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November 14, 2018


Richard Powell

As someone who has been responsible for the security and welfare of British staff in diplomatic missions overseas, I think the FCO's duty of care pretty much required it to warn the Home Office that offering asylum to Ms Bibi could have serious repercussions. Whether that should be decisive is, I suppose, ultimately a matter for collective Cabinet responsibility. Personally I'd prefer it if we could offer asylum - but I'm not privy to the security assessment, it's not a judgement to be made lightly, and certainly not one to be made in a blaze of publicity.

It would be interesting to know how Boris would have proceeded as Foreign Secretary, but happily we will never find out. Perhaps he could have found someone to take the decision for him while he was on a trip. Meanwhile I am disinclined to take any of his cost-free and self-promoting statements seriously. When he is right, it is perhaps for the wrong reasons.


Isn't this situation the foreseeable result of Britain's immigration policy over the last quarter century? Maybe it's not always possible to keep "our values" the same when you drastically change the referent of "our."

Also, haven't our betters have been telling us for decades that Islam is actually a religion of peace and tolerance? Is it possible that they have been lying, or don't know what they're talking about?


It's good to hear some Muslim voices standing up for Asia Bibi, but I suspect the three imams mentioned are a long way from being mainstream; there's the problem.

A Dr Usama Hasan works with/for Quilliam. I don't know if it is the same one, but Quilliam is regularly lambasted by the British Muslim establishment.

However, buried in the MCB website you will find this brief statement. They wouldn't take any lead on the case, of course, but even they find it politic to say:

“There are unfounded media reports that Pakistani national Asia Bibi is being denied asylum into the UK because of concerns from British Muslims. We find such insinuations to be as nonsensical as they are divisive. We see no reason why Asia Bibi should be denied asylum into the UK”.

Nick Tiratsoo

Dr. Hasan knows very well what it is like to be the target of extremists. Its worth searching for 'Help requested to prevent an extremist takeover of Al-Tawhid Mosque' to see the beginning of what he had to go through, though inevitably it ended with death threats and him moving out of the area.

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