Forced Conversions in Pakistan. By Professor Anjum James Paul

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No duress in matters of religion. (Koran)
Believers [Muslims], Jews, Sabaeans, or Christians whoever believes in God and the Last Day and does what is right-shall have nothing to fear or to regret. Verse 69 of Sura 5 ‘The Table’.
Islam and Liberty, The Historical Misunderstanding, Mohmed Gharfi, p-45, ed.2005, Pub. Zed Books Ltd, London, UK.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscious and religion. This right includes freedom to:
a) change his religion or belief and
b) manifest his religion, in public or private in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
Human Rights, Theory and Practice, Barrister Zafarullah Khan, p-38,2nd Revised edition, Pub. Pakistan Law House, Karachi, Pakistan, ed.2007.
The Founder of Pakistan the Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in his presidential address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on August 11, 1947 said, “You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State………Now I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.”
Article 25 (1) of the Constitution of Pakistan 1973 describes, “All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law.”
INTRODUCTION:
The state of Pakistan was emerged in the map of the world on August 14, 1947 after the division of India by the English rulers. Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Sikhs played equally their role for the birth of Pakistan. But after the death of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah who was a great leader and pioneer of Pakistan wave of religious intolerance and hatred was created by some Muslims elements. This was obvious in the shape of the Objectives Resolution which was passed by the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on March 12, 1949. Sense of segregation was created in the religious minorities of Pakistan by the Resolution in which superiority of single religion was kept in mind violating the address of its pioneer that he delivered in the First Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on August 11, 1947. Pakistan is a multi religious country where people of different faiths are living. Though Muslims are in a majority but every citizen must be equal without any discrimination. The Objectives Resolution is a part of the present Constitution of Pakistan which has humiliated the human rights of the religious minorities. This is the bone of contention and a great hurdle in national unity and integration. It is utmost need of the time to abolish all of the discriminatory Articles and sections from the Constitution to make Pakistan a democratic and moderate state.
It is very important to know about the discriminatory Articles of the present Constitution of Pakistan 1973 which give preference to Muslims and Islam. This will be helpful to focus our topic of conversion of religion in Pakistan.
Article 2 of the Constitution describes “Islam is the state religion.”
Article 2 (A)Whereas sovereignty over the entire universe belongs to Allah Almighty alone and the authority which He has delegated to the State of Pakistan, through its people for being exercised within the limits prescribed by Him is a sacred trust;
This Constituent Assembly representing the people of Pakistan resolves to frame a Constitution for the sovereign independent State of Pakistan;
Wherein the State shall exercise its powers and authority through the chosen representatives of the people;
Wherein the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice as enunciated by Islam shall be fully observed;
Wherein the Muslims shall be enabled to order their lives in the individual and collective spheres in accordance with the teachings and requirements of Islam as set out in the Holy Quran and the Sunnah;
Wherein adequate provision shall be made for the minorities to profess and practice their religions and develop their cultures;
Wherein the territories now included in or in accession with Pakistan and such other territories as may hereafter be included in or accede to Pakistan shall form a Federation wherein the units will be autonomous with such boundaries and limitations on their powers and authority as may be prescribed;
Wherein shall be guaranteed fundamental rights including equality of status, of opportunity and before law, social, economic and political justice, and freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, worship and association, subject to law and public morality;
Wherein adequate provisions shall be made to safeguard the legitimate interests of minorities and backward and depressed classes;
Wherein the independence of the Judiciary shall be fully secured;
Wherein the integrity of the territories of the Federation, its independence and all its rights including its sovereign rights on land, sea and air shall be safeguarded;
So that the people of Pakistan may prosper and attain their rightful and honored place amongst the nations of the World and make their full contribution towards international peace and progress and happiness of humanity.
Article 19. Every citizen shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression, and there shall be freedom of the press, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of the glory of Islam or the integrity, security or defence of Pakistan or any part thereof, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court [commission of] or incitement to an offence.
Article 31. (1) Steps shall be taken to enable the Muslims of Pakistan, individually and collectively, to order their lives in accordance with the fundamental principles and basic concepts of Islam and to provide facilities whereby they may be enabled to understand the meaning of life according to the Holy Quran and Sunnah.
