Ooberfuse playing live at BPCA's Trafalgar Square Concert 10th March 2012
The 3rd anniversary of Asia Bibi’s death row imprisonment will be marked by a peace rally and concert outside the Pakistani Embassy in London on 12pm, Thursday 14th June 2012.
On 14th June 2009 Asia Bibi, mother of five, was condemned to death by hanging by a Pakistani court. Her crime was to refuse to convert to Islam, holding firm to her Christian faith in the face of aggressive solicitations from Muslim interlocutors.
Interspersed between musical contributions from Pakistani singer/songwriter, Hammad Bailey and East-meets-West band, ooberfuse, there will be readings from Asia’s autobiography, translated into English for the first time and the first public performance of new single ‘Free Asia Bibi.’
In her autobiography Asia says : ‘My world was turned upside down one day in June. The day should have been like any other. When I woke up in the morning I never imagined that this Sunday would change my life forever. June 14th is etched on my mind. I still recall all the details’.
Wilson Chowdhry from the British Pakistani Christian Association says : ‘Until Asia Bibi is freed from the hellish prison where she has spent the last 3 years we should use all the opportunities we have in the UK to speak out on her behalf and for all those whose political and religious freedoms are compromised in any way’.
Hal St.John, from ooberfuse, says : ‘Translating Asia’s autobiography into English has brought vividly to life the nightmare ordeal she and her family have been subjected to over the last 3 years. It is difficult for Western people like me, who take their religious freedoms so much for granted, to fully comprehend the violent and dark forces that can be at work elsewhere. For example, the Governor of Punjab, Salmaan Taseer, was assassinated by a member of his security team because of his defence of Bibi. Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Minorities, met a similar fate for saying that we should “not kill in the name of religion, but love one another.”
Front-woman for ooberfuse Cherrie Anderson says : ‘we hope that the song Free Asia Bibi, performed in conjunction with Hammad Bailey, will help to spread the word about the grave injustice Asia and others like her are enduring today around the world.’
Please sign our Asia Bibi petition:
Asia Bibi (Urdu: آسیہ نو رین) is a Pakistani Christian woman who was convicted of blasphemy by a Pakistani court, receiving a sentence of death by hanging. The verdict, which would need to be upheld by a superior court, has received worldwide attention. If executed, Noreen would be the first woman in Pakistan to be lawfully killed for blasphemy. Christian minister Shahbaz Bhatti and Pakistani government politician Salmaan Taseer were both killed for opposing the blasphemy laws.
14th June 2012 Peace Concert and rally is organised to mark the 3rd anniversary of Asia Bibi’s imprisonment. Attendees gather at the Pakistani Embassy in Lowndes Square, London, at 12.00pm for the concert and protest. The event is organised by the British Pakistani Christian Association, Hammad Bailey and ooberfuse.
Hammad Bailey (www.myspace.com/hammadbaily) is a professional artist from Pakistan (Hammad Farooq). Hammad began singing at the age of 7, learning semi-classical Asian vocals and the Harmonium and Tabla from the age of 13. He started learning guitar at the age of 19 and also studied classical vocals. Hammad has completed a Higher Dimploma in Popular Music at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance in London. Hammad has a Bachelor in Arts from University of Punjab and a Bachelor in Divinity after attending Seminary classes for three years. Whilst happiest leading on guitar, Hammad sequences many instruments and beats using his much loved Korg Triton Extreme keyboard (nicknamed Kelly).
ooberfuse (www.ooberfuse.com) is an experimental music project led by Cherrie and Hal. They share a common vision to infuse the increasingly moribund traditions of western pop with fresh eastern vigour. By refusing the standard conventions that determine the contemporary pop scene they invite their audience to rediscover ooberfuse-iasm not just for contemporary pop but for life itself!