Philadelphia Daily News—If Albina Kurmanbekova returns home, she has many prospects for marriage.
Not marriage as we understand it, however. More than a dozen Muslim men have threatened her with "bridenapping," forcible marriage that is indistinguishable from kidnapping, rape and slavery.
Welcome to Kyrgyzstan, where "bridenapping," a gross violation of human rights, is the national sport played by men and endured by women.
That's not what Albina wants, that's what she fears - and that's why she has filed for asylum in the U.S. She's living with the family of her aunt Mira Kasymkulova on a quiet Holmesburg street. Kasymkulova has been in the U.S. for 15 years and translated for Albina, whose English is weak.
Bridenapping occurs in scattered parts of the world, usually in patriarchal societies. Even where it is against the law, as it is in Kyrgyzstan, enforcement is nonexistent, said Kurmanbekova, something I verified. Where bridenapping exists, it is usually a tribal "tradition."
I asked the aunt if a bridenapped young woman wouldn't get help from her father.
She laughed. No, because most likely the father was a bridenapper himself. In Kyrgyzstan, a stunning 50 to 75 percent of marriages follow bridenapping. Suicide has been reported among some of those bridenapped.
In Albina's case, there is an overlay that makes it more terrifying: She is a Christian.
Albina arrived in the United States in June on a work-and-travel visa, and when that became known, 13 Muslim men, posting on Russian Facebook, threatened to bridenap her if she ever returned, one of them vowing to snatch her right at the airport.
Albina decided never to return, even if that meant not seeing her parents and three younger sisters again. In America, she had seen a way of life in which women are not chattel.
She also saw another freedom here: freedom of worship. (Continue Reading.)
Monday, December 16, 2013
Thirteen Muslim Men Threaten to "Bridenap" Christian Girl on FaceBook
But don't ever think that Islam's treatment of non-Muslim girls has anything to do with the Qur'an's claim that unbelievers are "the worst of creatures" (98:6) or that Muslims are free to rape their female captives (4:24). Reading is Islamophobic.