Cross-Posted from The Huffington Post
By Daisy Khan
There has been much heated debate concerning the circumstances surrounding the arrest of a young Christian girl in Pakistan this week. These arguments, often concerned with her age, mental capacity and minute details of her actions, to name a few, have all very successfully distracted the public from the central issue: a young girl is being held captive against her will in the name of Islam.
As a Muslim, I am forced to wrestle with these occurrences on a basis all too regular. Having seen these injustices carried out in the name of my tradition for years during my work at the American Society for Muslim Advancement, the question arises again and again: Is it really true we share a faith with the individuals who commit such heinous acts?
What is so often forgotten is that it is not faith, but in fact ignorance, which drove the leader of a small, poor community in Islamabad to accuse a young, possibly handicapped girl of blasphemy and lock her away. It is ignorance that drives her captors to hold her without due trial and without lawyer visitation. It is ignorance that leads a community to believe the words of Allah are written on the pages of a book and not in the hearts of the faithful. It is ignorance, not Islam, that holds a thoroughly unjust law far above the suffering of the most helpless among us.
It is this lack of understanding that we — both Muslim and non-Muslim — must fight. Continue reading