(2) The state shall endeavour, as respects the Muslims of Pakistan,:
(a) to make the teaching of the Holy Quran and Islamiat compulsory, to encourage and facilitate the learning of Arabic language and to secure correct and exact printing and publishing of the Holy Quran;
(b) to promote unity and the observance of the Islamic moral standards; and
(c) to secure the proper organisation of zakat, [ushr,] auqaf and mosques”
Article .40. Strengthening bonds with Muslim world and promoting international peace.
The State shall endeavour to preserve and strengthen fraternal relations among Muslim countries based on Islamic unity, support the common interests of the peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America, promote international peace and security, foster goodwill and friendly relations among all nations and encourage the settlement of international disputes by peaceful means.
Article 41(2) “ A person shall not be qualified for election as President unless he is a Muslim of not less than forty-five years of age and is qualified to be elected as member of the national Assembly.”
Article 203C (1) There shall be constituted for the purposes of this Chapter a court to be called the Federal Shariat Court.
(2) The Court shall consist of not more than eight Muslim [Judges], including the [Chief Justice], to be appointed by the President.]
203D (1) The Court may, either of its own motion or] on the petition of a citizen of Pakistan or the Federal Government or a Provincial Government, examine and decide the question whether or not any law or provision of law is repugnant to the injunctions of Islam, as laid down in the Holy Quran and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet, hereinafter referred to as the Injunctions of Islam.
(1A) Where the Court takes up the examination of any law or provision of law under clause (1) and such law or provision of law appears to it to be repugnant to the Injunctions of Islam, the Court shall cause to be given to the Federal Government in the case of a law with respect to a matter in the Federal Legislative List or the Concurrent Legislative List, or to the Provincial Government in the case of a law with respect to a matter not enumerated in either of those Lists, a notice specifying the particular provisions that appear to it to be so repugnant, and afford to such Government adequate opportunity to have its point of view placed before the Court.]
203 E (4) A party to any proceedings before the Court under clause (1) of Article 203D may be represented by a legal practitioner who is a Muslim and has been enrolled as an advocate of a High Court for a period of not less than five years or as an advocate of the Supreme Court or by a jurisconsult selected by the party from out of a panel of jurisconsults maintained by the Court for the purpose.
(5) For being eligible to have his name borne on the panel of jurisconsults referred to in clause (4), a person shall be an Aalim who, in the opinion of the Court, is well-versed in Shariat.
(6) A legal practitioner or jurisconsult representing a party before the Court shall not plead for the party but shall state, expound and interpret the Injunctions of Islam relevant to the proceedings so far as may be known to him and submit to the Court a written statement of his interpretation of such Injunctions of Islam.
Article 227. (1) All existing laws shall be brought in conformity with the Injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Holy Quran and Sunnah, in this Part referred to as the Injunctions of Islam, and no law shall be enacted which is repugnant to such Injunctions.
Explanation:- In the application of this clause to the personal law of any Muslim sect, the expression "Quran and Sunnah" shall mean the Quran and Sunnah as interpreted by that sect.]
(2) Effect shall be given to the provisions of clause (1) only in the manner provided in this Part.
(3) Nothing in this Part shall affect the personal laws of non- Muslim citizens or their status as citizens.
228. (1) There shall be constituted within a period of ninety days from the commencing day a Council of Islamic Ideology, in this part referred to as the Islamic Council.
(2) The Islamic Council shall consist of such members, being not less than eight and not more than [twenty], as the President may appoint from amongst persons having knowledge of the principles and philosophy of Islam as enunciated in the Holy Quran and Sunnah, or understanding of the economic, political, legal or administrative problems of Pakistan.
(3) While appointing members of the Islamic Council the President shall ensure that:
(a) so far as practicable various schools of thought are represented in the Council;
(b) not less than two of the members are persons each of whom is, or has been, a Judge of the Supreme Court or of a High Court;
(c) not less than four of the members are persons each of whom has been engaged, for a period of not less than fifteen years, in Islamic research or instruction; and (d) at least one member is a woman.
