ASIA/PAKISTAN - Christian woman kidnapped and converted to Islam: appeal for justice and security

Friday, 11 March 2016 religious minorities   islam   religious freedom   civil society  

Kasur (Agenzia Fides) - An appeal for justice, security, respect for the dignity of all women in Pakistan, especially non-Muslims, who are even more vulnerable: is the appeal launched through Agenzia Fides by Fouzia Sadiqe, a Pakistani Christian, mother of three children, victim of abduction, rape and forced conversion to Islam. The woman managed to escape from her tormentor, Muhammad Nazir, a 55-year-old Muslim who had abducted her in the village of Burj Mahalam in Punjab province. Many members of Fouzia’s family worked in Muhammad Nazir's fields, and this was a strong weapon of blackmail in the hands of the man.
"I was raped several times before conversion to Islam and forced marriage. Often the man threatened to kill me and members of my family", said Fouzia to Christian lawyer Sardar Mushtaq Gill who is providing assistance and protection. "I had faith in Jesus" said
Fouzia. Rev. Saleem Karamat Masih, local activists and lawyer Gill have started a campaign to demand support for women victims of kidnappings and forced marriages. In Pakistan there are at least a thousand cases a year of women belonging to religious minorities, Christian or Hindu, who are kidnapped and converted to Islam. In most cases, the victim is subjected to sexual violence, rape, forced prostitution, but can also become an object in human trafficking
The organization LEAD and other NGOs are asking the government to act without hesitation in defense of women belonging to religious minorities, the most defenseless and vulnerable in a country where the status of women is still very difficult. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 11/03/2016)