Punjab: Christian woman forced to convert and marry her kidnapper

Reply Sun 7 Aug, 2011 08:45 am


08/06/2011 13:24
Punjab: Christian woman forced to convert and marry her kidnapper
by Jibran Khan
Mariam Gill was abducted on her way home from the market. Her father and brother filed a complaint with police, which failed to intervene however because her kidnapper is “a respectable Muslim businessman”. A Muslim religious leader says the action was in accordance with Islamic law. Islamabad bishop warns that cases of forced conversion are “rising at an alarming rate”.

Islamabad (AsiaNews) – Another young Christian woman in Pakistan has been abducted and forced to convert to Islam and marry her kidnapper. Despite a formal complaint, police did not intervene because the author of the crime is a “respectable businessman”. Local Muslim religious authorities also claim that the woman’s conversion was legal. However, her case however is similar to that of Farah Hatim (see Jibran Khan, “The drama of Farah Hatim, common to many women in Pakistan,” in AsiaNews 25 July 2011) and is indicative of a climate of impunity for people who abuse Christian women. The bishop of Islamabad warns that the “the cases of forced conversion are rising at an alarming rate”.

Mariam is a young Christian woman from Kahota, a town some 20 kilometres from Pakistan’s capital of Islamabad. She was abducted on Wednesday by one Muhammad Junaid, a local Muslim, who forcibly converted her to Islam and married her.

The young woman’s father, Munir Gill, said that Junaid is an “important businessman”. He had “his eyes on my daughter and asked her for marriage.” He complained to the man’s fathers “without results”.

“Mariam went to the market on Wednesday, but never returned,” said her brother Sohail Gill. “We searched for her everywhere. Some people in the market told us that they saw Muhammad Junaid forcefully taking Mariam from the market. We went to the police to register a case, but they delayed the application and showed no interest in the matter.”

Yesterday, a local Muslim religious leader, Maulana Hafeez Aziz, “converted Mariam to Islam and celebrated her marriage with Muhammad Junaid”.

“Muhammad Junaid is a respectable Muslim businessman,” said Amir Mirza, a police officer in Kahota. “The young woman converted and married him of ‘her own free will’.

For Maulana Hafeez Aziz, “Muhammad Junaid is a true follower of Prophet Muhammad. He has fulfilled Sharia. Converting a non-Muslim is a pious act. Only a true Muslim can do that.”

Yesterday, Mariam Gill was interrogated by local officials. She told them that she was abducted and forced to convert and that she has no intention of abandoning Christianity.

At the end of the meeting, they decided to return the young woman to her family, urging the two sides to reach an agreement. However, Muhammad Junaid issued threats, saying that if he did not get the young woman back, there would be “terrible consequences” to pay.

Contacted by AsiaNews, the bishop of Islamabad Rufin Anthony described the case as “a dreadful incident”. In his view, “the cases of forced conversion are rising at an alarming rate. The matter needs to be checked, kidnapping of Christian girls is becoming a common practice in Punjab. Law enforcement agencies need to enforce the law.”

Young Christian women are not alone. Many young Hindu women have been forced to flee across the border into India in the face of government and police indifference.

“It is time to take concrete action to guarantee the safety of minorities in Pakistan,” the prelate said.

Reply Sun 7 Aug, 2011 09:36 am
Force conversions is nothing new or limited to the "evil" Muslims.

In the case below this was done with the full power of the Catholic Church of Rome.

Sorry your anti-Muslims postings are nonsense.


Edgardo Mortara (Bologna, in Italy, August 27, 1851 – Liège, in Belgium, March 11, 1940) was a Jewish boy who became the center of an international controversy when he was kidnapped from his Jewish parents by authorities of the Papal States and raised as a Roman Catholic. He later became a Roman Catholic priest. The boy was seized after the Church authorities received a report that he had been given emergency baptism by a domestic servant during a serious infantile illness.

The Mortara case[edit] SeizureOn the evening of 23 June 1858, in Bologna, then part of the Papal States, police arrived at the home of a Jewish couple, Salomone ("Momolo") and Marianna Padovani Mortara, to take one of their eight children, six-year-old Edgardo, and transport him to Rome to be raised as a ward of the state.

