RAWALPINDI, Pakistan -- Naheed Arshad, her bright green head scarf framing dull, brown eyes, had just endured nine months in prison on a charge of adultery.Like Job of the Old Testament, Arshad knows she has done nothing wrong in the sight of God or human beings. But the accusation, which in itself has brought shame and degradation, stands like a hangman's scaffold before her, points toward her, scapegoats her.
"My husband accused me of having an affair," said Arshad, 35, her hand covering her mouth as she spoke quietly of the serious criminal charge that has disgraced her.
After a judge acquitted her in May, she joined thousands of other women living in a growing network of government and private shelters. She spends her days cooking, sewing and sad; despite the judge's verdict, the shame of the charge has narrowed her already-limited options in life.
It is rare for a Pakistani woman accused of having illicit sex to talk publicly or allow herself to be photographed. But Arshad spoke freely about once taboo subjects, saying repeatedly, "I have done nothing wrong."
"Why do I suffer?" Arshad asked. "It is just not fair."
Here we see most clearly the way that the Gospel is at work in the world and in history ... yes, even and most especially in the lands of the Scimitar. The article dithers into unhelpful eddies of liberal "social justice" the same way some priests turn up their noses at their own people in the forlorn mission fields of western nihilism and pine for southern Latin climes romanticized by Henri Nouwen. But the message is clear: the Paraklete is at work. Today. Even in the unjustly, even satanically, tautologically accused poor woman, Arshad.