Imagine, a case that would be a no-brainer — kidnappers go to jail, girls return home — in Pakistan, “Land of the Pure,” has to drag on for months and go to the “supreme court.” More on this story. “Pakistan; custody case could go to supreme court,” from Compass Direct, August 20:
Muslim kidnappers continue to pressure girls at shelter: “˜Your parents will kill you.”
ISTANBUL, August 20 (Compass Direct News) — A custody battle in Pakistan over two Christian girls kidnapped and allegedly forced to convert to Islam remained inconclusive after a hearing today, with rights advocates for the family suspecting Muslim fundamentalists of pressuring the minors and a medical board. Judge Malek Saeed Ejaz of the Lahore High Court’s Multan Branch set the next hearing for Sept. 9.
Lawyers for the Masih family said that if the girls are not returned to their parents at the next hearing they will appeal to the Pakistani Supreme Court. Until then, Aneela and Saba Masih, 10 and 13 respectively, will remain at Multan’s Dar Ul Rahman women’s shelter.
Interesting name, “Masih,” as it means Christ in Arabic. More interesting is that in this earlier story, the girls’ name was given as “Yunis.” Has the family taken on the name “Christ” in an effort to reassert their Christian identity in face of the girls’ Islamic captivity?
Islamic jurisprudence and Pakistani law do not recognize the forced marriages of minors. The judge’s decision to extend the case was based on Saba Masih’s testimony that she is 17 and on a Lahore medical board’s ruling that she is between 15 and 17.
Muslim fundamentalists, however, may have pressured the medical board, lawyers said.
“Muslim fundamentalists” pressuring the rule of (secular) law? — never!
Rights advocates said the girls themselves may have come under pressure while at the women’s shelter.
Rashid Rehman of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said, “They are giving them misinformation regarding their parents, saying, “˜If you return to your parents, they will kill you.–
Another grand irony possible only in the Islamic world: kidnappers and rapists trying to convince their victims that their Christian parents are really the “bad guys.”