A Christian woman in Pakistan was murdered in an acid attack after refusing to marry a Muslim man.
According to Pakistan Today, 25-year-old Asma Yaqoob from the city of Sialkot had been working as a beautician in the city of Sialkot when she met Rizwan Gujjar through her 23-year-old brother Nabeel Yaqoob.
Rizwan quickly fell in love with Asma and began pressuring her to convert to Islam before asking her to marry him. After she rejected his advances, he planned a revenge attack.
Her father, Yaqoob Masih, claimed in his First Information Report filed with Sialkot’s Civil Lines Police that Rizwan had ambushed Asma by knocking on the door.
“On April 17, my son Maqsood and I went to Zaman’s house around to meet Asma and to inquire after the health of Zaman’s mother,” Mashi said. “We were sitting in a room when there was a knock on the front gate. Asma went out to see who had come when after some time we heard her screaming in pain.”
“Zaman, Maqsood and I rushed outside to see what had happened and saw the accused Rizwan Gujjar fleeing from the scene while Asma was engulfed in flames,” he continued, adding that she “suffered 80 per cent burn injuries on her face and body.”
Asma was taken to Mayo Hospital, Lahore with 90 percent burns, but later succumbed to her injuries.
The Christian girl, ASMA YAQOOB, a victim of the acid attack from SIALKOT, died today in Lahore Hospital. pic.twitter.com/k4Hcqv25Tj
— Kaleem Dean (@KaleemDean) April 22, 2018
The attack was condemned in the strongest terms by the Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, Wilson Chowdhry, who called on the country’s politicians to do more to protect the Christian minority:
This depraved attack reveals the low worth of Christian girls in the mindset that has evolved amongst most Muslim men in Pakistan. Through a biased national curriculum and rogue Imams preaching a special place in heaven for those who rape and convert Christian girls, most of them deem minority women as war-booty.
Seeing young Asma in such pain is heart-wrenching for all of us in the West, but the authorities of Pakistan just seem to accept this as the culture of Pakistan. It is this warped belief that has to be reconstructed before we can start to fashion a new more egalitarian nation, however the desire will have to be one driven by the country’s Government—sadly I have never experienced a more selfish bunch of politicians.
In recent years, Christians in Pakistan have become a heavily persecuted minority, and have fallen victim to multiple Islamist attacks designed to intimidate them and force them out the country, which remains overwhelmingly Muslim.
Rizwan Gujjar asked beautician Asma Yaqoob Massi to marry her and convert.
25 year old Asma, the sole bread winner of a family of 10, refused. Gujjar threw acid on her to teach her a lesson for rejecting him. -1 pic.twitter.com/CBHVTdZ8w7
— Shamila Ghyas (@ShamilaGhyas) April 22, 2018
In 2014, a Muslim NGO estimated that around 700 Christian women are kidnapped, raped and coerced into an Islamic marriage, but did not research the many other crimes and injustices Christian women face.
Christians are also considered part of lower castes, face severe discrimination from wealthier Muslim Pakistanis, and remain less socially advantaged.