[(4) The President shall appoint one of the members of the Islamic Council to be the Chairman thereof.]
(5) Subject to clause (6) a member of the Islamic Council shall hold office for a period of three years.
(6) A member may, by writing under his hand addressed to the President, resign his office or may be removed by the President upon the passing of a resolution for his removal by a majority of the total membership of the Islamic Council.
Article 229. The President or the Governor of a Province may, or if two-fifths of its total membership so requires, a House or a Provincial Assembly shall, refer to the Islamic Council for advice any question as to whether a proposed law is or is not repugnant to the Injunctions of Islam.
Article 230. (1) The functions of the Islamic Council shall be,
(a) to make recommendations to [Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament)] and the Provincial Assemblies as to the ways and means of enabling and encouraging the Muslims of Pakistan to order their lives individually and collectively in all respects in accordance with the principles and concepts of Islam as enunciated in the Holy Quran and Sunnah;
(b) to advise a House, a Provincial Assembly, the President or a Governor on any question referred to the Council as to whether a proposed law is or is not repugnant to the Injunctions of Islam;
(c) to make recommendations as to the measures for bringing existing laws into conformity with the Injunctions of Islam and the stages by which such measures should be brought into effect; and
(d) to compile in a suitable form, for the guidance of [246] [Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament)] and the Provincial Assemblies, such Injunctions of Islam as can be given legislative effect.
(2) When, under Article 229, a question is referred by a House, a Provincial Assembly, the President or a Governor to the Islamic Council, the Council shall, within fifteen days thereof, inform the House, the Assembly, the President or the Governor, as the case may be, of the period within which the Council expects to be able to furnish that advice.
(3) Where a House, a Provincial Assembly, the President or the Governor, as the case may be, considers that, in the public interest, the making of the proposed law in relation to which the question arose should not be postponed until the advice of the Islamic Council is furnished, the law may be made before the advice is furnished:Provided that, where a law is referred for advice to the Islamic Council and the Council advises that the law is repugnant to the Injunctions of Islam, the House or, as the case may be, the Provincial Assembly, the President or the Governor shall reconsider the law so made.
(4) The Islamic Council shall submit its final report within seven years of its appointment, and shall submit an annual interim report. The report, whether interim or final, shall be laid for discussion before both Houses and each Provincial Assembly within six months of its receipt, and Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) and the Assembly, after considering the report, shall enact laws in respect thereof within a period of two years of the final report.
Article 231. The proceedings of the Islamic Council shall be regulated by rules of procedure to be made by the Council with approval of the President.
PREACHING TO CHRISTIANS AND OTHER MINORITIES THROUGH TEXTBOOK AND EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
1. There is Islamization of textbooks as Islamic prayer is written almost on each and every textbook while these books are for all the students regardless of any creed.
2. The attitude of the academic staff is mostly biased against the students and employees of other faiths.
3. Individuals and groups of academic staff and students not only preach to the students and employees of other faiths to convert them to Islam as their religious obligation to invite the followers of other faiths to Islam. And if one doesn’t convert to Islam then is harassed and threatened. The tool of Section 295 C of Pakistan Penal Code is misused against such a person which is as under “Use of derogatory remarks, etc., in respect of the Holy Prophet: whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representations, or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him), shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.” Many innocent followers of other faiths have been martyred. A large number is behind the bars and some had to flee. Reference No.1. Mr. Naimat Ahmer, a school headmaster was martyred. Reference No.2 Sattar Masih and Reference No 3 is Catharine Gulzar, a school teacher.
4. There is preaching of Islam in almost all the subjects. Dignity of Islam and Muslim heroes is expressed in the lessons while there is negation, degradation and attacks on the other faiths and the heroes of those faiths. Sometimes derogatory language is used against other faiths in the textbooks.
5. Students of other faiths have been so much brain washed that they fear to appear in the subject of Ethics or Civics due to bias against them by the Muslim examiners. That is why they give priority to appear in the subject of Islamic Studies and have to hide their faith/s.
