Allegation: Pakistani Islamists Rape Christian Mother and Threaten Family
Our Muslim neighbors are pressuring us to withdraw the case
Christian mother of five was allegedly raped by two Muslim men last week, and area Islamists are threatening to harm her family if charges against the suspects are not dropped, the woman and her husband told Compass Direct News.Muslim criminals in Pakistan, where the population is more than 95 percent Muslim according to Operation World, tend to assume they will not be prosecuted if their victims are Christians
Pakistani Islamic protestors
LAHORE, Pakistan, (CDN) - A Christian mother of five was allegedly raped by two Muslim men last week, and area Islamists are threatening to harm her family if charges against the suspects are not dropped, the woman and her husband told Compass.
On Thursday, Sept. 15,2011, the 32-year-old woman said, she was returning home to Mustafabad, in Punjab Province's Kasur district, from a garment factory where she works. Two Muslims, identified only as 23-year-old Bhallu and 27-year-old Shera, along with an unidentified accomplice, allegedly abducted her at gunpoint, took her to an abandoned house in the area and raped her, she said.
Working late, she had reached the Mustafabad bus stop at 11:45 p.m. and had begun walking to her home five minutes away; the street was deserted, said the alleged victim, whose name is withheld.
"As soon as I entered our street, Bhallu appeared from the shadows and put his hand on my mouth," she told Compass by phone. "A second person, who I later recognized as Bhallu's friend Shera, came from behind and put a pistol on my temple. A third person also appeared on the scene, and together they first gagged me and then forcibly took me to an abandoned house. I tried my best to get free from their hold and save myself, but they were too powerful for me."
Once inside, she said, they took off her gag, and she pleaded with them to leave her alone.
"I tried screaming, but they hit me," she said, sobbing. "Not for a minute did they acknowledge that I was a mother to five children. Then they raped me, one after the other. Their third accomplice stood guard as they tore in on me like animals."
She said that her tormentors let her go after more than an hour.
"They had torn my clothes, and I could barely step outside the house," she said. "I don't know how I managed to reach my home . Words fail me even now."
Muslim criminals in Pakistan, where the population is more than 95 percent Muslim according to Operation World, tend to assume they will not be prosecuted if their victims are Christians. The accuser said Muslim men in the area have been harassing Christian women for some time.
"There are around 500 Christian houses in this area, which is predominantly inhabited by Muslims," she said. "There have been several instances when they have publicly harassed us but have gotten away with it, because we keep silent to avoid a clash."
A month ago, as she was returning home from work, she was near her house when she suddenly felt someone pulling her head scarf, she said. She turned and found one of Bhallu's friends holding the head scarf.
"I started screaming, and my husband and a neighbor rushed out, but the boy walked away as if nothing had happened," she said. "We did not say a word about this to anyone out of shame and fear of the Muslims."
She said that after that incident, her husband, who works as a sweeper, began accompanying her to and from the bus stop.
"But there were days when he could not accompany me to the bus stop, and I used to walk alone," she said.
Her husband, Mushtaq Masih, said that he was speechless after she told him about the ordeal.
"We have five children - three boys and two girls - with the oldest daughter studying in sixth grade - I cannot express the thoughts that filled my mind at that time," Masih said. "The Muslims had ruined us completely, and I did not know what would happen to us if we reported the crime, but seeing my wife devastated, I decided to face the rapists."
He called police, who visited the crime scene and took the woman to the hospital for a medical examination that proved she had been gang-raped, he said. Police filed a First Information Report (FIR No. 491/11) against Bhallu and his accomplices.
The woman said that she knew Bhallu only because he lived in her neighborhood, and that although she recognized Shera, she did not know his name until the FIR was filed.
Masih said that Shera's name came up during the initial police investigation, and he was in custody when the investigating officer asked Masih to bring his wife to the police station to identify the suspects. Bhallu had fled the area.
His wife said that as they reached the police station, Muslims warned the family against pointing out Shera.
"They told us that they will kill my children and husband if I identify Shera," she said. "They said that we should not forget that we are chooras [sweepers, a derogatory word for Christians] and can bring no harm to them. They also warned that our daughters would face a similar fate if we did not listen to them."
She refused to identify Shera and returned home, she said.
"What happened to me should not happen to any of them," she said. "My children are my ...
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