The police had orders from Holy Office authorities in Rome, authorized by Pope Pius IX.[1] Church officials had been told that a 14-year-old[2] Catholic servant girl of the Mortaras, Anna Morisi, had baptized Edgardo while he was ill because of his proximity to death and hope for eternal life. Under Catholic and Orthodox doctrine, baptism performed by any human being, man or woman even if they be a non-Christian, is considered valid. This ostensibly made him a Christian. By canon law, which was enforced in the Papal States, non-Christians could not raise a Christian child, even their own. In 1912, in his testimony in favour of the beatification of Pope Pius IX, Edgardo himself noted that the laws of the Papal States did not allow Catholics to work in the homes of Jewish families (one reason being to prevent this very situation from happening).[3] That law was widely disregarded due to the ability of Catholic servants to work on the Jewish Shabbat (see shabbos goy).[2]

It has been questioned whether the baptism, which had no witnesses, actually took place. In his 1998 book The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, David Kertzer investigates the story and quotes extensively from contemporary testimony. It appears that Morisi told the local priests her story at a time when she was seeking to obtain a dowry from the Church, and investigations on behalf of the Mortaras revealed that she was reputed to be a woman of low moral character. It was reported that Edgardo's illness had not been life-threatening, and so should not have required an emergency baptism. On the other hand, other testimony was consistent with Morisi's story, and the Church authorities were evidently persuaded that she was telling the truth.

Edgardo was taken to a house for Roman converts (a "House of Catechumens"[2]) in Rome, maintained at state expense. His parents were not allowed to see him for several weeks, and then not alone. Pius IX took a personal interest in the case, and all appeals to the Church were rebuffed. Church authorities told the Mortaras that they could have Edgardo back if they would convert to Catholicism, but they refused.

[edit] Reaction and OppositionThe incident soon received extensive publicity both in Italy and internationally. In the Kingdom of Sardinia, the largest independent state in Italy and the centre of the liberal nationalist movement for Italian unification, both the government and the press used the case to reinforce their claims that the Papal States were ruled by medieval obscurantists and should be liberated from Papal rule.

Protests were lodged by both Jewish organizations and prominent political and intellectual figures in Britain, the United States, Germany, Austria, and France. Soon the governments of these countries added to calls for Edgardo to be returned to his parents. The French Emperor Napoleon III, whose troops garrisoned Rome to protect the Pope against the Italian anti-clerical unificationists, also protested.

When a delegation of prominent Jews saw the Pope in 1859, he told them, "I couldn't care less what the world thinks."[citation needed] At another meeting, he brought Edgardo with him to show that the boy was happy in his care. In 1865 he said: "I had the right and the duty to do what I did for this boy, and if I had to, I would do it again."[citation needed] In a speech in 1871 defending his decision against his detractors, Pius said: "Of these dogs, there are too many of them at present in Rome, and we hear them howling in the streets, and they are disturbing us in all places."[4][5]

The Mortara case served to harden the already prevalent opinion among liberals and nationalists in both Italy and abroad that the rule of the Pope over a large area of central Italy was an anachronism and an affront to human rights in an "enlightened" age of liberalism and rationalism.[citation needed] It helped persuade opinion in both Britain and France to allow Piedmont to go to war with the Papal States in 1859 and annex most of the Pope's territories, effectively leaving him with only the city of Rome.[citation needed] When the French garrison was withdrawn in 1870, and the Italian army assaulted the city, Rome too was annexed by the new, unified, liberal Kingdom of Italy.

[edit] Ordination and later lifeIn 1859, after Bologna had been annexed to Piedmont, the Mortara parents made another effort to recover their son, but he had been taken to Rome. In 1870, when Rome was captured from the Pope, they tried again, but Edgardo was then 19 and therefore legally an adult, and had declared his firm intention of remaining a Roman Catholic. In that year, he moved his residence to France. The following year, his father died. In France, he entered the Augustinian order, being ordained a priest at the age of 23, and adopted the spiritual name Pius. He is also known as Pio Maria. Fr. Edgardo Mortara was sent as a missionary to cities such as Munich, Mainz and Breslau to preach to the Jews there. He became fluent in a variety of languages and a successful missionary.

