In Pakistan, a religiously motivated kidnapping has come to what some consider a happy ending. Late last Tuesday in Islamabad, after a brothel owner, known as Aunty Shamim, refused to close down her establishment, a group of 30 female and 10 male Muslim students broke into the brothel and took Shamim, her daughter, her daughter-in-law and her 6-month-old granddaughter as captives inside their Jamia Hafsa seminary. The incident was reported by the Associated Press and by Al Jazeera. A student, saying that their religion authorizes their conduct, said the women would be released if they promised to close the brothel. Authorities responding to the kidnappings on Wednesday arrested two of the seminary's female teachers and two male students. This in turn led to protests by students and by the seminary's vice-principal who threatened "jihad" unless the female teachers were released.
Today's Gulf Daily News reports that Aunty Shamim has been released after she put on a burqa and signed a statement saying in part: "I seek forgiveness for the sins that I have committed and declare I will live like a true Muslim and preacher of religion." Aunty Shamim's relatives and the arrested teachers have also all now been released, as have two policemen who were seized by protesting students.