Study finds no evidence of forced conversion

Staff Reporter

There is no evidence suggesting that non-Muslims, including underage girls, have been forcibly converted to Islam in Sindh, shows a groundbreaking study by Institute of Policy Studies’ researcher Sufi Ghulam Hussain.

It’s based on his ten years of episodical fieldwork, interviews with a cross-section of Sindhi society and statistical analysis of data acquired from seminaries and courts across the province.

Analysis of data shows that of the total recorded cases of conversion involving freewill marriages in this study, only a fraction was minor.

“Given the prevalence of marriages below 18 years in rural Sindh, this is not unexpected”, said Ghulam Hussain.

None of the cases verified by this research proved to be forcible conversion whereby ‘force’ means coercion, blackmail, deception or the threat to kill a person or his/her parents.

Contradictory to the commonly propagated perception, it was found that coercion is often used by parents and the community of the converting individual to revert such a person.

The study shows that religious conversions occur at Sindh’s main seminaries and religious sites that take care of legal requirements and relevant documentation, including through courts.

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