Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Does anyone care about Rebecca?

PPP MNA Pir Abdul Haq, lovingly known as Mian Mithoo
--the face of a thousand nightmares for the religious minorities of Pakistan.

Here I am talking to girls about what twitter would refer to as #firstworldproblems --(often including my own) and then it suddenly hits me-- I'm completely utterly clueless about what real devastation is. Yes I know that pain and suffering are subjective; for some of us the worst pain we will ever know is that of minor surgery or a broken heart from a relationship fall-out, but for us.. that truly does become the worst pain imaginable.

Yet there are people that face our issues and so much more. A kind of suffering that we only see from the outside. Seems like a movie or a scary book..

Does anyone actually care about these people?

As I, and a handful of other bloggers/journalists reported earlier this month, on October 2nd a young girl named Rebecca was kidnapped from her family in Sukkar (Sindh Province), Pakistan. Kidnapping happens all over the world --but here in North America we'd have Amber Alerts going out, authorities in every city and province on high alert and flyers in every gas station and 7-Eleven from here to Nantucket looking for the disgusting freak of a criminal that thought it was OK to take someone's child from them.

Not in Pakistan.

It's October 24th today, and in Hyderabad, Pakistan after 22 days in captivity with GOD KNOWS WHAT happening to this girl, Rebecca has NO JUSTICE.

Her family knows where she is, they know who kidnapped her, they even have clear previous evidence that this has been a RECURRING CRIME within the political religious gangster's establishment that took their daughter from them. Let's not forget that this man (if I can even use that word for him) Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan --member of the ruling Peoples Party Pakistan, one Pir (religious leader) Abdul Haq AKA Mian Mithoo and his gang of mentally disturbed followers have been linked on a continuous bases to other cases like this one --where girls from families of religious minorities are taken from their homes, kept for weeks at the Pir's Haveli (compound), forcibly converted and then married off to his followers and servants.

In fact, one of the more recent and disturbing cases is that of Rinkle Kumari; a young Hindu girl who's story is much like Rebecca's.

Is anyone actually paying attention?

Hindu sources cite that over 300 girls A YEAR are stolen from their homes, and their childhoods into the willing arms of their "husbands" aka in my humble opinion, rapists for life.

I am NOT OK with this.

As a girl, as a HUMAN this has got to be some of the most disturbing garbage I have had to read over my lifetime and yet what's even worse is that no one seems to be listening. It feels like I'm constantly banging my head against the brick wall of North American pacifism. Why Canada? Why America? Because it's not your daughter's being stolen and forced to submit as sexual slaves to the wanton needs of these pathetic excuses for men?

Do I expect you all to pull out your shotguns and book a flight to Pakistan ASAP? No. But there are things you CAN do.

Just pray about it. Not just say you're going to pray and pretend. Talk about it, share what you know with others --and with your Member Parliaments, with your churches, with your neighbours, anyone. And for God's sake stop avoiding the subject. This is more than just about religion --because I know that Islam has become such an untouchable subject for us all; if this was Christians kidnapping Muslim girls I would have condemned it with even harsher terms than I use right now. It's disgusting, it's inhumane, and for these girls: it's their reality. PLEASE don't ignore them.

On October 22nd, Rebecca's was "produced" by her kidnappers before the high court in Sukkar and the "application" submitted by her father against her captors was delivered to her (as news sources have put it) kidnapper husband. The appeals by her family were rejected in near entirety and this girl could not even speak a word in court. Witnesses say her sorrow was visible; "she appeared to have been so frightened and terrorized" but "she did not utter a word".

She came to court accompanied by Mian Aslam, son of Mian Mithoo as well as her "husband" Manzar Dahar. Her family begged the court to allow her to go to Darul Aman (a woman's shelter), but Justice Naamatullah Phulpoto rejected their pleas and sent Rebecca back with her kidnappers and adjourned the hearing to November 2nd.

Dr. Nazir S Bhatti of Pakistan Christian Congress has gone so far as to say of this criminal organization that Pir Mian Mithoo is running that they are kidnapping, converting, forcing the girls into sexual slavery for the Pir  and other feudal Lords and then selling these girls to the highest bidders.

