Muslim ‘Suitor’ Kidnaps 13-Year-Old Christian Girl, Forcefully Marries Her


Two months after a Pakistani Muslim man told a Christian father that he cannot stop him from taking his 13-year-old daughter for marriage to his 28-year-old Muslim son, the girl was kidnapped on March 13, her father raised the alarm.

Shakeel Masih said his daughter, Roshni Shakeel, had spurned the advances of Muazzam Mazhar before the young Muslim man kidnapped her from her home in Basti Khaliq Pura in Multan District, Punjab Province.

Masih said that Muazzam Mazhar’s father, Mazhar Abbas, called him two months ago from Saudi Arabia where he works, and demanded Roshni’s hand in marriage for his unemployed son.

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“You have a beautiful daughter, and it would be better for you to give her to my son yourself – there’s nothing you ‘Chuhras’ can do to stop us from taking her,” Abbas told Masih, the 33-year-old Christian father said.

Chuhra is a pejorative term used for Christians in Muslim-majority Pakistan.

Masih flatly rejected Abbas’s demand, telling him that under no circumstances would he agree to marry his daughter into a Muslim family, even if she were of marriageable age.

“I stopped taking Abbas’s phone calls after that, and this offended him to the extent that he encouraged his son to abduct Roshni and forcibly marry her,” Masih told Christian Daily International-Morning Star News.

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Two days after Roshni’s abduction, local Muslim Bilal Hatim told Masih that he should give up hope of finding his daughter because she had converted to Islam and married Muazzam Mazhar, Masih said.

“On March 15, Bilal Hatim told me that he had information that Roshni had converted and married Mazhar of her own will,” Masih told Christian Daily International-Morning Star News. “He said that instead of wasting money to find her, I should consider reaching a settlement with the accused’s family to protect my honor. I turned down his offer, saying that I wanted my daughter back at all costs even if it meant putting my honor at stake. Roshni’s just a child, and I love her with all my heart. How can I forsake my own flesh and blood?”

After Masih went to police who refused to take action, he filed a petition in the Multan Bench of the Lahore High Court on Monday (March 18) for Roshni’s recovery, expressing fear for her life. Only then did he learn that his daughter had appeared at sessions court that day and recorded a statement, apparently under severe coercion as typically happens in such cases, in favor of the suspect.

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“We were only verbally informed by the police about Roshni’s statement in court,” Masih said. “To date, I have not formally received any document regarding her conversion and marriage. I only know that they have shown her to be 18 years old in the marriage certificate that was allegedly documented on March 11, two days before she was taken.”

The Christian said Abbas, who lives in Saudi Arabia with his second wife while his two sons from his first marriage live with their aunt in Pakistan, orchestrated his daughter’s kidnapping.

“The accused used to force my daughter to befriend him, but she turned down his offers and brought the matter to my notice,” Masih said. “I complained about his lecherous behavior several times, but instead of stopping him, his family encouraged him to continue with his evil actions.”

Pakistan ranked seventh on Open Doors’ 2024 World Watch List of the most difficult places to be a Christian, as it was the previous year.

Continue reading this story on Christian Daily International-Morning Star News.

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