such barbarism exists today..

This poor woman is all I can say. I'll be following her story from now on hoping she is pardoned and whisked immediately out of that country before a violent mob murders her. Absolutely sickening.
Feb 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read by every person of conscience about an act of evil done to an innocent! Where is the outcry????? Heart breaking, written in a simple voice by a simple lady who just wants to go home, being held prisoner by fanatics for offending some bigots by refusing to take insults.

Mar 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish everyone would read this and pray for her. Praying hearts involved with this case in Pakistan will be softened and she will be freed very soon! We are so blessed to have freedom of religion in America! I am thankful I am a Christian in America and heartbroken for people like Asia Bibi.
Share this book. Read in a day. This poor woman is being held prisoner for blasphemy in Pakistan. Two high officials have been murdered defending her. A Christian minority laborer drank water from a well to ease her thirst dipped the dipper and offered it to Islamic woman...
Tanish Jena
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Truly heartbreaking.
Vikas Lather
Oct 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
shocking, depressing and yet a voice for change
Sin Ting Lim
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
How can we help Asia Bibi? She is still not freed yet!
Apr 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Anupa Chatterji
Feel we live in the medieval ages after reading this. It is unbelievable how such a cruel law like this exists in the constituency of any country! A family ruined and humanity ashamed!
May 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
An important story that needs to be told! It can be read in a day, so there's no excuse for anybody not to read it.
Mar 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Sad to think this still happens today. This women should not be in jail! A page turner. A very strong brave woman in the face of adveristy
Nov 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Utterly shattering! the definition of humanity needs to be thought over...
Apr 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sad story about Asia. I really hope she goes home to her kids and husband one day and soon.
Sonia Bowers
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Why just why
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
A desperately sad book, I can only hope and pray that Asias' nightmare is over soon and she can seek shelter somewhere safe with her husband and children.
Sharee Rôbin
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Interesting and sad. Hard to believe that people are jailed for crimes like this in todays day and age. November 2018 I just saw in the news that this woman has been released. How awesome!
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“Asia Bibi is a Pakistani wife and mother living under sentence of death. Since 2009 she has been in prison in Sheikhupura, in the province of Punjab, where she is held in appalling conditions unworthy of a democracy. Her crime? She’s a Christian who drank a cup of water from a well used by her Muslim friends.” 0 likes
“But I have no confidence in this justice system that lashes out against poor people like me who have nothing. If, by some miracle, I’m not killed in my cell before my appeal is heard, I’ll end up murdered anyway.” 0 likes
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