A 52-year-old Pakistani Christian herbal medicine doctor has been allegedly deprived of his house and only daughter because he had refused to convert to Islam.
But still, he says that despite the horror he has been through, he is still clings to his faith in Jesus Christ
This sad episode has been reported to ANS by reliable sources including the Christians Lawyers’ Foundation (CLF), the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA), Mr. Jamil Bhatti, a local Christian politician, the head of the victim Christian family and also original documents of the court that we have obtained copies of.
Mr. William George, a herbal doctor, told ANS that before 2007, he with his wife Naseem Bibi had led a “happy life” in Nazirabad, a Christian slum of tehsil [an administrative division] of Daska for 25 years. Their only blue-eyed daughter, Saima George, aged 20, had also living with them for the whole of her life, until a shocking episode occurred in her life.
George said that while in Nazirabad, he had practiced as a herbal doctor as well as an electrician and earned respect and a good living. He also told ANS he had many Muslim friends and he alleged that “quite often” his Muslim friends would ask him to convert to Islam and “recant” his Christian faith.
“I always politely turned them down,” he said.
Mr. George also said that his Muslim friends had also frequently asked him to sell his house in this Christians slum and build a new house in a relatively high-class area called Canal Park, near to Cheema Hospital in Daska city. He eventually decided to sell his house and did build a new house in Canal Park and according to his report, his herbal clinical work “by the grace of God” flourished within days.
He said that despite the move, his Muslims friends kept “inviting him” to change his religion to Islam, but he continued turn them down.
But then, his life began to take a turn for the worse. He said that one of his so-called Muslim friends who had come to his house to mend a sofa, saw his “beautifully built house” and his only “beautiful daughter” – he allegedly began “to orchestrate a plan to somehow grab my house and my daughter, and this he was “his primary step was to escalate pressure on me to become a Muslim.”
He went on to say that after the “passage of some time,” two of his patients, introduced some friends from another city to see him and introduced themselves as “merchants of plastic sheets.”
Mr. George added they were “very friendly” and gifted “me a white plastic sheet packed in a bag.” George also said that “I invited those two Muslim patients to my house for lunch,” as they had come a long way to his clinic.
George went on to say that he requested his both Muslim “friends” to sit in the drawing room until the meal was served.
“After this I went inside the house to instruct my wife to cook extra lunch for two guests,” he said, “but I was stunned to see on my return to the drawing room to see that those two Muslim men had spread the white sheet on the floor of the room. I thanked them, although I was flabbergasted by the step they had taken.”
Almost a week after the visit of those two Muslim patients, he said he was visited by some other Muslims “who came to my house at night under the garb of getting medicine.” He went on to say, “I was surprised to see them at that time of the night, but being friends I let them come inside my drawing room and went inside to prepare medicine for them.
“On my return, I was horrified to see that these Muslim men had rolled open the white plastic sheet and then showed me the other side that it was inscribed with Quranic verses and Islamic Kalama, which was supposed to be viewed only by very holy Muslims.”
The next morning, he said, the men came and took back the white plastic sheet and promptly took it to a local Muslim cleric at a nearby mosque.
“He then made an announcement on the public address system claiming that I had ‘desecrated’ those Quranic verses and the holy Kalama,” said Mr. George.
This soon escalated as “fiery Muslims” started a protest against him and son of a Muslim Mufti, or Islamic scholar, was called in to decide the fate of Mr. George.
A local Christian politician, Mr. Jamil Bhatti, told ANS that the Muslim scholar peremptorily asked George “to embrace Islam or face dire consequences, possibly death.”
George told ANS that he asked the Muslim assembly to “give him time to think” and convince his family members too. “I did this to try and cool down the issue and I thought that people would forget about it with passage of time.”
But he was wrong. His clinic was attacked by a gang of Muslim men armed with clubs and they began “thrashing” Mr. George in his clinic and dragged him outside into the road.
Mr. Bhatti told ANS, “They then cruelly threw him into their vehicle and he was taken to the Masjid-e-Nimra mosque by them.”
Mr. Bhatti and Khalid Gill, President of the Pakistan Christians Lawyers Foundation said that in the mosque, Mr. George was “critically injured” and was “was ordered by these violent Muslim men to stand by the wall of the mosque in the scorching sunlight.”
Gill asserted at the mosque “they again started mercilessly beating William George with wood benches, and some of them brandished their clubs in the air and hit him at the head and chest.”
He said that as the Muslim cleric of the mosque say that Mr. George was bleeding, “in the premises of the mosque he ordered the Muslim men to take him somewhere else.”
So they did just that and Khalid Gill told ANS that they took him outside and he “he was beaten by them publicly on the road during the broad daylight.”
He went on to say, “By now, William George was almost unconscious due to the inhuman thrashing and then they took his thumb impression on a white paper and wrote that he had has recited the holy Kalama and become and a Muslim.”
“After seeing the terrible violence, some unknown pedestrians took Mr. George to his house,” Mr. Jamil Bhatti told ANS. “Following his recovery, Mr. George was taken to the mosque to offer Islamic prayers.”
