Religion

Woman Charged With Blasphemy Out Of Revenge For Refusing Arranged Marriage

| by Kathryn Schroeder

The daughter of a famous bureaucrat has been implicated in blasphemy after refusing to participate in an arranged marriage.

Eraj Sajjad's father reportedly arranged a marriage with businessman Imtiaz Alam against her will.

In letters written by Sajjad to the Federal Interior Ministry and Senior Minister Sindh Nisar Khuhro of Karachi, Pakistan, she narrates how she escaped from her residence in Lahore because of the arranged marriage. According to Sajjad, Alam belongs to a very wealthy family and is an influential person. For these reasons she believes he was able to register a false blasphemy case against her out of revenge because she refused to marry him. Sajjad sought protection and withdrawal of the false blasphemy case against her, The News reports.

Sajjad also stressed that her parents and Alam now wanted to kill her in the name of honor.

Her request for help and dismissal of the blasphemy charge was denied.

The Interior Ministry, in a letter to Sajjad, said that "she had been formally implicated in a case of a serious nature and this ministry could not help her." Senior Minister Nisar Khuhro also refused to help, and suggested she approach the proper forum of a court of law.

The exact written complaint filed by the Karachi Police on Dec. 14 2013 against Eraj Sajjad under Section 295-C of blasphemy law accuses Sajjad of giving derogatory remarks on a very sensitive religious issue of Alam's.  

The blasphemy case against Sajjad still stands.

In Pakistan, a blasphemy conviction can mean the death penalty, states Patheos.