Forced conversion to Islam in Pakistan

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In Pakistan, girls belonging to the minority Hindu and Christian communities are kidnapped, raped, forcibly converted to Islam and married to Muslim men.[1] Every year about 1,000 non-Muslim girls are forcibly converted to Islam in Pakistan.[2] According to the Pakistan Hindu Council,forced religious conversions are one of the main reason for migration of Hindus from Pakistan to India.[3]

The Human Rights Council of Pakistan has reported that cases of forced conversion are increasing.[4][5] A 2014 report by the Movement for Solidarity and Peace (MSP) says about 1,000 women in Pakistan are forcibly converted to Islam every year (700 Christian and 300 Hindu).[6][7][8]

In 2003 a six-year-old Sikh girl was kidnapped by a member of the Afridi tribe in Northwest Frontier Province; the alleged kidnapper claimed the girl was actually 12-years-old, and had converted to Islam so therefore could not be returned to her non-Muslim family.[9]

In May 2007, members of the Christian community of Charsadda in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan, close to the border of Afghanistan, reported that they had received letters threatening bombings if they did not convert to Islam, and that the police were not taking their fears seriously.[10] In June 2009, International Christian Concern (ICC) reported the rape and killing of a Christian man in Pakistan, for refusing to convert to Islam.[11]

Rinkle Kumari, a 19-year Pakistani student, Lata Kumari, and Asha Kumari, a Hindu working in a beauty parlor, were allegedly forced to convert from Hinduism to Islam.[12][13] Their cases were appealed all the way to the Supreme Court of Pakistan where they said that they wanted to live with their parents and not their 'so called' husbands.[14]

Sikhs in Hangu district stated they were being pressured to convert to Islam by Yaqoob Khan, the assistant commissioner of Tall Tehsil, in December 2017. However, the Deputy Commissioner of Hangu Shahid Mehmood denied it occurred and claimed that Sikhs were offended during a conversation with Yaqub though it wasn't intentional.[15][16][17][18]

Many Hindu girls living in Pakistan are kidnapped, forcibly converted and married to Muslims.[19] Non-muslims can be enslaved. Furthermore, slave women were not granted the same legal rights as other females. Sharia recognizes the basic inequality between master and women slave, between free women and slave women, between believers and non-believers, as well as their unequal rights.[20][21][22][23] Sharia authorized the institution of slavery, using the words abd (slave) and the phrase ma malakat aymanukum ("that which your right hand owns") to refer to women slaves, seized as captives of war.[20][24] Under classical Islamic law, Muslim men could have sexual relations with female captives and slaves without their consent.[25][26] Slave women under sharia did not have a right to own property, right to free movement or right to consent.[27][28] Sharia, in Islam's history, provided religious foundation for enslaving non-Muslim women (and men), as well as encouraged slave's manumission. However, manumission required that the non-Muslim slave first convert to Islam.[29][30] Non-Muslim slave women who bore children to their Muslim masters became legally free upon her master's death, and her children were presumed to be Muslims as their father, in Africa,[29] and elsewhere.[31] According to the Pakistan Hindu Council, religious persecution, especially forced conversions, remains the foremost reason for migration of Hindus from Pakistan. Religious institutions like Bharchundi Sharif and Sarhandi Pir support forced conversions and are known to have support and protection of ruling political parties of Sindh.[32] According to the National Commission of Justice and Peace and the Pakistan Hindu Council (PHC) around 1000 Christian and Hindu minority women are converted to Islam and then forcibly married off to their abductors or rapists. This practice is being reported increasingly in the districts of Tharparkar, Umerkot and Mirpur Khas in Sindh.[33] According to another report from the Movement for Solidarity and Peace, about 1,000 non-Muslim girls are converted to Islam each year in Pakistan.[34] According to the Amarnath Motumal, the vice chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, every month, an estimated 20 or more Hindu girls are abducted and converted, although exact figures are impossible to gather.[35] In 2014 alone, 265 legal cases of forced conversion were reported mostly involving Hindu girls.[36]

A total of 57 Hindus converted in Pasrur during May 14–19. On May 14, 35 Hindus of the same family were forced to convert by their employer because his sales dropped after Muslims started boycotting his eatable items as they were prepared by Hindus as well as their persecution by the Muslim employees of neighbouring shops according to their relatives. Since the impoverished Hindu had no other way to earn and needed to keep the job to survive, they converted. 14 members of the another family converted on May 17 since no one was employing them, later another Hindu man and his family of eight under pressure from Muslims converted to Islam to avoid their land being grabbed.[37]

