ASIA NEWS REPORT:
by Shafique Khokhar
date, the police refuses to liberate the girl, despite the repeated requests of
the family. Mary Salik (fictitious name) was kidnapped last May 4 near
Faisalabad by an uncle who had converted to Islam. The girl's father denounces
conspiracy against his family: "My daughter has heart problems and was kidnapped
Faisalabad (AsiaNews) - The family of Mary Salik (fictional name for security
reasons) asks for justice for the 14 year old Christian girl, kidnapped last
May 4 in Ali (Faisalabad, Punjab) and forced to convert to Islam. The author of
the kidnapping is the uncle of the girl, who embraced Islam about a year ago and
since then ended all contact with the family of origin. He kidnapped the young
girl to marry her off with his son Kashif. The wedding was celebrated on 7
The girl's father, told AsiaNews that "my daughter is only 14 years
old and suffers from the birth from heart problems and can not do heavy work.
After converting my brother is conspiring against our family and kidnapped Mary
with deception ".
Immediately after the seizure, the father of the young
Christian girl turned to local police and demanded the immediate release of his
daughter, but the agents refused to return Mary to her family. According to
police, the girl converted of her own free will and submitted as evidence a
written statement in which the girl says to "be mature and have embraced Islam
without coercion or threats."
To get their daughter back, the parents
decided to find a compromise with the help of some influential people in the
area and have filed a petition against the police officers.
Mendes, priest and activist, former secretary of the Pakistan National
Commission for Justice and Peace, speaks of the abuses suffered by the Christian
community. "Although we are free to pray - he says - and to practice our
religion, we are threatened when we try to defend our rights." The priest
denounces the problem of cases of forced conversions to Islam of young
Christians, which together with the blasphemy law is one of the most severe
violations of religious freedom to the detriment of minorities. For Fr. Mendes
Mary's case is against the teachings of Islam. In fact, those who want to
convert require an iddat, a discernment period that must last at least three
months. However, due to ignorance, illiteracy and social injustice, most Muslims
do not observe this rule.
Each month between 25 and 30 young girls suffer
similar abuses, for a yearly total of about 300 conversions and forced
marriages. Hindu girls - but also Christian - who are torn from the family while
very young and delivered into the hands of their husbands / torturers. One case
recently made headlines when the Pakistani Supreme Court forced three young
Hindu women to return to their Muslim husbands, despite the desire of the young
girls to return to their family. The young women were kidnapped in February,
forced to convert to Islam and marry Muslim men. On
March 26 Rinkle Kumari, one of the girls, told the judges of the Court that
there "is no justice in this country only for Muslims, justice is denied Hindus.
Kill me here, now, in court. But do not send me back to the Darul-Aman [Koranic
school] ... they will kill us. " The other two young girls, Lata and Asha, had
expressed, in vain, the desire to be reunited with their families.