During a public-speaking engagement in Italy he reestablished communications with his mother and siblings. In 1895, he attended his mother's funeral, led by the rabbi of Bologna. His nieces and nephews, as adults, recalled the frequent visits from the priest. It is not clear whether they knew him as a relative or "family friend."

In 1897, he preached in St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York, but Michael Corrigan, the Archbishop of New York, told the Vatican that he opposed Mortara's efforts to evangelise the Jews on the grounds that such efforts might embarrass the Church in the eyes of the United States government.

Mortara died in 1940 at the abbey of Bouhay in Bressoux, near Liège in Belgium, having spent his last years there.[6]

[edit] Pius IX and the JewsMain article: Pope Pius IX and Judaism
Civil law in the Papal States did not permit baptized Christians to be raised by non-Christians. Pope Pius IX, who had partially emancipated the Jews living in the Papal States, found himself in a quandary. The Mortara case was the catalyst for far-reaching political changes, and its repercussions are still being felt within the Catholic Church and in relations between the Church and some Jewish organizations. Mortara was raised as a Catholic, became a priest, and remained a priest for the rest of his life.

The Mortara affair increased discontent with the temporal power of the papacy within Italy and produced calls from around the world, including Emperor Franz Josef and Napoleon III, both anti-clerical emperors, for Mortara to be returned to his parents, including 20 editorials in The New York Times.[7]

The Mortara case has attracted new attention in recent years because of the campaign to secure canonisation for Blessed Pius IX, a campaign driven by Pope John Paul II and other Catholic faithful. Jewish groups and others, led by several descendants of the Mortara family, protested the Vatican's beatification of Pius in 2000. In 1997 David Kertzer published The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, which brought the case back to public attention. The story became the subject of a play, Edgardo Mine by Alfred Uhry, and an opera, "Il Caso Mortara" by Francesco Cilluffo, premiered February 25, 2010, by Dicapo Opera in New York City.

[edit] Notes1.^ "The End of the Inquisition". David Rabinovich, producer, director. Secret Files of the Inquisition. PBS. May 2007.
2.^ a b c Dawkins, 2006, pp. 169–172.
3.^ Edgardo Levi-Mortara's Testimony for Beatification of Pius IX, originally published in English by Zenit News Agency, September 20, 2000.
4.^ Stowe, Kenneth (2007). Popes, Church, and Jews in the Middle Ages: Confrontation and Response. Ashgate Press. pp. 57–58. ISBN 0754659151.
5.^ Carroll, James (2002). Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews — A History. Houghton Mifflin Books. pp. 379–380. ISBN 0618219080.
This article incorporates information from the German Wikipedia. Thomas Brechenmacher, Der Vatikan und die Juden. Geschichte einer unheiligen Beziehung vom 16. Jahrhundert bis zur Gegenwart, Beck, München, 2005, p. 113
7.^ Cornwell, 2004, p. 151.
[edit] See also

Reply Sun 7 Aug, 2011 10:58 am
As I've noted before, the difference between the Christian and Muslim worlds is reading that sort of story in history books versus reading them in newspapers.
Reply Sun 7 Aug, 2011 11:59 am
gungashit wrote:

As I've noted before, the difference between the Christian and Muslim worlds is reading that sort of story in history books versus reading them in newspapers.

The difference between Christian and Muslim worlds is, the fundamentalist Moslems force a woman to get married, the fundamentalist Christians wreck the global economy.
0 Replies
Reply Sun 7 Aug, 2011 04:38 pm
LOL so I need to find such an event that happen within the last few weeks or so as good Christians had change in the last hundred years.

The religion had been around for two thousands years but somewhere in the last hundred years they had seen the light concerning force conversions.

0 Replies
Reply Sun 7 Aug, 2011 05:01 pm


Sometimes a Daily Show​ comedy segment involves an elaborate, reported-in-the-field setup. Sometimes it's a lengthy, constructed satirical riff. And sometimes it just involves finding somebody doing something colossally hypocritical, collecting a whole lot of videotape, and letting it roll while you sit back and eat an entire turkey.