6. There is biased and intolerant material against the other faiths in the subject of Islamic Studies. Muslim students are provoked against the other faiths. Such words and terms are used that create disharmony among human beings. The antonym of ‘Muslim’ is ‘Kafir’ (non-believer). Textbooks are playing the role of clerics and are busy in preaching Islam to non-Muslims by all means. This can be simply observed from the following statement which is taken from the book of Islamic Studies, Grade 7, page 29 and line 12, “Write a letter to any of your non-Muslim friend conveying him/her the invitation of Islam.”
7. There is the use of Islamic terms in the subjects of Social Sciences and languages .There are lessons of Arabic and Islamic teachings in the subjects of Urdu language especially and students belonging to other faiths are forced to study them.
8. There is use of pronouns like I, we, our and us in the textbooks considering in mind that all the students belong to one and only religion which is Islam.
Ref No. 1 “1- I like ………..Mecca…………..” P. 27 L. 14, CLASS 4,
Date of Printing
January 2005, PUBLISHER: Punjab Textbook Board, Lahore
Note: Mecca is a sacred place for Muslims.
Ref. 2 “It is for man to choose the right path. It leads us to Allah. In our daily prayers, five times a day, we the Muslims, pray to Allah to show us the right path.” ENGLISH STEP 9, PUBLISHER: Punjab Textbook Board, Lahore
Code No Edition Impression
XLV/AL 2nd 8th
9. Subject of Islamic Studies is taught even in the Social Sciences as well, while students belonging to other faiths are deliberately kept unaware of their faiths. Students of one faith are taught religion while the others are deprived of it. They will be taught the subject of Ethics according to the New Scheme of Studies when it is implemented. Teaching the subject of Ethics to the students of other faiths is to keep them in inferiority complex. This clearly indicates as if there is no ethics in other faiths. This dual standard is the violation of Human Rights. It is the responsibility of the state to make arrangements for the subject of religion according to one’s faith as it is in the case of Muslim students.
10. Students of other faiths other than Islam have to face biased and discriminatory attitude of the teachers in the practical of Home Economics. Muslim teachers mostly do not taste the cooking of these students and menial establishment is asked to taste their cooking and to report the teacher/s
11. There is discrimination with the students of the other faiths in the assembly in the public educational institutions. There is recitation from the Quran, Naat (a poem in Praise of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and sermon delivered from the teachings of Islam. Students of other faiths are forced to attend the assembly that is held for the Muslim students.
12. Students and teachers of other faiths face problem to pronounce or write the exact names of Islamic terms which are mostly in Arabic. There is sometimes hard time for them and Section 295 C of Pakistan Penal Code can be applied against them and they can be put to death either by the court or hardliners. There is no need of any proof for this allegation.
13. There is discrimination of 20 marks with the students of other faiths in NAZRA (reciting the Quran by heart). This discrimination entirely goes against the students of other faiths in Pakistan and it becomes very difficult for them to get admission in higher education.
14. Public and private educational institutions are a source of preaching Islam as verses of Quran, quotations of Muslim scholars and general knowledge about Islam is displayed but nothing is mentioned about the other faiths. Students of other faiths are in inferiority complex due to this as public institutions are asset of all but not of a single sect or religion.
Source: ‘A White Paper on Education in Pakistan, Religious bias, general standard of textbooks and educational policies in Pakistan, Prepared by, Anjum James Paul, published by Pakistan Minorities Teachers’ Association, Sep.2007
CONVERSION TO ISLAM THROUGH RAPE, GANG RAPE AND ABDUCTION.
There is a very common practice to blackmail Christian and Hindu girls and women who are raped, gang raped or abducted by Muslims. They are threatened of life or to convert to Islam. This can easily be observed from some of the victims.
Farhat
Farhat, a Christian lady 30 years old currently remains in a protected place because she does not want to be returned to her Muslim husband, who has threatened to physically abuse or kill her if she ever leaves Islam.
This is a husband who has sexually assaulted her, again and again. Once she escaped from his enforced custody, the husband filed a petition for restoration of his conjugal rights.
In April 1999, Farhat registered cases against her husband and his two brothers under the Hudood Ordinance. The charges against the three are zina—illicit sexual intercourse—and kidnapping—abducting her for the purpose of seducing illicit sexual intercourse in order to compel her to marry. All three men are free on bail.
