ICC Note: The Islamabad High Court in Pakistan has returned a 12-year-old Christian girl to her family after she was abducted and forcefully converted to Islam. According to the judge, it was clear that the conversion was a “result of inducement and compulsion.” Forced conversion to Islam is one of the toughest issues faced by Christians in Pakistan. Every year, hundreds of Christian girls and women are abducted, forcefully converted, and married to their abductors.
02/14/2018 Pakistan (Christian Post) – A court in Pakistan has given custody of a 12-year-old Christian girl, who was abducted by a Muslim and forced into an Islamic marriage, back to her parents.
The order was handed down by the Islamabad High Court last Thursday, according to the Pakistani English newspaper Dawn.
The outlet reports that the ruling came after the unnamed girl, who was born in May 2005, was unable to convince the court that she had willingly converted to Islam.
According to court documents, the girl gave a Muslim name when she was first asked to state her name in the courtroom. Additionally, the girl explained that she had only embraced Islam “for the purpose of marriage only.”
The girl reportedly declared that Jesus was her prophet. She was not able to name any other prophet — including the Muslim Prophet, Muhammad — when asked to do so.
Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui wrote in the court order that he wasn’t sold on the claim that the girl had embraced Islam and married on her own free will. The justice argued that it is more likely that the girl’s conversion and marriage to the man was a “result of inducement and compulsion.”
“How the girl has become Muslim when she does not know even about Prophet Muhammad?” the court ruling asks, according to Pakistan Today.
According to Dawn, the judge explained that it appears that the Muslim man and his father plotted to abduct the girl.
Siddiqui directed police investigators to review the matter. The judge also ruled that the validity of the girl’s marriage to the man was questionable and needed to be resolved in family court. Upon conclusion of the hearing, the girl agreed to return home to her parents.
“I am constrained to observe that this sort of act of abduction and taking [the] shelter of Islam is totally uncalled for and unacceptable,” Siddiqui wrote, according to Dawn.
The judge also declared that everyone in Pakistan — Muslims and Christians alike — have equal protections under the nation’s constitution.
However, that principle is not applied consistently across the nation.
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