We’ve been hearing about rapes in India, but (not surprisingly) it’s happening everywhere. What makes this story especially perplexing is that there seems to be a twist: convert to Islam or get raped.
Here’s the back story:
The raping of Hindu women and girls “has almost become a trend in Sindh province,” in south Pakistan, claims the Daily Bhaksar. Since the beginning of December, at least two Hindu girls, one aged six and the other 14, have been attacked and raped. The six-year-old victim was allegedly kidnapped and raped by Hashim Magiro, the owner of a gambling den near the girl’s home in the Umerkot district of Sindh.
Then at the end of December, in Mubarak Tarr village, Sindh, a 14-year-old Hindu girl was raped allegedly by a local leader of the Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP). According to Pakistan’s Express Tribune, the attacker entered the girl’s house and, while two accomplices stood guard, tortured the mother and then raped the teenage girl.
A six year old and 14 year old. It takes a monster to rape another person, it takes a whole new breed of monster to rape a child. Unbelievable.
The alleged rapist is from a wealthy and influential family. The victims are both Hindu and poor. The police refused to file the necessary First Information Report (FIR) about the attack, until put under pressure by the family, which threatened to self-immolate in protest. And even the hospital initially refused to perform a medical checkup, citing the lack of an FIR as an excuse. The family of the six-year-old rape victim met a similar response by the authorities, with the two hospitals the girl was taken to failing to “treat her properly,” despite the fact that she was bleeding profusely by the time she reached the second medical facility.
The attack on the 14-year-old girl and her mother is not the first alleged incident of involvement of Pakistani officials in rapes and forced conversions of Hindu girls. Indeed, it is widely believed that officials often collude in such activity. In 2012, Mian Mithhu, a PPP member of the National Assembly was implicated in the high-profile abduction and forced conversion of Hindu teenager Rinkle Kumari. During one court hearing the Hindu teenager begged the judge: “kill me here, now, in court. But do not send me back to the Darul-Aman [Koranic school].”
The target number of Hindu conversions to Islam currently stands at 2000.
According to AHRC, Kumari was taken to, and married at, the Dargah Aalia Qadria Bharchoondi Sharif, which has said that it “has the target to convert 2000 Hindus every year to Islam.” The Daily Bhaksar claims that, the Bharchundi Sharif Dargah (mosque), in Mirpur Mathelo, Ghotki District, Taluka Daharki and the Pir Sarhandi Dargah, in the Umerkot District, Taluka Samaro, are mainly responsible for forced conversions of Hindu girls.
This makes matters even more grave:
While India has become the focus of attention relating to the sexual abuse of women in recent weeks, following the gang rape of a 23-year-old medical student, Pakaistan’s Hindus are fleeing to India in droves. Pakistan’s Dawn.com claims that, because of the forced conversion of Hindu girls, as well as other discriminations and crimes — such as attacks on Hindu temples — 3,000 Hindus fled for India in 2012 — a third more than the previous year. Yet, this modern-day ethnic cleansing is virtually unknown outside of Pakistan and India, and in neither of those countries is the plight of Hindus in Pakistan treated seriously.