Harmony minister speaks out: Gill wants tougher legislation against forced conversion

Published: March 24, 2012
Minist­er cites ‘sexual lust’ as the key reason men force non-Muslim girls to conver­t.

Minist­er cites ‘sexual lust’ as the key reason men force non-Muslim girls to conver­t.

Minist­er cites ‘sexual lust’ as the key reason men force non-Muslim girls to conver­t. Minister cites ‘sexual lust’ as the key reason men force non-Muslim girls to convert.

The minister for national harmony has alleged that about 100 non-Muslims, mostly Hindus girls, were forced to convert to Islam in recent months. The minister, Akram Masih Gill, told The Express Tribune that stronger legislation was required to protect minorities from forced conversions.

Gill stressed that such practice on the part of Muslims was against the injunctions of Islam. Islamic laws prohibited forced conversion, Gill remarked.

“We will seek a religious decree from the Council of Islamic Ideology and a ruling by the federal shariat court on the issue before introducing the required law,” the minister added.

The draft of the proposed law is likely to be tabled before the Parliament after the passage of the national budget in June, this year. About the proposed legislation, Gill recommended the formation of official bodies to authenticate whether or not anyone had converted to Islam or any other religion with his or her free will and not under coercion.

“Learning the basic principals and teaching of Islam should be made obligatory, under the proposed laws for all those non-Muslims who decided to embrace Islam.”

“I am not sure about the exact number of such cases in the absence of accurate data for such incidents, but the figure of such cases is about 100,” he said. Gill added that the minority members of the Parliament have recommended that the federal government introduce legislation to check forced conversion.

The minister cited ‘sexual lust’ as the key reason that made Muslim men force non-Muslim girls to convert. “The Hindu girls were being sexually abused by the young Muslim men who forced them to convert when their sexual offence became an issue in the society,” he explained.

“Those young people accept such girls as their legal wives with the pre-condition that they embrace Islam. The girls were kidnapped by young men and after meeting their sexual desire they were forced to change their religion and convert to Islam,” Gill said.

Meanwhile, the ministry of law is of the view that there is no need for a piece of legislation to check the forced conversion of non-Muslim minorities to Islam, a highly placed source in the ministry of national harmony said.

The law division’s views came under consideration after the national commission for minorities recommended that the federal government introduce laws against the forced conversion.

The commission, with Gill as its chairman, at a recent meeting had asked the government to enact the desired law to protect the minorities against forced conversion.

The source recalled that the law division had opposed the legislation against the forced conversion in 2010 when the federal ministry for minorities referred a draft to it for shaping it as a piece of law.

The law division, while opposing the new legislation, had maintained that provisions already existed in the Pakistan Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code against forced conversion, the source concluded.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 24th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (19)

    Mar 24, 2012 - 12:20PM

    Excellent step. Should be done ASAP


  • biryani
    Mar 24, 2012 - 12:35PM

    non issues have been highlighted for i don’t know what reason??


  • Arindom
    Mar 24, 2012 - 12:42PM

    Pakistanis need to introspect: why do only Hindus converting to Islam here – not the other way round? And why, among those converting, old men, women, middle aged men and women and children converting? Why only young unmarried girls?


  • Mar 24, 2012 - 12:48PM

    ET u just cant digest that those were not forced conversions, why not publishing the Faryal’s statements?? What do u people want??


  • IndianKid
    Mar 24, 2012 - 12:58PM

    Cannot agree more.


  • MarkH
    Mar 24, 2012 - 1:31PM

    @Pakistan politics:
    How about realizing a person who is forced to convert is also put into the mindset of a scared abducted victim who has lost all expectations and delusions of protection after it occurs. You’ll find even child molesters who kidnap children and keep them can take them out in the open because they will play the part the abductor wants them to even in a busy mall. Same basic concept.


  • sars
    Mar 24, 2012 - 1:53PM

    @Pakistan politics:
    That would be true if you say that if someone puts a gun to my head and asks for my cell phone and i hand it over , that its not stealing because he didnt “steal’ it, i handed it over , therefore it was my choice.
    If you agree with this senario then sure it wasnt forced.
    The truth is that many young people of different faiths may study together and interact and then decide to marry.
    In this case, a village girl without access to the net and a cellphone , how would she meet this guy and why is a local MNA involved. That doesnt happen in college romances.
    We must first ensure this is not a forced conversion and if it is proven not to be welcome her as a muslim.


  • Sehr.Siddiqui
    Mar 24, 2012 - 2:02PM

    We are only proving that the historians who wrote that Islam spread by force were right. This is unfortunate.


  • Riaz
    Mar 24, 2012 - 2:50PM

    Oh all dear Pakistanis, not a single person is safe here in Pakistan. Even Osama. The whole system has collapsed. Why killings in Peshawar and Fata are not that much condemned by liberals as one conversion or killing of any related to minority sect? All of us are suffering. The only change we could bring is vote the right person. That’s it.


  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Mar 24, 2012 - 3:39PM

    A country where different Sects are after each other how will they accept this proposal? It is true that minorities are easy targets to pick and get-away. Forced conversions are here from 1960. Even thousands from Christian community have become victim on one pretext or the other. I doubt that Council of Islamic Ideology would be helpful and if it does then it only be a Miracle.


  • Kevin
    Mar 24, 2012 - 4:44PM

    Wish if they could truly act upon the suggestions given but then again agree totally with Mr Wilson that only a miracle can change things around in Pakistan otherwise wolves are sitting around to catch hold of innocent girls .


  • Arindom
    Mar 24, 2012 - 5:28PM

    Typo – should have read (above):
    And why, among those converting, NO old men & women, NO middle aged men and women and NO children converting? Why ONLY young unmarried GIRLS converting?


  • Mar 24, 2012 - 5:39PM

    can u both prove it??


  • ashok
    Mar 24, 2012 - 7:46PM

    @ Pakistan politics
    2 hours ago
    can u both prove it??

    My response:

    Your 500 plus gun-totting, bearded and screaming friends surrounded Rinkle in the court, is proof enough for the entire civilized world. The moment Rinkle replied that she didn’t know her husband during the interview, she was silenced and removed from the scene.

    Only a non-Muslim can imagine of his/her fate when surrounded by Jehadis. Any one could accuse he of BLASPHEMY and she is officially put to death or waiting for her and her families death. Man, if you are, remove your tinted glasses.


  • Babloo
    Mar 24, 2012 - 8:20PM

    Lust masked with religion and forcible conversion is sanctioned. The history is replete with it.


  • Cynical
    Mar 25, 2012 - 3:47AM

    More things change, they remain same.From 712 AD to 2012 at least.


  • Mar 25, 2012 - 7:17AM


    if one single Muslim girl in any country is kidnapped and forced to convert to Hinduism/Christianity this will be a big issue not only in Pakistan but the whole Muslim world and you too will make a hue & cry.. Come out of insensitivity


  • Mar 25, 2012 - 10:13PM

    Yes it’s called the Stockholm syndrome where the victim will do as the abductor wants. Shame! hundred girls converted.


  • Ravi Soni
    Apr 15, 2012 - 12:44AM

    why muslim Girl don’t fall love with Hindu boy in Pakistan? Does love see religion? If love is not considered to be part of Islam(I have seen many Pakistani TV shows protesting love birds) , why leaders of Islam in Pakistan allows and give consent to love between only Hindu girl and Muslim Boy. I have seen many Pakistan religious leaders consider Love as western thing and hence protest against Valentine day and on other hand they allow their boys to fall in love with only Hindu girl. What do you call it.


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