27 May 2017
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas




  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia


  • » 08/06/2011, 00.00

    PAKISTAN

    Punjab: Christian woman forced to convert and marry her kidnapper

    Jibran Khan

    Mariam Gill was abducted on her way home from the market. Her father and brother filed a complaint with police, which failed to intervene however because her kidnapper is “a respectable Muslim businessman”. A Muslim religious leader says the action was in accordance with Islamic law. Islamabad bishop warns that cases of forced conversion are “rising at an alarming rate”.

    Islamabad (AsiaNews) – Another young Christian woman in Pakistan has been abducted and forced to convert to Islam and marry her kidnapper. Despite a formal complaint, police did not intervene because the author of the crime is a “respectable businessman”. Local Muslim religious authorities also claim that the woman’s conversion was legal. However, her case however is similar to that of Farah Hatim (see Jibran Khan, “The drama of Farah Hatim, common to many women in Pakistan,” in AsiaNews 25 July 2011) and is indicative of a climate of impunity for people who abuse Christian women. The bishop of Islamabad warns that the “the cases of forced conversion are rising at an alarming rate”.

    Mariam is a young Christian woman from Kahota, a town some 20 kilometres from Pakistan’s capital of Islamabad. She was abducted on Wednesday by one Muhammad Junaid, a local Muslim, who forcibly converted her to Islam and married her.

    The young woman’s father, Munir Gill, said that Junaid is an “important businessman”. He had “his eyes on my daughter and asked her for marriage.” He complained to the man’s fathers “without results”.

    “Mariam went to the market on Wednesday, but never returned,” said her brother Sohail Gill. “We searched for her everywhere. Some people in the market told us that they saw Muhammad Junaid forcefully taking Mariam from the market. We went to the police to register a case, but they delayed the application and showed no interest in the matter.”

    Yesterday, a local Muslim religious leader, Maulana Hafeez Aziz, “converted Mariam to Islam and celebrated her marriage with Muhammad Junaid”.

    “Muhammad Junaid is a respectable Muslim businessman,” said Amir Mirza, a police officer in Kahota. “The young woman converted and married him of ‘her own free will’.

    For Maulana Hafeez Aziz, “Muhammad Junaid is a true follower of Prophet Muhammad. He has fulfilled Sharia. Converting a non-Muslim is a pious act. Only a true Muslim can do that.”

    Yesterday, Mariam Gill was interrogated by local officials. She told them that she was abducted and forced to convert and that she has no intention of abandoning Christianity.

    At the end of the meeting, they decided to return the young woman to her family, urging the two sides to reach an agreement. However, Muhammad Junaid issued threats, saying that if he did not get the young woman back, there would be “terrible consequences” to pay.

    Contacted by AsiaNews, the bishop of Islamabad Rufin Anthony described the case as “a dreadful incident”. In his view, “the cases of forced conversion are rising at an alarming rate. The matter needs to be checked, kidnapping of Christian girls is becoming a common practice in Punjab. Law enforcement agencies need to enforce the law.”

    Young Christian women are not alone. Many young Hindu women have been forced to flee across the border into India in the face of government and police indifference.

    “It is time to take concrete action to guarantee the safety of minorities in Pakistan,” the prelate said.
    e-mail this to a friend Printable version










    See also

    25/11/2016 13:33:00 PAKISTAN
    Sindh approves law against forced conversions, "positive and encouraging"

    The legislation proposed by an Islamic group and unanimously approved. Christian and Muslim activists emphasize the positive aspects. Penalties for offenders and for those celebrating forced marriages. The process to bring proceedings within 90 days of report; minors who convert before age 18 will not be judged.



    30/03/2017 18:15:00 PAKISTAN
    Jailed Christians forced to convert to Islam, a disgrace on the justice system says Pakistani Church

    The accused are asked to change religion in exchange for their release. The latest case sparks protest among Christians. Girls are converted by force to marry Muslims whilst Christians men who marry Muslim are beaten and their homes torched. Even Asia Bibi was offered to convert to Islam.



    21/10/2016 13:06:00 PAKISTAN
    Pakistan vetting two bills in favour of minorities and against forced conversions

    One bill would establish a ‘Pakistan Minority Rights Commission’; the other, the ‘Protection of Minorities Bill 2016’, would make forced conversion an offence. Promoters are aware of social problems like the conversions of Hindu and Christian women abducted, raped and enslaved by Muslims.



    24/05/2016 16:25:00 PAKISTAN
    Lahore High Court rules on divorce law, ends marriage discrimination for Christians

    The 1869 law is restored. In 1981, under General Zia’s rule, an amendment was introduced that allowed Christian couples to divorce only in case of adultery. This chained women to violent and polygamous marriages, and forced Christians who wanted to end a marriage to convert to Islam.



    05/04/2013 PAKISTAN
    Pakistan elections: for young people Sharia is better than democracy
    A survey conducted among 5,000 Pakistanis aged 18 to 29 delivers such a result. One third of Pakistani voters are under 30 and they will play a decisive role in May's election. Over two thirds state that they are worse off now. The economy, not extremism, is the real concern. Catholic leaders say, "It takes time" to rebuild the country and "trust" in the future.



    Editor's choices

    VATICAN
    Pope: together with the faithful in China on 24 May to celebrate Our Lady of Sheshan



    During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis speaks about the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, instituted by Benedict XVI. Chinese Catholics must make a “personal contribution to communion among believers and to harmony in the whole society." AsiaNews Symposium on the Church in China is set for this week. Francis appeals for peace in the Central African Republic, and for loving “one another following the example of the Lord”. For him, “Sometimes conflicts, pride, envy, and divisions leave a blotch on the beautiful face of the Church.” Five new cardinals will be named, including a bishop from Laos.


    VATICAN-CHINA
    May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.


    AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!

    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.
     

    SUBSCRIBE NOW

    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google









     

    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®