International Christian Concern (ICC) meets with top human rights lawyers, activists who have defended Egypt’s Christian minority. Parents of victimized Christian girls interviewed.
By Aidan Clay
Special to ASSIST News Service
LAHORE, PAKISTAN (ANS) — Shah Taj, a fourteen-year-old Christian girl from Lahore, Pakistan, was on her way to school last year when a vehicle occupied by three men pulled up beside her. Grabbing her, they threw her in and sped off. As frightening as this may seem, the ordeal of the victim had just begun.
In her own words, she described what happened: “I was standing at the bus stop waiting. Three Muslims came up to me in a car. They were armed with deadly weapons. They pushed me into the car and took me to a hotel. While there, one of them raped me. Afterwards, at gunpoint they took my thumb impression and my signature, placing them on blank papers.” (1)
“I tried to make noise; but they pointed their guns at me and threatened to kill my father and my younger brother if I make a noise.” Later, Taj was forced to marry a Muslim man and required by law to convert to Islam. They had used her signature and thumbprint to create a document saying she had converted to Islam.
Like Shah Taj, Christian girls throughout the Islamic world are being abducted and trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation and coerced into domestic servitude. Equally shocking is that Muslim men are offered financial incentives when they marry a Christian girl – a technique designed by Islamic fundamentalists to convert young girls to Islam forcefully.
Recent investigations have revealed frightening information exposing the criminal phenomenon of forced Islamization of Christian girls which is occurring on an alarming scale. On April 16, 2010, eighteen members of the United States Congress wrote to the State Department’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Office, concerning continued “reports of abductions, forced marriages, and exploitation of Coptic women and girls in Egypt.” (2)
However, prior to recent reports, Christian abductions have been essentially undocumented. The Egyptian government and state security have routinely denied the problem’s existence, refusing to sanction cases that have been commissioned to court – a maneuver to avoid attracting public attention…