You know what we call that in the civilized world folks? HUMAN TRAFFICKING, and it is a crime of serious offense here in Canada. Perhaps it's time we take it just as seriously when it's happening to the Hindu and Christian girls in Pakistan.

By the way, if you want to know how half of Pakistan sees it, there are quite a few sources around that claim that it's Mian Mithoo who's the victim here --this article actually states that there is no such thing as forced conversion; funny because Christian pastors are constantly accused arrested and even killed for just that.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Christian Girl Kidnapped and Forcibly Married to Muslim Man.

via Pakistan Christian Post:

HYDERABAD October 10, 2012. By Abbas Kassar

A 22 year old Christian girl named Rebecca; resident of Mariam Colony Sukkur was kidnapped by armed men hired by Mian Aslam son of Mian Mithoo, Member of Parliament of Pakistan (National Assembly). The kidnapping occurred while Rebecca was on her way to work as a Nurse on October 02, 2012. She was taken captive to Bharchoondi the Haveli (Residence) of Mian Mithoo, who is also a politically influential Pir (religious leader) of the area. While there, she was forcibly converted to Islam and married to one Manzar Dahar, a disciple of Pir Mian Mithoo.

When the parents of converted girl came to know about her kidnapping and forced conversion, they were threatened by Mian Aslam the son and instigator of the kidnapping, who warned her family to remain silent or face dangerous consequences. This is not the first time that an incident has occurred and it has been reported that MNA Mian Mithoo (of the ruling Pakistan People's Party) is notorious for kidnapping non-Muslim girls, holding them captive at his Haveli, forcibly converting and marrying them to his disciples or servants.

MNA Mithoo is also the criminal behind the  infamous case of the young Hindu girl Rinkel Kumari; who was also kidnapped from her family and married to his follower. This case made headlines worldwide, however was ignored completely by Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chowdhry; who refused to rescue the Hindu girl and instead handed her to her kidnappers. As usual, he seems utterly helpless in matters of violence against non-Muslims in Pakistan.

Rebecca's parents along with Christian supporters had held protest demonstration in front of the Press Club, Sukkur and tried to file a police report, which the authorities would not allow.

Rebecca is the daughter of Younus Masih, her family is heartbroken. After marriage she has been renamed Kalsoom as often happens to persons converting into Islam --to destroy their former identities and remove them from their former lives.

Younus Masih has witnessed that although police DSP Abdul Rehman Sheerazi was approached to support their request to file an FIR, he too refused to entertain their complaint and asked them to remain silent. They have made an appeal to the president of Pakistan and international community at large begging for someone to help them recover their beloved daughter from these tyrants.

Christians Forced Out of Their Homes in Landi Kotal, Pakistan

Members of the community said they had been ordered to leave the area on Sunday while they were offering weekly prayers. They complained that no prior notice was given to them nor was any alternative provided for their accommodation.
Chairman of the Christian community of Khyber Agency Arshad Masih said they have been living in the area since 1914 when they were brought there by British rulers. According to him, the land was given to the British by the Khugakhel tribe for a hundred-year period.
The Frontier Corps (FC), which also existed at the time under the name of Frontier Constabulary, now says the lease is over and the people must vacate the land, said Masih.
He lamented that all requests to reverse the decision fell on deaf ears with political administrators including senior officials saying the area fell under the jurisdiction of FC.
The Frontier Corps , when contacted, declined to comment on the issue.
Masih, however, rubbished speculation suggesting the tribal people posed a threat to their safety, and stressed the locals of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) were “peace loving people.”
Another prominent member of Khyber Agency’s Christian community, Wilson Wazir said the Frontier Corps  had asked the males of their families to leave immediately, while the women and children had taken shelter in hotels around Peshawar and Khyber Agency.
Some were also residing with their relatives in the provincial capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
“I am here at a hotel in Landi Kotal and my family is not with me,” said Wazir, adding that the community will approach minority ministers Paul Bhatti and Akram Masih Gill to take up the issue.
Wazir added they could not purchase land as most property in the area was disputed over.
Meanwhile, members of the Christian community staged demonstrations to protest against the move. Families holding banners denouncing the decision chanted slogans against the force and chorused: “Where will the poor go now that winter is coming?”

