The following are excerpts from an Al-Arabiya TV report about the Pakistani practice of marriage to the Koran. This report aired on May 19, 2005.
Narrator: Is it possible for a mother and father to "execute" their daughter spiritually, and mentally bury her alive? If you look in some areas, even in prestigious neighborhoods in the cities, you will find that there are still some who "kill" the person who is supposed to be her parents' pride and joy. This "killing" takes place in a "festive" atmosphere, if you can call it that, but there are only a few participants, all of whom are family members.
It begins with a man who professes to be a religious scholar. This sheik works daily, sometimes for more than three months, to convince the daughter of a rich man to adhere to the religious teachings, come what may. After that, the parents stab their daughter in the heart by telling her that she is now married to the Holy Koran, that she must devote her life to serving the Koran, and that she must remain isolated from the world its people.
But the truth – which the parents conceal from their daughters, and which makes them accept that their daughter will never have a normal marriage, a body without a soul – is simply that they do not want to bequeath their possessions to a stranger.
Woman: I belong to a feudal family, which owns vast lands. But my parents married me off to the Koran many years ago, and I have been sitting like this ever since, not married. They wanted to deprive me of the inheritance and property which is rightfully mine, and this contradicts the laws of religion.
Everyone has his legal rights. You cannot distinguish between male and female, but my family has been doing that for generations. This causes many mental illnesses in female members of my family. Some of us even committed suicide.