Life is tough in Pakistan if you don’t two the religious line (or at least hide the lack of toeing). Though in this case the victims escaped, hurray for them!
Asmaa Azeem is 22, Fatima is 16. They are sisters from Pakistan, seeking asylum in Sri Lanka. Their parents are religious fundamentalists and the girls want out. They want an end to the abuse, they want an end to the old religious order and they want a life of freedom; freedom of thought, freedom of expression and more importantly, freedom of religion. The girls are atheists, and proud ones.
They say their uncle is extremely influential in Pakistan and has many contacts with top officials and the Ministry of Interior.
Why did the ‘society’ she was brought up in, choose to turn a blind eye and even deny issues and incidents that took place right in its face? (She describes the sexual molestation a cousin went through at the hands of an uncle) Why did women have no fundamental rights in her country? Why, why and more why?
Times have really changed in this country. The media’s latest love affair with Raymond Davis has really stirred up enough people against anyone who’s different, that tourism is dead. A white face on the streets is just asking to be lynched. A lot of foreigners have asked me over the years whether it’s safe to travel across Pakistan, and I’ve always said yes, but with caveats which kept getting bigger over the years into what has become an absolute no.
It doesn’t really matter what the masses think – the majority might be flower hugging hippies all wanting peace, but the number of people wanting to kill others is large, and the number supporting these killers even larger – browsing through Pakistani TV a lot of the media shows support killing anyone who’se different – and considering people watch them, it’s one indication that their ideas have a following.
Update: Reddit post and discussion