Monday, 11 February 2013

This was published in 27 October 2004 and comes from a link supplied by an anonymous commenter in this thread.
Because they are a couple, they would die in Pakistan, where a Muslim (male) may not marry a Buddhist (female). So Imran Firasat and Jenny Setiawan fled to Germany. But the authorities here say they don't belong together either. Because they are not married, the German authorities want to deport them separately to different countries.

... Firasat and Setiawan fled from Pakistan with the utmost urgency. An unmarried pair of different religions - this merits the death penalty in Pakistan, says Imran Firasat. They were locked up and tortured. "They cut off my thumb with a meat knife," says Firasat and shows his mutilated left hand. His girlfriend was raped multiple times by the police, he says. Jenny Setiawan holds a child in her arms and cries. She is in Frankfurt, is pregnant again and the future looks bleak. She had already fled to Pakistan because she had experienced terrible things as a member of an ethnic Chinese minority. During the riots in Jakarta in 1998 she had to watch as her parents were slaughtered. Jenny Setiawan was also seriously injured herself. Later her then husband died in further rioting. She then flees to Pakistan and meets Imran Firasat.


...They fall in love and become a couple, which is forbidden by Pakistani law. They constantly flee from the police and the neighbours, move house, are arrested again and tortured. At the end of September of this year they fled to Frankfurt via Bangkok. As the aircraft landed on 30 September at 6 am, Imran Firasat and Jenny Setiawan think they are in safety. But the German authorities don't believe a word. The border protection officer laughed in his face, recalls Firasat. "You're lying, you're lying," the officer said. And his pregnant girlfriend who was in pain was told that is she could survive the flight, she could endure the questioning.


...The federal agency rejects the asylum application as "clearly unjustified". "It is almost inconceivable that an unmarried couple could live together in Pakistan" reads the decision. This is punished by imprisonment or even the death penalty. Therefore it can be assumed that "Firasat would not have dared to live with his Buddhist partner". The decision-makers believe that the whole story has been fabricated "there is a clear attempt to fabricate a performance of an existing partnership in Pakistan."
Source
Some questions are raised by this? First, is it really against the law in Pakistan for a Muslim male to marry a Buddhist female? As far as I knew, Islamic law placed restrictions on Muslim females marrying non-Muslim males, but not the other way round, because they see males as dominant and thus, in a sense, "capturing" the woman for Islam.

Second, as the anonymous commenter observed, why would a non-Muslim whose family had been butchered by Muslim fanatics flee to Pakistan for sanctuary? Pakistan is crawling with Muslim wack-jobs, as anyone would know.

It's striking that even at this stage Firasat has displayed a talent for gaining media attention. His story at this stage was surely no more remarkable than that of legions of other asylum seekers. So it seems odd that it received this kind of coverage.

1 comments:

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