In 2017, the Sikh community in Hangu district of Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province alleged that they were “being forced to convert to Islam” by a government official. Farid Chand Singh, who filed the complaint, has claimed that Assistant Commissioner Tehsil Tall Yaqoob Khan was allegedly forcing Sikhs to convert to Islam and the residents of Doaba area are being tortured religiously.[38][39] According to reports, about 60 Sikhs of Doaba had demanded security from the administration.[40]

Many Hindus voluntarily convert to Islam for easily getting Watan Cards and National Identification Cards. These converts were also given land and money. For example, 428 poor Hindus in Matli were converted between 2009 and 2011 by the Madrassa Baitul Islam, a Deobandi seminary in Matli, which pays off the debts of Hindus converting to Islam.[41] Another example is the conversion of 250 Hindus to Islam in Chohar Jamali area in Thatta.[42] Conversions are also carried out by Deen Mohammad Shaikh mission which converted 108,000 people to Islam since 1989.[43]

Within Pakistan, the province of the southern Sindh had over 1,000 forced conversions of Christian and Hindu girls according to the annual report of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan in 2018. According to victims’ families and activists, Mian Abdul Haq, who is a local political and religious leader in Sindh, has been accused of being responsible for forced conversions of girls within the province.[44]

In the Sindh province of Pakistan, between 40 to 60 Sindhi girls are forcefully converted every month. According to Pakistan's Human rights commission, between 2004 to 2018, about 7,430 cases of forced abductions of Sindhi girls were reported in Sindh. As most of the cases go unreported, the actual number is estimated to be much higher.[45]

In 2020, a 15-year-old Hindu girl was kidnapped, forcibly converted and married to a Muslim man. She was later rescued by the police.[46][47] The Court ordered her to be sent to a Women's protection centre.[48] Others have been less fortunate with one bride actually being abducted with the help of the police.[49]


