Wednesday, 3 September 2014

How Christian and Hindu women are forced to convert and marry Muslim men in Pakistan?

LAHORE: Recently this year,the report spread in media that around 1,000 Christian and Hindu women in Pakistan are forcibly converted to Islam and married Muslim men every year.

On September 1,2014,two cases came in the eye of Advocate Sardar Mushtaq Gill,a Human Rights Defender and Chief of LEAD in which Christian women converted to Islam and got married with Muslim men with their free consent.One woman is educated and other one is illiterate and also she is already married and has five Children including one of feeding child.
Mr.Gill contacted with some Muslim clerics and inquired from them how they see such marriages and conversion to Islam.They frankly told that such marriages are illegal and conversion will be considered as forced conversion.They issued a decree (Fatwa) regarding this issue.

One case ,we at LEAD dealt legally and gave legal assistance to the Christian Husband.His wife eloped with one Muslim man and got married after declaring that she converted to Islam.She has five children including one suckling child to whom she got along with her.The case reached in Court and she recorded her statement in the favor of Muslim Husband and we also came to know that her parents also converted to Islam.The husband told to Mr. Gill that he was terrified and threatened by some Muslim clerics that he would not file any criminal case against her wife and Muslim man because now she had accepted Islam and got married and no more his wife. 

The second case was about one Christian woman namely Sairish who got married with one Muslim man in 2009 by forcing her to accept Islam on this condition that she could perform all her religious obligations according to Christian faith and values,but after marriage she continued to perform her Christian activities and prayers due to which their marriage was dissolved to end the routine dispute and Muslim man divorced her.She has one daughter from this wedlock.Now the dispute shifted from marriage towards their daughter.
She came and met with Mr.Gill and requested for legal assistance and protection from her ex-Muslim husband.She told that she was threatened by her Ex-husband if she would file the case in court for the custody of her daughter.He will kill her and also kill her brother in law(husband of her sister) because now she is living with him in his home.She also told that she was being threatened and harassed by phone and sms.Her brother in law told that her wife was also being harassed and intimidated by cell phone sms from some unknown numbers.

On September 1,2014,she petitioned in court to restrain her Ex-husband to harass her and her family members and she also demanded for life security because she was threatened to be killed if she would attend Church and marry with any Christian man.She was warned and threatened that she was Muslim and if she would retreat to Christian religion.She will commit apostasy and punishment of apostate in Islam is death.
"Now I am in a fix and no way where to go",she told.She further added that she bought death with her own act and now lost her religious freedom.

LEAD has started to raise awareness on this issue and it will host and arrange some events on this issue to make aware the Christian women in Pakistan regarding the problems and difficulties which after such marriages they have to face.We are in search of international partners who will raise the issue of forced conversion and religious liberty with us.

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