Religious minorities continue to face discrimination and persecution, such as misuse of the anti-blasphemy law, kidnapping, rape, forced conversions and enforced disappearances of non-Muslims girls, in Pakistan. The forceful conversion programs have always been unleashed against the minorities Hindus, Christians, and Sikhs living in Pakistan with utmost brutality. There have been many such cases reported in the recent past.
In yet another case of religious persecution and sexual crimes against children, a 13-year-old Pakistani Christian girl Nayab Gill was abducted from Gujranwala Division located in Punjab, Pakistan, forcibly converted to Islam and married to an already married Muslim man who is a father of four girls, last month.
Now, a video clip of her shattered and helpless parents is doing the rounds on social media, where they narrate their plight and plead for justice. The clip was shared by the Twitter handle Voice for Pakistan Minority, today (June 21).
In the 2.16-minute video clip, the distressed mother and the father narrate how a man named Saddam deceived them on the pretext of offering their minor child a job and abducted her. He then brainwashed and converted her to Islam. Saddam, who already has three wives and four children, thereafter performed ‘Nikah’ with the 13-year-old Nayab Gill.
Listen to the plight of a #Christian family whose 13 yr old minor daughter Nayab Gill has been abducted from Gujranwala, forcibly converted to Islam and married an already married Muslim man, father for 4 girls. #StopConvertingMinorities@persecutionnews @jihadwatchRS pic.twitter.com/aUTehcdSYp— Voice of Pakistan Minority (@voice_minority) June 21, 2021
The Pakistan court, on the other hand, without hearing the victim family’s plea or looking into the victim’s birth certificate, which clearly indicated the Nayab Gill is a minor, sent the teenager with her abductor. Now, the parents are pleading that justice is provided to them.
In the video, Nayab Gill’s father Shahid Masih Gill rued that Saddam had sworn by the Quran that he would treat their daughter like his own when he tried to convince the parents to send Nayab to work with him, but he cheated them.
Shahid Masih Gill recollected how Nayab, who worked in a salon, had lost her job due to the pandemic. The family was going through a financial crisis when Saddam approached him and asked him to allow Nayab to work for him as he was short of staff. Saddam promised to treat Nayab as his 5th daughter and assured him that there was nothing to worry about. “But I didn’t know that he was planning to take my daughter away from me,” Gill lamented.
He added: “They brainwashed my daughter – she was a good Christian, but I don’t know how she was trapped by them.”
On May 20, 2021, the minor went for her work but did not return home. The family members started searching for her. They approached Saddam to inquire about their daughter’s whereabouts, but he refused to know anything about it. Disquieted by the sudden disappearance of their minor daughter, the family approached the police with a missing complaint. The police, which started investigating the case, later informed Nayab’s parents that she was in Darul Aman and she has converted to Islam and married Saddam.
The girl’s father says in the video that he could not meet his daughter and does not know whether she is alive or had been killed.
In the video, the mother laments that Saddam and his family brainwashed their daughter to such an extent that when the mother asked her to return, she refused. Insisting on living with Saddam, Nayab asked her mother to think she was dead.
According to reports, Saddam and his family started preaching about Islam to Nayab during the free time when there were no customers in Saddam’s palour. They gradually brainwashed her into believing that Christianity is an irrational faith and the only true one is Islam.
Nayab was convinced as several people were working hard to change her mind and thoughts about Islam, and slowly she started taking interest in Islamic teachings. Nayab was given some Islamic gifts like Jah-e-Namaz (a small piece of carpet on which Muslims offer their prayer) and tasbih (Islamic Rosary) and books. She was taught how to offer prayers five times a day as per the Muslim faith.
According to Nayab’s father, she was gradually and secretly brainwashed by her employer Saddam Hussain and his family without their knowledge or consent.
Nayab’s birth certificate clearly mentions that she was born on October 16, 2007, that is she is a minor. However, the conversion certificate which was later produced by Saddam in the Pakistan court mentioned Nayab’s age as 19, which means Saddam lied about Nayab’s age in order to convert her to Islam and thereafter marry her.
Gujranwala court rules in favour of abductor, allows him custody of the girl ignoring birth certificate
On May 31, 2021, police produced Nayab in the session court of Gujranwala. Judge Qaiser Jamil ruled in the favour of her abductor based on a statement from the minor, which stated that she converted and married Saddam willingly. The court reportedly did not even consider the birth certificate which clearly stated the Nayab was a minor.
It is pertinent to mention here that the conversion of any underage child to Islam or to any other religion without their parents’ consent is illegal, a phenomenon that is extremely common in Pakistan, with the police and courts, unfortunately, defending the perpetrators.
This incident gained a lot of traction on social media. Taking cognisance of the incident, the European Union (EU) threatened Pakistan of renegotiating its trade deals owing to persistent issues like human rights violation and the plight of minorities in the country.
Why cases like that of 13 year old Nayab Gill – forcibly married and converted in Pakistan- have led to the EU threatening to renegotiate it’s trade deals due to Pakistan’s human rights record. And what Jinnah would have said…https://t.co/2VCVKzRGrx— Lord (David) Alton (@DavidAltonHL) June 8, 2021
Minor Hindu girl in Pakistan made to recite Kalma while getting raped, rapist ‘demand custody’ as she can’t return to ‘kafir parents’
Sadly, Nayab Gill’s case is one of the many cases of religious persecution and forced conversion (most going unreported) which are being carried out unabated in Pakistan. On May 5, a Pakistani Hindu rights activist Rahat Austin had shared the ordeal faced by another victim on Twitter. As per Austin, she was gang-raped constantly over four days by one Muhammad Tanveer and his aides in Goth Ghulam Muhammad in Karachi in the Sindh province of Pakistan.
In a video shared by the rights activist, the accused could be heard demanding the custody of the victim. “She recited Kalma (Islamic oath of allegiance) during rape, she’s Muslim now. She can’t live with infidels (Kuffars). She must be handed over to us,” they demanded. Unfortunately, the victim had to re-live her horror as she was confronted by her perpetrators in the presence of her family members.