  1. Maham Javaid. "Forced conversions torment Pakistan's Hindus". Aljazeera. Archived from the original on 2014-08-19. Retrieved 27 January 2020. "According to a report from the Movement for Solidarity and Peace, about 1,000 non-Muslim girls are converted to Islam each year in Pakistan. Every month, an estimated 20 or more Hindu girls are abducted and converted, although exact figures are impossible to gather, said Amarnath Motumal, the vice chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP)." 
  2. "1,000 girls forcibly converted to Islam in Pakistan every year". The News. 2015-07-15. Archived from the original on 2019-09-20. Retrieved 27 January 2020. "With the growing intolerance in Pakistani society of religious minorities, evidenced by the increased violence, murder and persecution of religious minorities in the country, forced conversions have emerged as a disturbing trend." 
  3. Naila Inayat. "Pakistani Hindus lose daughters to forced Muslim marriages". USA Today (Lahore). Archived from the original on 2020-01-29. Retrieved 29 January 2020. "The police refused to intervene. Her kidnapper told them she ran away from home, and converted to Islam and married him voluntarily. But after her family pressured a court to intervene, she told judges the truth and they freed her." 
  4. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (30 April 2013). "Refworld – USCIRF Annual Report 2013 – Countries of Particular Concern: Pakistan". Refworld. Retrieved May 5, 2015. 
  5. "Pakistan: Religious conversion, including treatment of converts and forced conversions (2009–2012)". Responses to Information Requests. Government Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. January 14, 2013. Archived from the original on May 4, 2017. Retrieved January 17, 2018. 
  6. "1,000 Christian, Hindu girls forced to convert to Islam every year in Pakistan: report". April 8, 2014. Retrieved January 19, 2018. 
  7. Anwar, Iqbal (2014-04-08). "1,000 minority girls forced in marriage every year: report". Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  8. Dunya, Author (20 December 2014). "India ruling party chief urges law against religious conversions". New Delhi. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  9. "Pakistan". Annual Report on International Religious Freedom, 2004. United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, State Dept (US), Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (US). 2005. p. 667. ISBN 978-0-16072-552-4. 
  10. "Taliban Tells Pakistani Christians: Convert or Die". Fox News.,2933,273075,00.html. Retrieved May 5, 2015. 
  11. Zimmett, Nora (June 13, 2009). "Christian Man Raped, Murdered for Refusing to Convert to Islam, Family Says". FOX News.,2933,526126,00.html. Retrieved June 11, 2011. 
  12. "Opinion: Rinkle Kumari – the new Marvi of Sindh by Marvi Sirmed". Retrieved 2012-06-05. 
  13. "SC orders release of Rinkle Kumari, others". Pakistan Observer. April 19, 2012. Archived from the original on 2014-02-21. Retrieved 2012-06-05. 
  14. "Leading News Resource of Pakistan". Daily Times. 2012-04-19.\04\19\story_19-4-2012_pg7_3. Retrieved 2012-06-05. 
  15. "Sikh community in Hangu 'being forced to convert'". The Express Tribune. 16 December 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2018. 
  16. "Sikhs in Pakistan complain of pressure to convert". 16 December 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2018. 
  17. "Sikhs told to 'convert to Islam' by Pakistani official". December 16, 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2018. 
  18. Anwar, Madeeha (December 23, 2017). "Authorities Investigate Cases of Forced Conversion of Sikh Minority in Pakistan". Extremism Watch Desk. Voice of America. Retrieved 16 January 2018. 
  19. Forced conversions torment Pakistan's Hindus | India | Al Jazeera
  20. 20.0 20.1
    • Bernard Lewis (2002), What Went Wrong?, ISBN 0-19-514420-1, pp. 82–83;
    • Brunschvig. 'Abd; Encyclopedia of Islam, Brill, 2nd Edition, Vol 1, pp. 13–40.
  21. Template:Quran-usc
  22. Template:Quran-usc
  23. Template:Quran-usc
  24. Slavery in Islam BBC Religions Archives
  25. Mazrui, A. A. (1997). Islamic and Western values. Foreign Affairs, pp 118–132.
  26. Ali, K. (2010). Marriage and slavery in early Islam. Harvard University Press.
  27. Sikainga, Ahmad A. (1996). Slaves Into Workers: Emancipation and Labor in Colonial Sudan. University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-77694-2.
  28. Tucker, Judith E.; Nashat, Guity (1999). Women in the Middle East and North Africa. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-21264-2.
  29. 29.0 29.1 Lovejoy, Paul (2000). Transformations in Slavery: A History of Slavery in Africa. Cambridge University Press. pp. 16–17. ISBN 978-0521784306. "Quote: The religious requirement that new slaves be pagans and need for continued imports to maintain slave population made Africa an important source of slaves for the Islamic world. (...) In Islamic tradition, slavery was perceived as a means of converting non-Muslims. One task of the master was religious instruction and theoretically Muslims could not be enslaved. Conversion (of a non-Muslim to Islam) did not automatically lead to emancipation, but assimilation into Muslim society was deemed a prerequisite for emancipation." 
  30. Jean Pierre Angenot (2008). Uncovering the History of Africans in Asia. Brill Academic. p. 60. ISBN 978-9004162914. "Quote: Islam imposed upon the Muslim master an obligation to convert non-Muslim slaves and become members of the greater Muslim society. Indeed, the daily observation of well defined Islamic religious rituals was the outward manifestation of conversion without which emancipation was impossible." 
  31. Kecia Ali; (Editor: Bernadette J. Brooten) (15 October 2010). Slavery and Sexual Ethics in Islam, in Beyond Slavery: Overcoming Its Religious and Sexual Legacies. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 107–19. ISBN 978-0230100169. "Quote: The slave who bore her master's child became known in Arabic as an "umm walad"; she could not be sold, and she was automatically freed upon her master's death. (p. 113)" 
  33. Forced conversions of Pakistani Hindu girls - Daily Times
  37. Manan, Abdul (25 May 2010). "57 Hindus convert to Islam in 10 days". Retrieved 9 April 2019. 
  39. Sikh community in Hangu 'being forced to convert' | The Express Tribune
  40. Sushma: 'Conversion' of Pakistan Sikhs: CM Amarinder seeks Sushma's help | Amritsar News - Times of India
  44. "Forced conversions, marriages spike in Pakistan". 
  45. "Another Hindu temple vandalised in Pakistan, holy books, idols burnt". Wionnews. TNN. 2 August 2017. 
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  47. "Pak police recover minor Hindu girl". Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd.. 21 January 2020. Retrieved 21 January 2020. 
  48. "Pak court sends 15-yr-old Hindu girl to women protection centre after forced conversion, marriage". The Tribune. 23 January 2020. Retrieved 25 January 2020. 
  49. "Pak Hindu bride abducted, converted to Islam, forcibly married to Muslim man". Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd.. 27 January 2020. Retrieved 27 January 2020. 
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