I was shocked today to read that gangs of extremists are roaming around Pakistan, hunting down Christian Asia Bibi – her life is now in more danger than ever. You’ll recall that she spent eight years on death row for blasphemy, a law that belongs in the dark ages.
When Bibi was in jail, the world took notice. Britain took notice. But it now seems that this government is too dedicated to tearing itself apart to step in and take action to save this woman.
Imams across the UK are asking Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, to “make a clear and proactive statement that Britain would welcome a request for sanctuary”. Up to 70 MPs are said to have written to Theresa May urging her to offer political asylum. The former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has demanded that the UK give her asylum.
Yet these calls seem to fall on deaf ears as cowards in Westminster say that it’d be too risky to bring her to the UK. Their claim? That her life would be at risk here too, with the Muslim community being angered by her actions – something that the Muslim Council of Britain call “nonsensical and divisive”.
What that claim is based on, I’ve no idea, but it sure is confusing. Only recently the UK let Anjem Choudary out of prison – he was recently seen enjoying himself in McDonalds. The Police give him protection and he is certainly a bigger threat to the UK than a terrified and vulnerable mother.
The UK government is not necessarily adverse to offering asylum. A Home Office report claims that in 2016 they received 26,618 claims, with 10,549 resulting in asylum being granted. Just this month the government announced a £12m fund to promote freedom of religion around the world. There were even suggestions that countries who receive UK aid, including Pakistan, should show a commitment to religious freedoms in order to continue to receive our aid.
When I hear the arguments around Brexit, I hear a lot of claims about Britain not being a weak and feeble nation. We’re supposed to be entering into an era where we retake our position on the world stage. We’re supposed to be writing our own laws, controlling our own borders and projecting out values around the world.
I hear these claims come from the likes of Theresa May and I hear these claims come from the likes of Boris Johnson. Yet one of these people seems to be scared into inaction by a bogeyman, that has not even reared an ugly follicle, let alone it’s ugly head.
If this claim of a strong, outward looking Britain is genuine. If Theresa May’s government is telling the truth about wanting to protect persecuted religious minorities, then now would be a good time to start showing it.
Let’s take control of our own immigration system - and let Bibi in. Let’s project our values around the world - and let Bibi in. Let’s not be pushed around by ‘bureaucrats’ - and let Bibi in.
And whilst we’re at it ‘sticking one to unelected men in Brussels’, let’s stick it to the (imagined) rampaging anti-Bibi mobs in the UK - and let Bibi in.
Boris was right, in his letter to Javid. “We cannot allow the threat of violence to deter us from doing the right thing”, he wrote. It’s time for our government to grow a backbone, stand up to ‘mob rule’ (especially the non-existent type) and save this woman’s life.