On 24 April 1994, when she was just 14 years old and returning to her home in Khanewal District from seeing her sister, she was abducted by a Muslim man and his brother. She just had stepped of the train and was looking for a tonga (horse-drawn form of taxi) to take her to her parents. Just as one pulled away, the male driver of a second asked where she was going and told her the two women already in his tonga were going to the same village.
Shortly after she got in, however, the driver dropped off the two women and picked up a man. Little did Farhat know that this second man was the driver's brother.
They took her to a dera (a mud hut) where the driver raped her repeatedly. She begged him not to rape her and told him she was a Christian. He slapped her and verbally abused her, saying she was "the daughter of a shameless man," a Christian. He threatened that he would bring other men if she refused to keep quiet.
The next day he took her to a house and locked her in a separate room. At night he would take her to different mud huts and sexually abuse her; then he would bring her back in the morning and lock her up again while he went off to work. After several days he bribed an imam, a Muslim in charge of a mosque, to bring a marriage contract to the house and to print an announcement in the paper that Farhat had taken on a Muslim name. Thus against her will, it was determined that she was to be married to this man and to have "converted" to Islam.
He kept her in his custody for some five years. During the course of these five years, he kept her locked in a room anytime he was not present, only letting her out when he was home. She was deprived of food and water and a bathroom during these times of lockup. When he was home, he would assault her sexually and from this she became pregnant three times, losing two babies through miscarriages and losing the third after it was three months old. Because she did not have adequate medical care during all of this, she has suffered permanent physical damage.
His brothers often tortured her; in fact he and his brothers beat her up in front of people in their village. Only after Farhat was befriended by a sister-in-law was she able to get away, run to her parents, and seek legal help to keep from going back.
Under Hudood, however, Farhat has no witnesses except herself to the abduction, rape, forced conversion to Islam, and forced marriage. Thus she remains in hiding.
Shakeela Feroz
Shakeela Feroz, a Christian girl, was thirteen years old when she was gang-raped by the three sons of the Muslim woman for whom she was working in 1999. Her father went to the police station to register an FIR against the three; even though he made his complaint, however, it was another seven months before the police would register an FIR against the three boys. The charge was zina—illicit sexual intercourse—under the Hudood Ordinance.
Subsequently, however, after the police "investigated" the matter, they determined to charge Shakeela with zina, claiming that she consented to the sexual intercourse. This was done to pressure Shakeela and her father to make a compromise with the boys, which is one method of resolving certain charges under the Hudood Ordinance. Shakeela and her father refused to do this, and she, though a young teenager, was jailed for over two months until bail was allowed.
Because of this incident, she and her family were forced to relocate to another village. She has six brothers and two sisters, and both parents are aged and sick.
Because Christians are considered anathema to Muslims, Christian women often become the target of rape by Muslim men. Under the Hudood Ordinance, however, rape becomes equivalent to fornication—or to adultery, if the woman already is married—because of the issues of competency and number of witnesses. Also this Ordinance places the female's age for being held criminally responsible at puberty. Thus Hudood is being used to discriminate against and persecute women in general and often Christian women in particular.
Alongside the misuse of the Hudood Ordinance often comes another important issue for Christians—forced conversion to Islam, as occurred in Farhat's case. To avoid being prosecuted under Hudood, the female may be forced to marry the Muslim man who assaulted her and then made by him to recite the Islamic creed, after which she is declared to be converted to Islam. A Christian who marries a Muslim is never allowed to remain a Christian.
Nazia
Nazia is a young girl from a very poor family, so poor that the children were unable to attend school. So Nazia took a job in a factory, a place from which her Muslim foreman abducted her.
For some six months she was forced to live in his house with his family, often being locked up inside the house. He took her to a mosque and threatened to kill her and all her family if she did not convert to Islam. Because she was afraid for her family, she did repeat the Islamic creed, which is all that is needed to be called a Muslim. She also signed a document, presumably a marriage contract, for after this, it was determined that she was married to this foreman. With this, she allegedly converted to Islam and she was married to the foreman, all against her will.
