Thursday, October 20, 2011
For Zubaida Bibi, a Christian woman working in a garment factory in the Korangi Industrial Area of Karachi, Pakistan, the workday on October 12 at Crescent Enterprises probably began like most. Her job as a custodian helped make it possible for her to care for her children. But before her shift was over, a Muslim worker at the factory attempted to rape her, and then slit her throat, leaving four orphans without a mother to care for them. And the case of Zubaida Bibi is far from unique: In Pakistan, the phenomena of Islamic men raping Christian women is becoming more common.
One might want to imagine that the case of Zubaida Bibi was isolated, or that the assault and murder of this woman had nothing to do with the religious beliefs of the alleged murderer and his victim. However, the truth is that in Islamic societies such as Pakistan, it is not at all uncommon for Muslims to get away without punishment for raping Christian women.
A report from the Barnabas Fund was released in September, detailing the widespread problem in Pakistani society of Muslim men kidnapping Christian girls and forcing them to marry the very men who abducted them. According to the report, the horrifying tragedy of such a crime is played out hundreds of times every year in Pakistan:
The abduction and forced conversion to Islam of Christian girls who are then married against their will to their captors is a disturbing and growing trend in Pakistan; it is estimated that there are over 700 cases every year. …
The forced conversions and marriages are often carried out by influential Muslim families who threaten and severely beat the young girls to frighten them into compliance, as seemingly happened in the case of Farah Hatim. The authorities rarely take action, and often the young girls never return to their families unless they manage to escape their captors. The girls are often raped and become pregnant, making it almost impossible for the courts to release them.
One father was told by police to “forget his daughters” after the two Christian sisters were abducted, raped and forcibly converted in Faisalabad in May.
Even when a captive does manage to escape, it is by no means the end of her suffering. If a woman leaves her new Muslim family and Islam to return to her Christian background, she is considered an apostate — even though she was forcibly converted — and is therefore liable to be killed.