Rimsha Masih – a Pakistani Christian girl believed to be 11 to 14 years old was arrested early August and accused of having committed blasphemy by burning pages of the Koran, an offense punishable by death under Pakistan’s laws. Not long after her arrest it was published that the girl was known to have a mental disability.
Masih’s arrest in August on blasphemy charges prompted international concern. The case has highlighted tensions between Pakistan’s Muslim and Christian communities, and since Masih’s arrest, Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws have come under heavy criticism. Protests against the treatment of Masih took place around the world in matter of hours after her arrest. In an unprecedented move, Masih was granted bail on Friday, days after police detained a Muslim cleric on suspicion of planting evidence to frame her.
Globalization and the extraordinary speed of information has made possible that we hear about human rights violations around the world, and that we feel connection to people and events that were previously unknown to us. Perhaps the fact that Masih’s case was heavily publicized played a role in the Judge’s determination to release her on bail. Perhaps the fact that the eyes of the world are fixed on the Pakistani Judge and its government will benefit her case.
If so, is globalization generally beneficial to the enjoyment of human rights?
Before answering in the affirmative consider the argument sometimes made that globalization is turning the world into a global market dominated and steered by the most powerful economic and political agents to maintain power and advantage at the expense of the most disenfranchised.
What do you think?