By building up trust with one of his brothers, Nazia finally was able to get away. Having very carefully saved one rupee at a time, she was able to get 50 rupees (approximately $1.00 USD), enough for a "taxi" (like a rickshaw), and in November 1999, she got back to her parents. The foreman's brothers began threatening her, and she became quite frightened. A village elder helped her find legal help.
At a court hearing on 30 November 1999, with a mere wave of his hand indicating she was to leave the courtroom, the judge determined that Nazia was not forced to go with the man—that she had gone with consent—and so she had to be returned to him since he has petitioned for restoration of his conjugal rights. No evidence was presented at the hearing, save for the facts stated in her petition for divorce. Thus, she remains in hiding
Nadia, Naima and Nabila
A particularly egregious case of forced conversion concerns the three young daughters of Khushi and Seema Masih: Nadia, Naima and Nabila. Claiming that the three girls had "embraced Islam," and thus no longer could live with Christian parents, policemen came to the Masih home and took away the daughters. This was 25 January 1998.
The Masih family rented a portion of a house from a Muslim named Liaqat Butt. There were eleven children in the family; six were married, but five were still at home. None attended school. Khushi worked as a bus driver. Seema was employed as a domestic servant, and the three girls often went with her to help. The girls were befriended by the landlord's wife, and the three began to insist that they stay at home rather than go with Seema. It was three months later when the policemen, a social worker, the landlady and several others showed up at the door and took away Khushi and Seema's three daughters.
Khushi Masih went directly to the police station, demanding the daughters be handed over to him. He was denied custody, however; in fact the officer in charge at the station filed an application with the Assistant Commissioner stating that the three girls had "embraced Islam" and should be given over to the custody of Muslims who wanted to adopt them. The girls were sent to a group home, pending the outcome of the application.
The parents tried to see them there but were denied. However, the imam of the local mosque, the Muslim landlady and other Muslims from a religious political party were allowed to meet with the girls. When they finally were brought before a magistrate, he ordered them to stay in the group home, stating, "The girls are under pressure, and they cannot be given into the custody of their parents."
Another hearing was scheduled for 12 March 1998, but the magistrate adjourned the hearing. Two Muslims had organized a huge number of other Muslims to appear at the hearing. They shouted slogans against the parents and against the Christian community in general, threatening the girls of certain consequences if they had any desire to go back to their home or religion.
The final hearing took place on 19 March 1998. Even though evidence was given that the girls were being coerced and wanted to go home, the magistrate ruled that, although the Muslim landlord and his wife could not be given custody, the girls could not be returned to a Christian home and would be left at the group home in the custody of the State. Also he ordered that a teacher should be appointed to provide the girls with Islamic teachings.
At one point during the court process, members of a fanatical Muslim group attacked Khushi Masih's house. They beat him up and drove out his wife and other young children, still barefoot and without warm clothes or food. They were locked out of the house and were threatened that they should leave the town and forget the three daughters.
Oldest daughter, Nadia, now 26, had been married to a Muslim attorney, and they had been given custody of the other two girls, who had been moved to a location unknown to the parents. The parents have no home but move from relative to relative.
Sara Tabasum
In September 2005 a 12-year-old Christian girl, Sara Tabasum, was abducted by neighbors near Rawalpindi. She was raped by three men in the neighbors' home, and told she could be "saved" if she agreed to convert to Islam and married one of the sons of the neighbors. Sara was reportedly raped by a total of 16 men, and as she had not recanted her faith her captors arranged to sell her to a gang. While being taken away in a truck, she jumped out and fled back to her family.
ABDUCTION AND CONVERSION OF CHRISTIAN GIRLS FROM THEIR HOUSES
Zunaira
On August 5, 2008 Muhammad Adnan, a Muslim from Zulfiqar colony Faisalabad and his sister kidnapped Zunaira, an eleven years old Christian girl from her home in Warispura. After the kidnap, they forced her to convert to Islam and marry her kidnaper Muhammad.
