By LIZ HULL and DANIEL BATES
The daughter of a British imam is living under police protection after receiving death threats from her father for converting to Christianity.
The 31-year-old, whose father is the leader of a mosque in Lancashire, has moved house an astonishing 45 times after relatives pledged to hunt her down and kill her.
The British-born university graduate, who uses the pseudonym Hannah for her own safety, said she renounced the Muslim faith to escape being forced into an arranged marriage when she was 16.
She has been in hiding for more than a decade but called in police only a few months ago after receiving a text message from her brother.
In it, he said he would not be held responsible for his actions if she failed to return to Islam.
Officers have agreed to offer her protection in case of an attempt on her life.
Last night the woman said: "I'm determined to live my life the way I want to because I should have that freedom in this country.
"If you make the choice to come to this country, as my parents did from Pakistan, you have to abide by the laws of this country and that means respecting the freedoms of other people.
"I know the Koran says anyone who goes away from Islam should be killed as an apostate, so in some ways my family are following the Koran. They are following Islam to the word.
"But I do not think every Muslim would act on that.
"My situation is frightening, but I'm not going to let it frighten me to the extent I can't live my life.
"I pretty much feel like I've lost my family and that's very hard.
"Some days I feel very low and what my father might do preys on my mind. But I regularly change my phone number to avoid him catching up with me.'
Hannah was born in Lancashire to Pakistani parents who raised her and her siblings as strict Sunni Muslims.
She prayed and read the Koran, wore traditional Muslim clothes and was sent to a madrassa, a religious Muslim school.
She ran away from home at 16 after overhearing her father organising her arranged marriage.
Hannah was taken in by a religious education teacher and decided to convert to the Christian faith.
Although unhappy, her parents tolerated their daughter's dismissal-of Islam as a "teenage phase".
But when she opted to get baptised, while studying at Manchester University, her family were incensed and the death threats began.
Her father arrived at her home with 40 men and threatened to kill her for betraying Islam.
"I saw my uncle and around 40 men storming up the street clutching axes, hammers, knives and bits of wood," she said.
"My dad was shouting through the letter box, "I'm going to kill you", while the others smashed on the window and beat the door.
"They were shouting, 'We're going to kill you' and 'Traitor'.
"It was terrifying. I was convinced I was going to either die, but suddenly after about ten minutes the noise stopped and the men suddenly went away."
Since then Hannah, who gives talks to churches on Islam, has been on the run from her family, often being forced to flee her home with only a few minutes' notice.
After receiving the latest text threat from her brother, in June, she finally went to the police.
No one has been arrested or charged in connection with the death threats, but officers have put her on an "at risk" register and have given her a panic number to call if she fears for her own safety.
Yesterday Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, told delegates at the launch of a religious charity that Muslims in Britain who wished to change faiths were living in fear of their lives because of Islamic hostility to conversion.
A study this year found that 36 per cent of British Muslims between 16 and 24 believe those who convert to another religion should be punished by death.
In July an Iranian immigrant to Britain, who converted to Christianity, was saved from deportation after it emerged she would be stoned to death in her own country.
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