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Islamist Acid Attack on UK Women in Zanzibar

Pakistani Gulnaz Aftab

Acid attacks like the one that happened to Gulnaz Aftab (shown above) are a favorite modus operandi of many militant Islamists. They use this alarming tactic as an act of revenge against women they can't control. The idea is to make the women suffer lifelong humiliation and disgrace by stealing away their physical beauty. The attacks are now getting more media attention worldwide.

The latest reported acid attack happened just this week on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar. I visited Zanzibar earlier this year, and while tourists know it for it's beautiful beaches, it's also becoming a haven for Islamic militants plotting attacks against Christians and others.

Two young British women--Anglican school volunteers Kirstie Trup and Katie Gee were doused with acid on their faces, chests, and hands as they walked along a street in the historic Stonetown district. Two men riding a motorcyle tossed the acid at the women during an intentional drive-by assault. The victims think an argument they had earlier in the day with a Muslim shopowner may have prompted the attack.

Kirstie and Katie reportedly ran into the Indian Ocean to cleanse the acid from their bodies. Later, they were transported to Dar Es Salam and then back to the UK for medical treatment. Pray their surgeries go well and that they will not be scarred or disfigured for life like Pakistani Gulnaz Aftab.

I first learned about Gulnaz 10 years ago, shortly after she suffered an acid attack in Pakistan. The 16-year old Christian girl was a phone operator who had rejected the amorous advances of a Muslim customer.

Feeling slighted, the angry man returned to her workplace and doused Gulnaz with acid. After more than 30 surgeries (many provided with help of The Voice of the Martyrs,) Gulnaz started a new life in The United States, majoring in accounting at a Texas university. She now views her suffering as a "gift from God."

Acid Survivor Trust International is one organization dedicated to helping victims of acid attacks. It records more than 1,500 cases around the world annually. Eighty percent of acid attack victims are women.

Some Muslim countries are now taking a tougher stand against the attacks due to Western pressure and growing attention to the problem. But rosecutors in many ations still need to gressively pursue the arrest and conviction of those guilty of this horrendous--and often ignored--crime against women.

View this video of the women attacked in Zanzibar:

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