The small girl’s mother, Abida, told “When I was roaming in streets in search of my daughter two Muslim men of the area told me that they saw Adnan and his sister taking my daughter”. Abida decided to go to the kidnapper’s house, from which however she was thrown out. Returning home, she was contacted by two men who revealed the kidnappers identity and offer to act as negotiators for her daughters release in exchange for money.
Despite being desperately poor, Abida gave them 12 thousand Rupees “I didn’t want to inform the police, because my daughter was engaged and I didn’t want my relatives to know. Unfortunately I found out too late that those men who said they would help me only wanted money: I have sold all I have, but it wasn’t enough and now I am alone”. Abida then turned to the police, but they refused help. The fact that the marriage is invalid given the age of the bride, “is not a matter for the police” said the police officers.
Shumaila Tabussum
Shumaila Tabussum, (16), was kidnapped from her home on August 6, 2008 by Mazher a Muslim and some other unknown people. They told Shumaila that her father had been seriously injured in an accident and offered to accompany her to the hospital where he had been taken. The girl, without waiting for her mother, got into Mazher’s car: on the way she met two uncles at shouted the news of her father’s accident to them. These made their way to the hospital but found no-one.
Salamat Masih, 37, Shumaila’s father, immediately reported the abduction to the police. He said that he was very worried because cases such as these were on the increase: Christian girls abducted, forcibly converted and subjected to becoming the wives of complete strangers”.
PAKISTANI COURTS AND CONVERSIONS.
Pakistani courts are biased against the Christians. Their decisions on the conversions to Islam are controversial and a threat to Christians as they are guardian of the Muslims on the issue of conversion.
Saba Younis, aged 12, and her 10 year old sister, Anila Younis
On 12 July 2008, a judge in Pakistan's Punjab province ignored pleas that Saba Younis, aged 12, and her 10 year old sister, Anila Younis, who went missing on 26 June from the small town of Chowk Munda, had been kidnapped while on their way to their uncle's residence and ruled that their conversion to Islam was legal.
The kidnappers, who had married the girls, had also filed for custody of the girls at a local police station on 28 June, asserting that the sisters had converted to Islam and their father no longer had jurisdiction over them.
The police had been unable to trace the girls, and members of the local Christian community were shocked when their abductors came forward to claim that the girls had converted to Islam and that they had married the girls.
The Muzaffargarh district court on 12 July said the disputed conversion of the girls was legal, and it was this ruling that left the local Christians stunned.
Younis Masih, the father of the kidnapped girls, was threatened by the local police when he went to complain about the kidnapping of his daughters. Police refused to support the Christian family saying that the village had only a few Christian families living among 150 Muslim families.
FORCED CONVERSION OF WORKING WOMEN
In September 2006, Nasreen Pervez a 40-year-old Christian woman and her 13-year -old daughter had been abducted near Sialkot. After the death of her husband, Nasreen Pervez had gone with her daughter to work as servants at the home of their Muslim neighbor. After a month, the man refused to pay them and kept them prisoners. The two were subjected to torture with shards of glass and burns when they refused to convert to Islam. The man had even brought a bottle of acid and a syringe and threatened to inject them if they did not convert. Their captor also threatened to kill their relatives if they did not become Muslim. The pair was released by a bailiff, on the orders of a court, after another daughter discovered what had happened to them.
LETTERS TO CHRISTIANS TO CONVERT TO ISLAM
Charsadda and Mardan
On May 7, 2009, an ultimatum was delivered by letter to local Christian communities of Charsadda and Mardan in the North West Frontier Province by the extremists, threatening them to Convert to Islam within 10 days and shut down all the churches of Pakistan.
Sargodha
On October 6, 2009, Rev. Zaheer Khan, pastor of Maghoo Memorial Church, Rev. Aamir Azeem, pastor of United Christians Church and Rev. Zafar Akhter, pastor of United Presbyterian Church each received a copy of threatening letter from Taliban in Sargodha. They were warned to convert to Islam, pay Jizya tax (an Islamic tax imposed on religious minorities) or leave the country. If Christians refuse to accept the choices given to them, the letter explained that they “would be killed, their property and homes would be burnt to ashes and their women would be treated as sex slaves. And they themselves would be responsible for this.” The letters were sent to the following Christian institutions: St Peter’s Middle School, Sargodha Institute of Technology, Sargodha Catholic High School, St. John's Primary School and Fatima Hospital.
