5 July, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 02/06/2014
PAKISTAN

Christian girl abducted, converted and forced to marry a Muslim in Lahore
by Jibran Khan
The family of Samariya Nadeem staged a protest this morning in front of the city's press club. For the past three weeks, their 16-year-old daughter has been in the hands of a wealthy landowner. As police and the authorities fail to free her, the Catholic Church calls for justice on the family's behalf. But for Muslim cleric, it is "not illegal to abduct and convert non-Muslims".

Lahore (AsiaNews) - After a Pakistani Christian girl from Punjab was abducted by a Muslim landowner, she was forced to marry him after conversion to Islam. Her family reacted in a public protest, demanding justice from civil authorities.

Police and the courts have failed so far to act and return the girl to her parents. The local Catholic Church has instead backed the family, condemning the "widespread practice" of kidnapping young Christian and Hindu women to marry them forcibly to Muslims and reduce them to a "state of slavery".

The latest episode involves a 16-year-old girl, Samariya Nadeem (Masih), who was abducted and forcibly married to a rich landowner.

The abduction took place 22 days ago in 270-TDA Layyah District when the young woman was on her way to school.

The family filed a complaint (First Information Report 14/14, under Section 365 B of the Penal Code) with the police for the abduction reporting that Samariya was taken against her will and forced to marry the man.

So far, police have failed to pursue any legal action against the local wealthy Muslim landowner who abducted the girl because of the influence he wields. Police investigators were also unable to talk to the bruised and terrified victim.

Anonymous police sources confirmed that the girl was "abducted" and forced to marry. However, an Islamic cleric involved in the affair said that it was "not illegal to abduct and convert non-Muslims".

This morning, the family organised a protest rally in front of the Lahore Press Club. Under Pakistani law, no one underage can be married without parental consent.

Civil society groups and human rights activists have appealed to Punjab's chief minister to take action and return Samariya to her parents and bring her abductor to justice.

Kidnapping and forced marriage have become a major issue in Pakistan, especially in southern Punjab and in the interior of Sindh province.

This is "very common in the region," said Fr Haroon James, a priest and activist in Lahore. Young women and girls "are forcefully converted and married to influential landlords who keep them as slaves."

Unfortunately, people seem to be increasingly "hopeless". For this reason, the Church has spoken out in the case, "demanding justice for her and the family." Yet, "Despite the fact that a FIR has been registered, the authorities have failed to act and protect the vulnerable," the priest added.

With a population of more than 180 million people (97 per cent Muslim), Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world, the second largest Muslim nation after Indonesia.

About 80 per cent of Muslims are Sunni, whilst Shias are 20 per cent. Hindus are 1.85 per cent, followed by Christians (1.6 per cent) and Sikhs (0.04 per cent).

Violence against ethnic and religious minorities is commonplace across the country, with Shia Muslims and Christians as the main target, with things getting worse.

Dozens incidents of violence have occurred in recent years, against individuals or entire communities, like in Gojra in 2009 or Joseph Colony in Lahore in March 2013, often perpetrated under the pretext of the country's blasphemy laws.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
04/13/2012 PAKISTAN
Lahore: Christians and Hindus against "religious fascism" and forced conversions to Islam
by Jibran Khan
03/28/2012 PAKISTAN
Hindu girl tells Supreme Court she would rather die than convert to Islam
by Jibran Khan
07/25/2011 PAKISTAN
The drama of Farah Hatim, common to many women in Pakistan
by Jibran Khan
09/10/2008 PAKISTAN
Christian girl, kidnapped and converted by Muslims, returned to family
by Qaiser Felix
02/28/2008 PAKISTAN
A new wave of extremism falling on Christians, says Mgr Saldanha

Editor's choices
ISLAM - MIDDLE EAST
Al Azhar and Vatican against terrorism. The ambiguity of the international community
by Bernardo CervelleraThe influential Sunni university denounces " heinous" violence of the Islamic state and demands the world defeat this group “through every possible means". Vatican: terrorism is a threat to all humanity. France claims to fight terrorism, but then sells weapons, aircraft, helicopter gunships to Saudi Arabia, which supports Islamic fundamentalism. Kuwait tolerates Salafis who support the Nusra Front and the Islamic state. Turkey against the Kurds; the United States against Iran, Russia and China.
TUNISIA - ISLAM
Tunis, stop terrorism by closing fundamentalist mosquesPresident Essebsi believes unified and global strategy needed to counter terrorism. The attack in Sousse almost simultaneous with those in France, Kuwait, Somalia. Islamic State claims responsibility.
VATICAN – ITALY
Pope in Turin tells young people to be chaste in love, go against the flow and not retire at 20In his last meeting on the first day of his visit to Turin, Francis met young people in Vittorio Square. In a Question and Answer exchange, he talked about love, friendship and loss of trust towards life. "I understand you. How many hypocrites speak of peace and sell weapons. How can one trust? By following Christ, whose act of extreme love, i.e. the Cross, saved humanity." The pontiff also looked at the horrors of the 20th century as evidence of the loss of trust towards world powers. He urged young people “not to retire at 20,” but “live, don’t just exist.”

Dossier

Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.