Monday, April 23, 2012

Islamic Shotgun Weddings on Rise in Pakistan

Grandmother of Hindi women abducted for marriage
The Los Angeles Times remarkably reported a story about an alarming trend where young Hindi women are abducted in Pakistan and forced to convert to Islam and marry their warrior "wooers". The victim is taken to areas where Muslim overlords have extensive pastoral property where they wield great influence over law enforcement and the judiciary.

The pattern is that the young Hindi women is seized by the kith and kin of these feudal overlords and is taken to a mosque where she is greeted by the groom’s family which threaten her life and that of her family. When the threatened bride to be complies, she is brought to a courthouse for a Muslim judge to rubber stamp the forced conversion and the marriage. Often, the wedding party has an armed escort. Even if an unwilling bride to be balks or there are Hindi witnesses that object, it is a handful of dissenters against an armed crowd of hundreds for the groom. Little question as to which side prevails.

L-  Azra Fazal Pechuho
There have even been calls by Pakistani Muslims to check this practice. Azra Fazal Pechuho, he sister of President Asif Ali Zardari testified before Parliament that there is a growing number of Hindi women who are being taken and being held in madrassas where they are forcibly converted.

This sort of shotgun wedding is barbaric and deplorable. It seems like a fusion between tribal culture, power politics and aggressive abuse of sharia. Yet when writing about religion, the popular press is content to make hay over Georgetown Law co-ed who wanted the taxpayer to pick up the tab for her contraceptive needs instead of concerning itself about religious liberty.

h/t: Los Angeles Times

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