» 07/21/2011, 00.00
Muslim woman forced to flee for marrying a Christian
A couple comprising a Christian and a Muslim is forced to live hiding: society condemns their love, for an Islamic scholar it "is punishable by death." The bishop of Islamabad: "The State must defend them, or it will soon disappear."
Islamabad (AsiaNews) - The religious intolerance that is destroying Pakistan continues unabated. The latest case in point is that of a couple comprising a Christian and a Muslim, who married without the consent of the families of origin and are now forced to live on the run from one place to another for fear of violence. The bishop of Islamabad has defended them: "Marriage should be free. The state must guarantee them freedom of choice. "
The pair is composed of Asthma Zubaida, a Muslim, and Basharat Masih, a Christian. Both lived in the town of Gujranwala, where they met and fell in love: the first was a teacher in the local government school, while Masih was an official of the Department of the school administration. Without parental consent, they were married in September 2010: since then have started to receive frequent death threats forcing them to flee.
The newlyweds have sought police help. Malik Arif, a police officer, said: "We have been contacted for assistance, they claimed the situation was life threatening. In fact, their complaint explains that her family attacked Masih a couple of months ago, when they discovered the marriage. The attacks also targeted the family of Christians. " "They too have been forced to flee."
One of Masih’s relatives, anonymous for security reasons, said: "We have been threatened, our home came under attack, they have even arrived at throwing stones at us from the street That Basharat is obviously more at risk: they want him dead. We asked for help, but nobody paid any attention to us: neither the police nor the local politicians. " Despite the fact she gave police a statement confirming that the marriage took place without any constraint.
Maulana Muhammad Sultan Haider, a Muslim scholar in Islamabad says that this "does not change anything. Only a Muslim man can marry a non-Muslim woman, because it would water down future generations. I condemn this marriage, I call it illegal, these two could be killed for what they did. "
Diametrically opposed to the opinion of Mgr. Rufin Anthony, bishop of Islamabad and Rawalpindi: "This is a case of intolerance. Marriage is a sacrament between two people, others have nothing to do with it. A state that fails to guarantee its citizens freedom of choice, religious or family, will not survive long. Why should a Muslim girl not marry a non Muslim? Why do marriages with non-Muslims aim to convert. They see it as a great victory, but is only coercion”.
Christian girl, kidnapped and converted by Muslims, returned to family
The alleged conversion has been found to be invalid, because the girl is just 10 years old. But her sister, who was also kidnapped, has been judged to have married by her own will, because she is "more than 16 years old", although her relatives say she is only 13, and that they will appeal to the supreme court.
Religious freedom continues to decline in Asia
Serious and systematic violations of religious freedom are on the rise, including on the part of the authorities. This is the conclusion of the annual report of the U.S. State Department. Over the past year, there have been systematic persecutions in China and Myanmar, but the situation in India is also extremely serious.
Pressure on Catholic family to rob them of house and property
Muslim groups have shot at the house and have built a wall to expropriate the land, while the police fails to intervene. "Allah Akbar" in place of the cross. Other Christian families have had to leave the area.
Punjab, anti-Christian violence: nurses sequestered, families evicted from home
A Muslim colleague steals mobile phone and cash, then accuses two nurses of theft. The women, held in solitary confinement for nine hours, were subjected to physical violence. Muslims raid homes of two families in Gujrat. The episode ordered by a former lawmaker who wants to take possession of the land. Muslim doctors refuse treatment to Christian policeman.
Faisalabad, the battle of a Christian woman for her family and religious freedom
Hanifan Bibi was segregated at home by her husband who converted to Islam following an extramarital affair with a Muslim woman. He wanted to take the house bought with money earned by his wife. The intervention of NCJP activists has helped justice prevail. Now the court will assess civil damages.
CHINA - VATICAN
In China-Holy See talks, silence shrouds future of underground priests
Later this year, all priests must register to receive a certificate that allows them to exercise their ministry. But the request has to go through the Patriotic Association, whose statutes are "incompatible" with Catholic doctrine. Many priests, official and unofficial, now face an enormous dilemma.
19/08/2016 FRANCE â€" ISLAM
24/08/2016 SYRIA â€" TURKEY
20/08/2016 BANGLADESH - VATICAN
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.