Radicals Threaten Pakistani Woman, Nosheen Ilyas, In Italy
A Pakistani woman living in Carpi, Italy is being threatened with death for teaching local Muslim women how to be self-sufficient. She is also promoting integration of children into the Italian society.
This, of course, is not going over well with the radicals in her area who want to slit her throat.
Threats to Nosheen Who Helps Pakistani Women and Studies
She is 24 years old, lives at Carpi and forms part of the commission for equal opportunities.
Rome – She is the only Pakistani woman who writes for an Italian paper. Last February 16th, she received a death threat in a letter written in Urdu: “At the first opportunity we will slit your throat and cut your tongue out if you do not put a halt to your activities”. By this they are referring to her cultural and social commitments for the emancipation of women and the integration of children. However, she, Nosheen Ilyas, resident at Carpi for the past six years, has filed a report and does not allow herself to be intimidated. A parallel with Hina Saleem immediately comes to mind. Hina Saleem was a Pakistani girl whose throat was cut by her father last August on the 11th in Brescia “guilty” of having integrated into Italian society, of having broken ties with her family, of dressing like her Italian peers of having an Italian fiance.
However, Nosheen’s case is substantially different. 24 years old, she dresses like other Pakistani women (“I love our colours and then I think: If I already receive threats, what would happen if I dressed in Western clothing?”), is devoted to her family and her culture (“My father who is a mechanic, my mother who is a housewife and my four brothers and one sister sustain me and encourage me to persist”) is bethroted to a first cousin who studies at the university of Lahore and who has never been to Italy (“I admit that that it is partly an arranged marriage but it 80% a love match, I find myself well with him. I am a modern woman and even he and his parents are so. However we will get married in three years when both of us are sorted out and we will settle down to live here”).
Therefore if Hina was tragically an unhappy rebel, Nosheen has the vocation of a reformer. However she is a tenacious reformer who does not compromise with those she calls “ignorant Pakistanis”. People such as “those who live on a lower floor in our appartment, who accuse me of leading astray their women just because I teach them the Italian language and render them independent of their husbands when they go to the supermarkets, to the municipality or to hospital”. Or “those who on the evening of May 7th 2005 attacked my younger brother Iqeel, hitting him on the head with a bottle to force my parents to forbid me to work and get around socially. However, even in that case we filed a report with the police, we do not turn back.”
Gardjola has more on the of the courageous Nosheen Ilyas.