Punjab: Muslims kidnap 14 year old Christian to convert her to Islam

» 08/25/2011 11:55

Mehek Masih was taken from her home in broad daylight and under the threat of a gun. Muslim man intends to “purify her” making her “Muslim and my mistress.” Archbishop Saldanha cases of this type are “frequent,” the law does not protect minorities. One of the many “crosses” that Pakistani Christians have to endure.

Lahore (AsiaNews) – A group of Muslims have kidnapped a 14 year old Christian girl from her home under the threat of a gun and in front of witnesses. The incident occurred on August 17 last in Shisharwali, residential area of the city of Gujranwala, Punjab. According to reports from the Pakistan Christian Post (PCP), Mohammad Tayeb Butt along with four other Muslims raided the house of Rashid Masih in broad daylight, pointed the gun to the head of his daughter Mehek forcing her to climb aboard a white car .

Two young Christians, Imran Masih and Mehboob Masih, tried to rescue the girl, but Mohammad Tayeb pointed the gun at them and threatened to shoot. “She is a Choori” the Muslim shouted, at Mehek, using derogatory and insulting Punjab slang, to define a Christian (for example, when Muslim restaurant owners or street food vendors reject minority religious customers, ed) . He also added that the Choori Mehek will be purified “convert to Islam and become my mistress.”

Sources report that the local Christian activists from the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA) have tried to report the incident to the police. But the agents did not want to open an investigation – as is often the case – at the expense of an influential Muslim personality.

Interviewed by AsiaNews, the Archbishop Emeritus of Lahore and former president of the Pakistan Catholic Bishops’ Conference Mgr. Lawrence John Saldanha stresses that such cases are “common in Pakistan,” and families “can do little or nothing” to save the victims from their captors. He adds: “The Muslim family has an advantage, because the law favors them.”

Added to the tragedy of the kidnapping, the prelate continues, are “the future difficulties that the unfortunate young girl will suffer in the Muslim family.” These are “sad and tragic” episodes for the Christian community and represent, concludes Mgr. Saldanha, “one of the many crosses that the small minorities (even the Hindus) without hope must bear in Pakistan.” (DS)