Asia Bibi Has Won Her Battle, But Many More Christian Minorities Struggle For Justice In Pakistan

In recent years, the world observed how Asia Bibi, a Christian woman, fought for justice in Pakistan. She was accused of making blasphemous statements during an argument about drinking water from a well. She was acquitted last year after spending eight years on death row. Several months later, she has managed to leave Pakistan in pursuit of a safe haven. She endured years of struggle and threats made to her life. While her story is one that was ultimately successful, there are more such Asia Bibis in Pakistan, members of religious minorities who bravely stand up to laws and procedures (or lack thereof) that are designed to give them little if any redress. 

This type of situation is not only confined to cases of blasphemy. 

The case of minority girls and young women abducted, forcibly converted and forcibly married to Muslim men deserves attention too. 

Just recently, a 16-year-old girl Christian girl, Sheeza Riasat, faced exactly this fate. Sheeza Riasat was reportedly abducted from her family home, by armed men, at the age of just 15. (It is noteworthy that the legal age for a girl to marry in Pakistan is 16. Only in April 2019, the Pakistan Senate voted on the Child Marriage Restraint Bill which would put an end to child marriage and increase the marriage age for girls to 18.) She was converted to Islam and forcibly married to a Muslim man on February 12, 2019.

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