January 13, 2009
Muslim Neighbor had Promised them Training in ‘Cosmetology’
(January 13, 2009) The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC) www.persecution.org has learned that two Christian girls in Pakistan have finally been rescued after two Muslim men kidnapped them two months ago, raped them repeatedly, forcibly converted them to Islam, and sold them to other men as sex slaves.
Sisters Parvisha, 18, and Sanam, 14, received a call in November 2008 from their neighbor, Muhammad Irfan, offering them training in cosmetology and jobs in his beauty salon. Parvisha, the oldest of seven children, convinced her father, Pastor Sharif Alam, to allow her to take the opportunity so that she could help support their struggling family. Irfan told the girls that he would come to pick them up since they did not know where his shop was.
Kidnappers Drug, Rape, and Force Sisters to Accept Islam
On November 12, 2008, Irfan picked the girls up with the help of another man, Muhammed Mehboob, drove them 30 minutes away from home and stopped to get drinks. The girls’ drinks were heavily drugged and when the sisters came to they found themselves locked in a small hotel room almost 500 miles away from their home in Gujranwala. At gunpoint, the girls were told that if they tried to escape or made any noise they and all of their family would be killed. During the night, each man raped both girls.
The next day the men drove the sisters to Karachi where they stayed at Mehboob’s brother-in-law’s house. There they repeatedly raped both girls over several days and then took them to an Islamic religious school where they forced them to convert to Islam. Parvisha and Sanam were given Muslim names and told that if they cooperated they would be released soon.
Irfan and Mehboob then took the sisters to a local law office. They met with two lawyers, Nayer Zia-Ul-Din and Kokab Sahab-Ul-Din, and told them that both girls had embraced Islam and wished to stay in a government run shelter home for women. The lawyers asked the girls to sign a blank sheet. Irfan told the girls that the lawyers would present them in the court tomorrow and then they would be free to go. Irfan and Mehboob then left, leaving the girls with the two lawyers.
Lawyers Rape Parvisha after Promising a Safe Place to Stay
The lawyers told Parvisha and Sanam that since they had no place to spend the night, they could come with them and stay with their family. They took the girls to their apartment but there were no other family members present, and when the girls asked about it, they were told that everyone was attending a family function and would be back before midnight. They gave them a room to sleep.
The lawyers waited until both girls fell asleep and then dragged Parvisha into another room where they raped her. Sanam woke up when she heard someone crying and yelling for help. She ran out of the room and saw both lawyers inserting electrical equipment into Parvisha’s private parts.
While Sanam was looking for a weapon she could use to defend her sister, she saw a cell phone lying on the table, grabbed the phone and dialed the emergency mobile police number. Within no time the police arrived and arrested Kokab Sahab-Ul-Din. An FIR was registered against him. Parvisha was immediately taken to the hospital. Sanam called her father from the police station, informing him of the situation. Pastor Sharif Alam rushed to Karachi to bring his daughters back home.
Muslim Mob Defends Rapists, Attacks Girls’ Father
Pastor Alam then contacted a Christian legal group called CLAAS for help. On December 31, the CLAAS team visited Pastor Alam and his family to ascertain what had happened. While they were still talking to the victims and their family a large crowd of about 35 people gathered outside the house. They chanted for the pastor to hand the newly “converted” girls over to the custody of local Muslim authorities.
The crowd quickly became hostile and started throwing bricks and stones at Pastor Alam’s house. When Pastor Alam and a representative of CLAAS went out to talk to the crowd, someone shot at them but hit a bystander.
Immediately, Pastor Alam called the local police, but not before the mob had seized Pastor Alam’s son Sheraz and severely beat him. The police arrived as the angry mob was trying to break into Pastor Alam’s house and dispersed the crowd, arresting three people responsible for the attack.
Since then, Pastor Alam has reported that his son in-law, Stian Akram Khokhar, has been missing. He believes that the Irfan and Mehboob are responsible and are threatening him to back off the case.
On January 2 both girls gave official statements to the local Magistrate. They stated that they were abducted from their home, raped and then forcibly converted to Islam, and that they want to live and die as Christians and at no cost will leave their family.
Please pray for Parvisha and Sanam and their family. Pray that God would strengthen their faith and heal their wounds. Pray that those responsible for these heinous crimes would be caught and punished appropriately.
Christians in Pakistan are often targeted not only for their faith but because they live in poverty and have little means to defend themselves. Please call the Pakistani embassy in your country and ask them to work harder to protect the rights of religious minorities.
USA: (202) 243-6500, [email protected]
Canada: (613) 238-7881, [email protected]
UK: 0870-005-6967, [email protected]
You are free to disseminate the following news. We request that you reference ICC (International Christian Concern) and include our web address www.persecution.org. Contact Samuel Wallace, Regional Manager for South Asia, Europe, and Latin America, 1-800-ICC (422)-5441, [email protected].