ROLE OF BIASED ELECTRONIC AND PRINT MEDIA IN CONVERSION
Pakistani electronic and print media is biased against the religious minorities and especially against Christians. There is propagation against Christianity on different television channels, radio, newspapers, magazines and cable network, Pictures, reports and interviews of conversion to Islam are highlighted. On the other hand they are banned for the Christians or the other religious minorities. Christians are not very often allowed to use loudspeaker while Muslims openly use it.
SENDING TEXT MESSAGES OF CONVERSIONS THROUGH MOBILES
A new trend of sending messages as Anjum received a text message from cell number 92-300-3896708 on January 14, 2010 at 08:13:49 hours. Some text was missing but the remaining one is quoted here“Nazar aa rahi thi magar 2 jagga Roshan thi Telescope say Dekha to Roshni wali jagga MAKKAH aur MADINA thay. Aur chand pe sari Frequency fail ho jati hain magar Sirf Ek Awaaz ati hai jo ki AZAAN ki Awaaz hai. SUBHAN ALLAH. Plz 4wrd it 2 ALL Muslims & Non- Muslims.” Translation of the text in English ‘Was seeing but there was light on two places. Through telescope saw the places of light and they were Makkah and Madina. All frequencies are failed on the moon but there is only one voice and that is of Call. Praise to God. Plz 4wrd it 2 ALL Muslims & Non- Muslims.’ On the other hand a Christian cannot send this sort of text messages to Muslims which relate to Christianity .if he does then he has to face the criminal cases. There is liberty to Muslims to preach for their religion but not to the religious minorities. In this way they try to impress and attract the people of other faiths to Islam.
Often Pakistani cellular companies send text messages to their consumers in which they are invited to set Islamic tones or receive the verses of the Holy Quran and in the same way other Islamic information. There have been protest by the Christian consumers to these companies that such text message must not be sent to them but no heed has been paid by these companies. Just to increase their income they violate the rights of Christians and other minorities.
SPORTS A TOOL OF CONVERSION
There is discrimination with the Christians in the field of sports. They are forced to convert to Islam otherwise they have to face serious consequences. The Muslim players openly preach and practice their religion while the others are deprived of it. Cricketer Muhammad Yousaf former Yousaf Youhana is an example who converted to Islam as he had to face many challenges as a cricketer being a Christian.
AFFAIRS, A MEAN TO CONVERSION.
Affair also becomes a source of conversion to Islam in Pakistan. There is death penalty to the apostate in Islam. In this situation if a girl has an affair with a Muslim boy and they want to get marry. Then only a Christian girl will have to change her religion just to get marry because a Muslim boy cannot get married to a Christian girl until she is not converted. In such cases most of the times Muslim families are not ready to accept the girls because they know that she has converted to Islam just to keep up her relation with their boy. She has to go through sufferings and persecutions.
FAMILY AND CULTURAL HINDRANCES LEAD TO CONVERSION
In Pakistan cultural values are very strong and it is very difficult to violate them. Mostly there are arranged marriages without consultation to a boy or a girl. They cannot see or discuss about there future lives. Qualifications like age, profession, liking and disliking are not considered. Parents have the authority over their children. No one can challenge their authority in the house and if one does then is deprived of from the assets. If a Christian boy or a girl like each other and they have the same situation then they have no other option than to convert to Islam and get marry for their protection in the court. If they embrace Islam then the Muslims becomes their guardians. Their Christian families know that if they harm either boy or the girl then they will have to face serious consequences. Yousaf Masih 23 years old and Saima 18 years old had to convert to Islam in July, 2009 in district Muzaffar Garh as the couple liked each other but the girl’s father opposed. She was beaten up by her father. Yousaf was tortured by the girl’s family. He remained in the hospital for about a month. She was then produced in the court where she confessed that she loved Yousaf. She remained in the protection of court. They got married as Muslims in the court. The couple is still hiding for their lives because Saima’s father wants to kill them as he has been dishonoured.

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