However, Mr. Bhatti said that George had told him that even though he was forcibly taken to the mosque, he only prayed to Jesus Christ.
If that wasn’t enough for this dedicated Christian, his daughter, Saima George, was allegedly abducted by one of the Muslim men, but when Mr. George and local residents asked this man in question, if he had kidnapped the girl, he was said to told them that he had “sworn by the Quran and his five children” that he did not kidnap her.
Mr. George was then said to have “suggested a penalty for himself in case Saima George was recovered from his [this man’s] captivity that locals could behead him [Mr. George]. It is pertinent to mention that decision of public gathering in Pakistan is parallel to the decision of a court.
Some local residents then decided to join a committee to look into the alleged kidnap of the girl, and they included both Christian and Muslim leaders.
William George then told ANS that that the committee after four days divulged its findings and said that his daughter had “recanted Christianity and embraced Islam and married” this man.
On hearing the findings, Mr. George stated that his daughter “would not have made such a statement” and added that she must be in “trouble” or has been tortured by him, “as I was tortured publicly by him and his hoodlums.”
Local residents then demanded to see a marriage certificate and wanted to know if the girl was still alive and a local advocate, pleaded with local Muslim residents to help and gave them four days to produce the marriage certificate.
By now, the fiery and concerned William George went to the local Daska City Police Station and submitted an application for the registration of a case against the alleged abductor, captor and forcible converter of his daughter Saima George.
Police raided at the house of the man, but said they could not find him and therefore arrested his younger brother. George alleged to ANS that while police were taking the brother to the Police Station, a member of the local Muslim residents committee approached an officer and threatened him. He was alleged to have said that they have George’s daughter “who has not converted yet and neither married” the man in question.
“After four days, a marriage certificate was produced by the committee members,” said George.
Khalid Gill, head of CLF, Azhar Kaleem, general secretary of CLF and local politician Mr. Jamil Bhatti, then went to another city with William George, for confirmation of the certificate produced by the committee deputed by local Muslims.
Azhar Kaleem CLF General Secretary, said that wedding certificate was issued from Barianwala Mohallah, Naikapura, near Sialkot, by an Islamic cleric who flatly said that that he only issued this wedding certificate “under pressure” from a lawyer. Kaleem said that the local government also denied the registration of that certificate with it, which proved beyond any doubt that the wedding certificate was false.
William George then returned to Daska and submitted an application in the honorable court of Additional District & Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Akraam-Ullah to reinvestigate the matter of his daughter, Saima George. The court then issued clear directives to the Station House Office (SHO) of City Police Station Daska for an investigation and recovery of Saima George. George said all his efforts to secure his daughter through the legal system, however, has proved to be futile.
Mr. George said in the meantime, an influential, rich and powerful Muslim patient, came to his clinic for treatment and “he told me that it was very easy for him to secure the custody of my daughter” due to his riches and dominance.
The man then promptly recovered the injured Saima George within a few days, but added a condition that if Saima George went back to the man who had allegedly kidnapped her “by any means,” William George would be liable to pay him Pak Rs. 500,000.00 (US$5865.11 approx).
After the return of Mr. George’s daughter, the family was united again and, as he told ANS, “we restarted our life happily.”
But he added that this happiness was short lived as very soon a woman from the man’s village called and asked me and my daughter to come and “take her belongings with her as they hated her things.”
But, once again this was a set-up. He said that when they arrived at the village, and his daughter was again allegedly abducted and he was “left in the jungle after they had snatched my cell phone.”
By now, totally mentally and physically exhausted, he arrived home to find the Muslim man who had helped recover his daughter in the first place, waiting for him with a demand for payment of US$5865.11.
“He did so before I could even get a glass of water to drink,” said George.
The man, said George, had made his demand “because Muslims had imparted a misconception about me; that I had gone to hand over my daughter to this man.”
So now the good doctor has been forced to sell his property worth about US$ 23,460 which, he said, was well below the market price for it, so as to try and pay this debt.
William George said that on June 18, 2010, had submitted an application to the office of DPO (District Police Officer) Daska, for the recovery of his daughter.
“But there were as yet no developments in this regards,” he said.
CLF Pakistan President, Khalid Gill, CLF Pakistan General Secretary, Azhar Kaleem, Local APMA activist, Mr. Jamil Bhatti, Peter Jacob, general Secretary of NCJP (National Commission of Justice and peace) have all said that the Pakistani legal system in this case have failed and stated that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan must initiate in this regard and ensure that Saima George is returned to her house in health and faith. They also demanded “stern and exemplary retributions of the Muslim culprits who robbed a Christian gentleman.”
Now the case is in the court of Sessions Judge Sialkot and Emmanuel Berkat Manni, of the Christian Lawyers’ Foundation/CLF), is the counsel for Mr. George George.
A now frail Mr. George told ANS that he had discovered “that all the Muslims were working hand-in-glove to deprive me of my daughter and my property.”
He added, “At present I do not have neither my daughter, which they deceitfully kidnapped, nor my house, but I have protected the most precious thing in my life; my faith in Jesus Christ.”
Jawad Mazhar, Assist News Service