Pastor Arrested for Alleged Blasphemy.

Sangla Hill, Pakistan

Pastor Karma Patrus was arrested Saturday night, after preaching in a Christian family's home. Four muslim families also attended the meeting, requesting that the Pastor pray for healing over sick family members. As he reached home, the loudspeakers on the mosques around his home were screaming condemnation. Calling for all "good muslims" to rise up and punish the infidel Pastor for daring to "convert" muslims.

"He is a blasphemer, an infidel and should  be killed." With this sentiment running thick in the air, hundreds of loyal followers attacked the Pastor's home. 

The mob caused such an uproar that as police came to the scene they found the chaos of hundreds of disturbed people destroying the victims home and beating him mercilessly. After some pressure, the police arrested the thoroughly tortured Pastor into "preventative custody"; but later remanded him under Section 295C PPC Blasphemy Law.

This is not the first time that the Pastor had held open healing and prayer meetings in Sangla Hill, as a well known Evangelist, Muslims and Christians alike often came to him asking for prayer over their ailments and their families. Why? Obviously because they all know Jesus HEALS.

But radical leaders and clerics of local mosques clearly found this to be a threat and have finally made good on their paranoia, accusing the Pastor of pressuring and focing Muslims to convert to Christianity.

Women's Rights, Taliban Reasoning, and Other Pakistani Fables.

The recent crime against humanity via the terroristic shooting of 14 year old Women's Education poster child in Pakistan, one Malala Yousufzai, has once again put Pakistan in the spotlight worldwide. Pakistan's rage against freedom is renowned --but the events of every new month seem to top the last.

Thankfully the young girl has been taken out of Pakistan immediately for treatment and arrived today in Birmingham, UK. I am really grateful to God for her and her family's opportunity, that she is able to receive the best treatment and receive healing. 

Even though I would never want to take anything away from that, a part of me --the part that knows the broken hearts of the voiceless must be echoed somewhere-- feels the need to reveal the hypocrisy in this entire situation. While Malala was made a Princess in Pakistan by the media, she is like thousands of other girls in Pakistan believe that they have rights. Malala's only crime was to speak up and say that she has the right to be educated. A simple truth.

But Malala still has the masses by her side; this past week has witnessed tens of thousands of people taking to the streets in support of her right to live and live freely; men women and children from every status and religion support her. But where are they when other Pakistani women suffer for simple truths?

Asia Bibi.

Rimsha Masih.

And the countless other women who have been imprisoned, tortured, killed --and unlike Malala, most of these women aren't fighting for anything but the right to be alive, be with their families; to be allowed to love and obey God. In fact, the large majority of them have not even said as much. Where is the nationwide million person outrage and immediate international support for them? For these women it takes time, media pressure, and really just a miracle to get anything tangible done. Malala deserves justice and support, and so does every other woman regardless of where in Pakistan they come from and whether or not they are Muslim --denying one of them is a setback for all women.

But back to the Pakistan of October 2012, it seems that there is a significant percent of the population, that is becoming more and more vocal about their delusional beliefs and false logic. Take for example today's article by one  Kunwar Khuldune Shahid of Pakistan Today; like the majority of informed people, Kunwar believes that the Taliban are acting in accordance with Islamic Principles; but true to form this Pakistani journalist can't speak truth without knocking other religions and falsifying history to justify his own faith.

Have a read below:


Kunwar Khuldune Shahid
By: Kunwar Khuldane Shahid

The Malala incident is déjà vu times million. You have religious ‘extremists’ manifesting brutality; the ‘educated’ class calls the act heinous, the ‘intellectuals’ label the offenders as beasts, the ‘liberals’ protest against the ‘cowardly act’ and while everyone is condemning the act, they remain shushed about the root cause of it all: the ideology. Throughout the past every single person who has denounced the Taliban has acted as an apologetic, justifying the religious ideology and claiming how those ‘uneducated morons’ have ‘unfortunately’ misinterpreted the teachings of peace and tranquility – no, they haven’t, ‘unfortunately’.

