Sidra Masih 26, single, studied up to grade tenth, working in ‘Face Logic Ladies Salon’ with her eight years experience of beautician, was living with her family in Faisalabad.
Her boss Madam Zahida was happy with Sidra’s performance since last two years when Sidra joined her beauty parlor. Zahida’s brother Fareed was a corrupt person who was impressed by Sidra’s beauty and deliberately entered in her sister’s salon to torture Sidra. Sidra was an employ but aware of Fareed’s irritating nature. However she ignored him many times.
Later Fareed began to harass Sidra, she complained salon’s owner Zahida about her brother’s behavior who often state that her brother is just kidding rather she should be proud of gaining his attention. Despite feeling hubris Sidra troubled of his attention towards her.
On Sep 10 when Sidra reached parlor she found Fareed was flirting one of her colleagues. Fareed proposed Sidra before her colleagues. He said that if she will embrace Islam and marry him she would go to heaven. But Sidra rigid expressions described her refusal.
Next day Sidra informed the salon owner about the proposal of marriage by her brother she also offered Sidra to convert and marry her brother. The same evening Sidra told her family about the tormenting attitude of Zahida and Fareed at work. Her family made her to quit that job.
Later on Sep 17 at night, Zahida came to Sidra’s house with 3 clerics and Fareed. They threat her to convert and marry Fareed or they will entrap her family in blasphemy case. They gave them 3 days time to make final decision.
On Sep 20 Sidra went for a new job interview when she was kidnapped by 3 men who made her unconscious with chloroform. When she regained her conscious she found herself tied with ropes and blindfolded. A man demanded that if she will embrace Islam they will let her go home. But Sidra denied then a man in aggression raped her and other two were laughing. The blindfolded Sidra believed that her rapist was Fareed. Then one of the kidnappers slapped her and about to shoot her. Sidra begged for her life and said the religious words to confirm that she has embraced Islam. They asked her to accept the marriage proposal which Sidra refused earlier. Scared Sidra accepted their proposal. The 3 masked men dropped her at her home with the threat of her murder and raped by 3 kidnappers again if she told anyone about this incident.
Sidra got courage and shared this incident with her mother Shamim Masih who went to Jail road police station to report the incident. The police officer suggested Sidra’s mother to marry her daughter as soon as possible. Moreover he was avoiding file case against the culprits.
In Pakistan conversion and marriage under harassment is prohibited by law, still for minorities there is no law which could protect them.
Then Sidra’s family went to their local priest who provided them shelter for three months. On Dec 12 Sidra received a threatening phone call. The priest sent Sidra to Sri Lanka. When she reached there on Dec 19 in an evening flight, she was held up and interrogated for several hours there since she had only 11 kg luggage and green passport. She could not satisfy the immigration officers with her fake story that she was traveling Catholic pilgrims’ sites in Negombo. On Dec 20 she was allowed to see Negombo. Under stress Sidra became unconscious and admitted to the hospital for three days by some Pakistani Christians companions. Sidra requested for asylum in Colombo.
In 2014 an NGO ‘Movement of Solidarity and Peace’ estimated that every year around 700 Christian girls are abducted, raped, forcefully converted and married. Sidra said religious words (kalma) in order to save her life. Her return to Pakistan will cast her life.
Many Christian girls like Sidra in Pakistan are helpless because there is no law for them. Furthermore, some Muslim clerics preach that a sure way to heaven is to convert a non Muslim woman to Islam by using forceful means.