Two Pakistani Christian Maids Forcibly Converted to Islam

As reported by Morning Star News, on 26 December 2020, family members of two Pakistani Christian young women have reported that the women, both of whom work as live-in maids in the capital, Lahore, have been forcibly converted to Islam by their employers.

18-year-old Maham Manzoor and 20-year-old Anum Manzoor, though sisters, work in separate homes and have been out of contact with their families for some time. Nasreen Bibi, the aunt of the two girls, has explained that “both Anum and Maham have been forcibly converted to turn them into slaves, and the police and court have unfortunately acted as facilitators of this crime.” As recently as December 7, according to Ms. Bibi, Anum expressed excitement on the phone when discussing Christmas plans, and the next day, when Ms. Bibi planned on picking up both girls to go Christmas shopping, Maham’s employers refused to let Ms. Bibi see Maham, claiming that the girl had converted to Islam and did not wish to see her aunt.

Ms. Bibi, immediately concerned for the well-being of her neice, asked Maham’s employers, Muhammad and Asma Asim, to release Maham; they only responded by explaining that they would telephone the police if Ms. Bibi would not leave the property. The police, on arrival, ordered that Maham be brought out of her room:

“Maham was visibly distressed when Asma brought her to the room. When the officer asked her about the conversion claim, Maham nodded in approval, but I could clearly see fear in her eyes. I pleaded to speak to my niece in private, but the police officer cursed me and told me to get out of the house and never raise this matter again.”

Not long after witnessing Maham’s distressed state and gaining no sympathy or action from the police, Ms. Bibi received a call from her other niece, Anum’s, employers.

“Azmat [Anum’s employer and relatives of Maham’s employers] told me to forget about my nieces, as both of them were Muslims now. He also warned me not to come to his house, threatening that I would rot in jail if I did. I could not believe my ears. Both of my nieces were being held hostage in the name of religion, and there was nothing I could to do rescue them.”

The court did eventually present Maham and Anum for a hearing, but Ms. Bibi’s request for investigation and the girls’ return to family was ignored, as the court allowed the Muslim employers to retrieve Maham and Anum and bring them back to their respective homes.

Cover Photo by takebackpakistan on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)