It is so painfully amusing to note how the ‘moderates’ and armchair revolutionaries, would sit there with a glass of vine in their hands, uninhibitedly hanging out with the opposite sex, not having offered a prayer or fasted for ages, claiming how the Taliban – who lead their lives strictly according to the Shariah – are infesting their religion of harmony. The poor chaps are only doing what their scriptures – the ones that the pseudo intellectuals extol, or don’t have the cojones to criticize – tell them to do. When you are being taught, through the scriptures that are universally recognized by the followers as ‘authentic’, that all the non-believers or threats to the grandeur of your ideology should be killed, you will kill them, where is the misinterpretation here?

Finding slaves or slave girls, repulsive; physically assaulting women, disgusting; cutting off hands for theft, inhuman; stoning people to death, beastly and then venerating the ideology that permits this at the same time is hypocrisy of the very highest order. You sit there, criticize and mock the Taliban that follow your religion in its true form while you live in oblivion with your extremely palatable, but simultaneously blatantly fallacious, brand of religion and then claim that the Taliban are misinterpreting and misapprehending your ideology? Oh, the irony.

Let’s stop carving out quasi religions, or defending ideologies that we’ve all grown up blindly following as the truth. Let’s call a spade a spade instead and realize that at the end of the day as much as you might have a cardiac arrest admitting it, the root cause of religious extremism is: religion – especially in its raw crude form, which again is the only ‘authentic’ form.

Every single religion has a violent streak. Every single one of them orders violence and killing in one form or the other for the ‘non-believers’. One can quote verses from every holy scripture depicting loathe and despise for anyone who doesn’t believe in the said scripture and its propagator. Sure, those scriptures would have the occasional fit of peace as well, but that only springs into the open when it is recognized as the only supreme authority. Every religion is a ‘religion of peace’ as long as it formulates the status quo; there is no concept of ideological symbiosis in any religion. When a tyrannical regime or dictator calls for peace with the condition that they would reign supreme we label them as oppressors, but when this is done in the name of religion we tout it as maneuvers of ‘harmony’.

The Taliban have defended the attack on Malala Yousafzai through scriptures and historic precedents. You can clamor all you want about how there is a lack of understanding on the part of the Taliban, but how on earth can you refute clear messages of violence and historical evidence – scribed by historians of your faith – depicting brutality on the part of some of the most illustrious people in the history of the religion? It is easy to launch vitriol against the Taliban for attacking a 14-year-old girl, but it is also equally hypocritical and pathetic when you eulogize people from your history who did the same in the past, who massacred masses, destroyed lands, pulverized places of worship, raped women, just because they ostensibly did it in the name of your religion. Don’t blame the Taliban for following their lead, don’t blame the Taliban for using violence as a means to cement religious superiority – something that has been done for centuries – don’t blame the Taliban for the fact that you don’t have the guts to call a spade a spade even though it has been spanking your backside for centuries now.

The fact that groups like Tehreek-e-Taliban-Pakistan and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi exist is because Islam is still traversing its Dark Ages while other religions have gone through Reformation, resulting in a collective Renaissance – and that too half a millennium ago. None of the religion in its crude form can work in this day and age, and instead of taking the easy route and scorning at those that follow religious teachings in its original form, the more logical approach would be to accept the truth.

If you’re acknowledging Islam as the supreme authority, you have no grounds for hauling coals over Zia-ul-Haq for implementing laws from the Shariah, you have no grounds for attacking Mumtaz Qadri or feeling sorry for Salmaan Taseer who clearly spoke against the blasphemy law, you have no grounds for lauding Dr Abdul Salaam as a national asset who belonged to a sect that clearly defies Islamic teachings, and yes, you have no grounds for blaming the Taliban.

It’s time our ‘thinkers’ stopped taking the easy way out and finally picked a side. You either follow a religion in its true form or you’re irreligious. The Taliban know which side they are on. Do you?

The writer is Editor Business/City (Karachi), Pakistan Today. He tweets @khuldune and can be contacted at


Needless to say I think this is utter bullsh*t. But hey, at least he's admitting this is their scripture given reality. Putting aside that everyone seems to claim that Christianity has somehow radically changed over the years --what other religions is this guy talking about? Hinduism? Sikhism? Bhuddism? VooDoo? Wiccans? Nope. They're still the same.