Family obtains edict to kill man and his wife and kidnap their daughter
A Pakistani man, his wife, and young daughter are hunted by his family because he has turned his back on their Muslim beliefs.
"My family and other Muslim extremists wants to kill us because they want to go to heaven unconditionally," said Asif. "They want to kidnap my daughter and want to make her a good Muslim."
His family's fervour to kill him and his wife and take their daughter is buttressed by a religious edict issued by a panel of Muftis in Pakistan. The edict has turned Asif and his family into refugees in their own country. (An excerpt from that edict is below)
Asif (not his real name) has moved 20 to 25 times over the years, including moving to different cities. But from time to time he has to go out to work to support his family and he is exposed again.
He was horribly beaten once which caused injuries so severe he was hospitalized. Asif requires painkillers for his back because of the beating.
"Whenever I have an emergency I go out at night and I don't show my ID card to anyone for any verification like hospital or any online services," explained Asif. "I hide my identity as much as I can."
This is not the life Asif hoped to have with his wife. He has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from a Pakistani university. He had a steady job for two years as an Admin/Accountant for a security company. He also worked for a travel agency. Asif speaks Malaysian, English, Urdu and Punjabi. He also knows electrical and air conditioning work and can drive various vehicles.
All of his opportunities changed when Asif and his wife decided they were no longer believers.
"In the beginning when I didn't go to mosque for prayer, and my wife also didn't pray, my family asked me all the time why we don't pray and talked badly about us," he recalled. "One day I told them that I don't believe in anyone like Allah or Quran and please don't force us to pray."
Asif didn't realize how much of a horrible problem his honesty would cost him. He soon discovered his family wanted to kill him and his wife and take away his daughter.
"My uncle said many times that they will kidnap my daughter and make her a good Muslim," said Asif.
His family wrote to a mufti, an Islamic jurist who issues opinions on Islamic law, and a panel of three muftis then issued the religious edict. That started the fearful run from place to place and city to city.
Currently Asif rents a place under an assumed name. Despite his education and talent he cannot work.
"It's very hard to live in this condition especially when we can't work and can't go outside openly. Me and my wife are very much worried about our daughter's future," said Asif.
It has been a stressful two months since they have been outside and felt the sunshine on their faces. Their daughter cannot play outside with other children. Instead she plays with old toys, many of them broken, and watches cartoons on YouTube. Asif and his wife have been teaching their daughter as best they can - she can count to 10 and memorizes poems she learns from the Internet.
But hiding and being scared (shots were fired outside his home just after this interview) is no life for anyone, never mind a pre-school girl. Asif has tried for some relief in the courts but to no avail. Abandoning Islam is considered a crime of apostasy in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. So the only answer is to start a new life elsewhere.
Asif has his dreams of where he would like to live, of course. But he is as practical as he is fearful.
He said he would go to "any other secular country where we can bring up our children peacefully and live there permanently without any problem" He has previously told IAA that his family wishes no luxury or special favour. They want to have another child but in a home where they can freely live their secular life.
"All we are asking is for a life free from constant threat of death. We want a life of dignity where our human rights would be respected and our darling daughter can grow up peacefully.”
IAA needs your help to move Asif, his wife and their daughter to a safe, tolerant country. Please consider sponsoring Asif today.