9-Year-Old Christian Girl Beaten in Retaliation for War in Iraq

Saturday, May 10, 2003

By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. (ANS) -- A 9-year-old Pakistani Christian girl has been severely beaten -- the result of a religious hate crime inflicted upon her because of the war in Iraq.

The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC) (www.persecution.org) has just become aware of the religious hate crime perpetrated against 9-year old Razia Masih.

Razia Masih’s father is deceased and her mother has a mental illness. This tragic situation forced the 9-year-old Pakistani girl to work as a servant in the house of Mohammad Asim Malik, a resident of Faisal Town Lahore, Pakistan.

After hearing his sister’s complaints of abuse, Razia’s brother Farooq, sought her release on April 17 and on Easter but was rebuffed and warned not to come again. Subsequently, Farooq took a delegation of 10 people to Mr. Mohammad Asim’s house seeking her release and was again rebuffed. Farroq then took the delegation to Fasial Town Police Station for help.

On April 24, in the presence of police, an agreement was signed by both parties, in which it was clearly written that Mohammad Asim would return Razia to her brother on May 1.

On April 26 at 11:00 pm, Razia was brought to Farooq’s house. Razia was crying and blood was oozing from her elbow and leg. Her arm was broken as well. He immediately took her to the hospital where she was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Farooq immediately informed the police.

The initial medical report stated that her right arm was fractured. She had a bruised face with a lacerated left eye. Multiple burns (some superficial and some serious) were observed on her body. The report also listed bruises, wounds, and swelling at different parts of the body. Rope marks around her hands and ankles were present. Her genital area was bruised and she had a lacerated mouth. She is showing signs of depression, fear, and mental trauma. She is now waking at night and screaming “do not beat me, do not beat me!”

After two days, Razia shared her story. Mr. Malik and his wife started beating and torturing Razia during the bombing of Iraq.

It is reported that while watching Iraqi war footage they would beat her and burn her and Mr. Malik is said to have sexually abused her. He and his wife told her “we will take revenge for the American bombing of Iraqi Muslim children from you because you are an infidel and a Christian.”

On April 26, she tried to escape but was caught and beaten severely, resulting in a broken arm. Fearing that she would die, they sent her home.

Razia’s family has been threatened with severe consequences if a case is pursued.

ICC reports that discrimination, hate, violence, and persecution against Christians have intensified in Pakistan since 9/11. Christian women traditionally have become the target of hate, torture, and sexual harassment. Many Christian women and girls have been kidnapped, raped, tortured, and forcibly converted to Islam. Christian girls are compelled to work in Muslim houses due to their low social standing.

ICC urges American Christians to pray specifically for the Christian women of Pakistan.

ICC is a Washington-DC based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC delivers humanitarian aid, trains and supports persecuted pastors, raises awareness in the US Church regarding the problem of persecution, and is an advocate for the persecuted on Capitol Hill and State Department.