That's what Jon Stewart and company did last night. In a nutshell: since the mass murder in Norway by a Christian right-wing extremist, various commentators on Fox News​ have been outraged that anyone would use this horrible incident to make the killer representative of all Christianity.

An entirely reasonable point. Now imagine replacing the words "Christian" and "Christianity" with "Muslim" and "Islam" but keeping the name "Fox News." You can't, of course; and the rest is simply assembling the footage that shows the Foxitariat desperately scrambling to make an argument 180 degrees opposed to the one that its last decade of broadcasting has been premised on.

There's another implicit punchline to this joke, by the way: will this blatant hypocrisy lose Fox any credibility in the eyes of its viewers? Will it cause Fox to change its treatment of Islam and terrorism one bit in the future? The smart money is on no and no. Because that's the thing about a brazenly one-sided argument pitched at an audience of partisan believers: it's pretty much ridicule-proof. An audience that doesn't want to see the contradictions won't see them; there will always be a reason to believe that It's Different for Them Than for Us.

And if anyone points out the patent ridiculousness of using the exact same argument to exonerate one religion that you ignore for another religion—well, it's just proof that they're out to get you. The liberals, the elites, the left, the smug snarkmeisters who just sit there and mock you! Which meant that The Daily Show's first video roll was perfectly complemented by its second, in which Fox commentators decry "victimology"--except when the "victims" doing the -ology are the subjects of the "one acceptable prejudice" in America, which, apparently, is against whatever some person on Fox News happens to personally believe in:

That turkey looked delicious. But I don't expect to see any of the clip-reel targets publicly eating crow any time soon.

Read more: http://tunedin.blogs.time.com/2011/07/28/video-the-daily-show-catches-foxs-religious-conversion-over-terrorism/#ixzz1UOHlYe7Z
0 Replies
Reply Sun 7 Aug, 2011 05:32 pm
How about 1980s gungasnake where good Christian main stream religion groups ran a system of boarding houses for thousands of Indian children in Canada for a hundred years or so.

Only ending in the 1980s where young children was force from both their parents and culture and raised to be good Christians.

Is thirty years too far back for you gungasnake when it come to a force government supported conversion of children into Christians?

Reply Sun 7 Aug, 2011 08:10 pm
A policy begun in the 1800s and ended since then, one way or other, still history books versus newspapers. The world was very different 60 years ago, much less 120.
Reply Sun 7 Aug, 2011 09:01 pm
I just have to love you as a policy that effect tens of thousands and that last a hundred years and only ended 30 years ago deal with fairly current societies not the dim past unless the dim past begin for you a week or a month ago.

Your example that started this thread is just an example of the abused of power under the color of religion not an indictment of any one faiths/religion as all faiths are prone to such abuse with special note of the Christian faith.

A powerful Muslim seizing a young girl off the streets to sexuality misused her and depending on his position in society and his religion to grant him cover is the same as a Christian priest sexuality abusing young children in his care.

It is as must but no more an indictment of the Muslim faith then the actions of Catholic priests are an indictment of the Christian faith.

You are just a hater who is trying to find some justification for your hate and doing a very poor job of it in my opinion.
Reply Mon 8 Aug, 2011 04:40 am
YOU are the "hater(TM)" here, the object of the hatred being Christianity and Christians. The fact that any Amerinds survived at all is due to the influence of Christianity amongst the whites who came over here from Europe. In places like Argentina where pure business interests completely ruled, the Amerinds were exterminated.
Reply Mon 8 Aug, 2011 05:50 am
Right I am a hater because I know that Muslims do not have a corner in using their faith as an excuse for doing evil.

That Christians have a similar history and people like you have no justification in painting Muslims in a bad light and at the same time poor Christians as always being on the side of the angels and victims.
Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2011 10:45 am
Gonga hates reason almost as much as he hates all Moslems, even those serving with distinction in Nato forces, of which there are many.
0 Replies

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