Newspaper Articles

Rape and murder of Christian girls

Islamabad – Brutal violence has been committed against two Christian girls: Lubna Masih, age 12, was raped and murdered by a group of Muslims in Rawalpindi and Kiran Nayyaz of Faisalabad, a 13-year-old Catholic, was raped by a Muslim youth and is now pregnant, under the protection of the local Catholic Church. The Christian community in Pakistan is in shock.
Reliable local sources of Fides reported the case of Lubna Masih, daughter of Saleem and Gudde Masih, a Christian family living in Dhoke Ellahi Buksh, a district of Rawalpindi. Saleem Masih works as a taxi driver and worked hard to pay for the studies of his only daughter. On September 27, at 6:30 am, the girl left the house to buy milk. A group of five young Muslims stopped her and forced her into a car that drove swiftly away. She screamed, but nobody came to her aid. They took her to the cemetery of Dhoke Ellahi Buksh, where they rape and murder her, leaving the body. A few hours later, passers-by call the police, who verify the death.
Luba’s parents are in shock and terrified, which is why they still have not wanted to press charges or release any official statement. In disbelief and appalled, Fides sources who have met with them say, “they just think of leaving the city and rebuilding their lives elsewhere.” Some non-governmental organizations and the Christian Lawyers Foundation have condemned the incident, offering material and legal support to the family, hoping to convince the parents to file a complaint and start a legal process. According to Fides sources, “episodes of violence and abuse of Christian girls are part of daily life. Those that make the news are just the tip of the iceberg.” Behind the murder there may be threat, denial of a marriage proposal from a Muslim, or the intent to take the girl on the way to slavery or prostitution. Christian families, very weak on a social level, are the main victims of this violence.
Another case directly involves the Catholic Church: in Faisalabad, Kiran Nayyaz, a 13-year-old Catholic girl who worked as a maid in the home of a wealthy Muslim landowner, was raped by Muhammad Javed, a Muslim young man employed as a driver in the same family. Kiran is now pregnant. The incident happened in the village of Chak Jhumra, 35 km from Faisalabad, in April of last year, but only on October 2 was a formal complaint against the rapist submitted to the authorities, thanks to the “Justice and Peace Commission” and the “Commission for Women” of the Diocese of Faisalabad.
“The situation is dramatic: the local Catholic Church has assumed the defense of the family and has reported the case to the police, who are currently investigating,” Fides was told by Fr. Khalid Rashid Asi, Vicar General of Faisalabad. The girl is under the protection of the Church, which is taking care of her. “The family is traumatized and the entire Catholic community fear reprisals. But cases of violence such as these are unfortunately common,” notes the Vicar. “Then there is the added drama of a teenager who gives birth to a child who is the result of rape. As Catholics, even in this tragedy, we are in favor of life.”
According to the Center for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS), abductions and sexual violence against Christian and Hindu girls are growing in the country, often with the goal of conversions and forced marriages. CLAAS, which provides free legal assistance to victims, recalls other recent cases that have gone unpunished: in July 2010 in Farooqabad, in Punjab, a 16-year-old Christian girl was kidnapped, raped, and tortured by three Muslims, while another 12-year-old Christian was raped by a group of Muslim students in Gujar Khan, in the Rawalpindi district. Today, a Christian family near Lahore mourns death of Samina Ayub, she also worked in the house of a wealthy Muslim. Police suspect a case of conversion and forced marriage. In Lyari, a 13-year-old Hindu named Poonam has been kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam. The suffering of Christian girls has recently entered more into the light, mainly due to the cases of Shazia Bashir (see Fides 01/25/2010), Sumera Pervaiz (see Fides 29/4/2010), and Ashraf Magdalene.
=======================
Violence Against Women – Brief Overview
Violence against women in Pakistan, especially against Christian workers, is a phenomenon that is ascertained, but often met with indifference or impunity.
According to the Pakistani NGO “Alliance Against Sexual Harassment,” 91% of domestic workers say they have suffered abuse or sexual violence. The young people belonging to religious minorities are particularly vulnerable,” notes the NGO. According to the organization, each year the complaints are numerous and often imply a kidnapping of the workers who are often torn from their Christian families and forced to marry wealthy businessmen and convert to Islam.
In 2009, the recorded cases of violence against women (Christian or not) increased by 13%, notes the Foundation “Aurat,” active for over 20 years in defense of women in Pakistan. Many cases remain unknown because family, intimidated, not make complaints. According to data compiled by the Foundation, in 2009 there were 1,052 murders of women, 71 cases of rape with homicide, 352 rapes, 265 gang rapes, 1,452 cases of torture, and 1,198 kidnappings.
Some of these cases even imply young girls. Social discrimination against religious minorities is widespread, notes the “Justice and Peace Commission” of the Pakistani Bishops’ Conference. In particular, there are many abuses against women perpetrated by Islamic militant groups, but also by members of the middle class. The Christian churches and associations defending the rights of minorities are asking the government to take serious steps to ensure the freedom and rights of women in Pakistan.

About the author

Junaid Qaiser

6 Comments

Click here to post a comment
  • Shame on these so called Muslims who are indeed a blot on Islam, Pakistan and humanity.

    Let us hope that the Chief of Punjabi Taliban Shahbaz Sharif (CM of the Punjab province) and his (personal servant) Islamic Qazi (Justice Sharif) will take personal interest in the case and award exemplary punishment to the criminals involved.

  • This is a country where nobody will be concerned for brutual rape and murder done by their own people but will spend millions of dollars and hundreded of hours of speeches for some convicted American citizen who was being punished through a legal process.
    The justices of high and supreme court takes cases based on their TPR rating. How much media covergae a case will attract will make it elligible for hearing next day or next year. No body is concerned with what is due legal process and what their responsibilities are even a herd of animal is more protective about other animals of herd.

    Lets hope that media will pick the issue and it gets a better TPR rating. Then may be there will some judicial activism for few days. But at the end like all other cases the orignal criminals will get bailed out and finally release based on insufficient proofs against them as nobody will come forward as witness for the sake of their own saftey and life.

    Long Live Pakistan. Long live Injustice to Minorities and Long live CJ of Pakistan…

  • bohat afsos ha. k aj pakistan ki Government main be harami hain. suna tha shahbaz sharif bohat gairat wala ha wo greebo ki ezat ka mahafiz ha. lakin aj daikhty hain k wo shahbaz sharif jo greebo ki ezat ka rakhwala ha in greeb logo ko insaaf delata ha. lakin kanha insaf mily ga in baicharo ko punjab police main jo shakhish ha wo baigarat ha dala ha harami ha. khada k liye shahbaz sharif sahib mairy ap sy darkhast ha k in baigarto ko hamaisha k liye khutam kar do. agar tum ny in dalon ko saza na di main samjo ga ab pakistan main koi bi gairat wala ni ha.