“Bridenapping.” We need a whole new set of words for the wonderful world of Islam. Not to mention those wonderful Islamic euphemisms like “honor” killing.
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.
This quote is out of context and misleading because this young girl’s father was killed because he left Islam and converted to Christianity. The fathers that this reporter is referring to are Muslim fathers. Kyrgyzstan is 80% Muslim.
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.
Kyrgyzstan is a largely rural nation in central Asia with a population of 5 million, about 80 percent Muslim. Although Albina was born Muslim, after she visited a Christian church with her grandmother, something took hold of her heart.
She saw something in Christianity she had not seen in Islam and was the first in her family to convert, in 2003.
“I saw how Christian families were different; I had friends who were Christian and they were different,” said Albina, who turns 21 on Thursday. “In Muslim, the man does not put his family first. He makes the decisions on his own; a woman isn’t as important as a man.”
As her family migrated toward Christianity, a local mullah visited her father and lectured him against it. “The mullah said he had to go to the mosque,” Albina said. “My father told him he believed in Jesus.”
Soon after, her father was struck by a car and left for dead. An accident?
The family moved to another part of Bishkek, the capital, and later moved to a rural area where there are no nearby neighbors and no one knows they are Christian. The area is so remote that there is no Internet access, so Albina can reach her family only by telephone.
She may never see them again, because returning would be too dangerous. The threats against her are real.
She sought an extension of her visa and applied for asylum in the United States, where she wants to complete her university education. She finished three years in Kyrgyzstan.
Albina’s plea for asylum was heard by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which will decide her fate in about a week.
I can’t believe that USCIS would send her back to the disgusting hell of a “tradition” that awaits her.
Pamela Geller is the Editor of Atlas Shrugs.