Sunday, October 25, 2009

'Love Jihad'.Fact or fiction?

Whom do you think a communalist hates most?

Many may feel that an Islamic communalist will hate a Hindu/Christian communalist most while a Hindu communalist will hate a Muslim/Christian communalist most.

But this is not true.

Whom they hate most are the believers of their own religion who try to have strong friendship and social contacts with believers of other religion.

That's why Jinnah hated Maulana Azad most.
That's why a Hindutva activist killed Gandhiji.
That's why communalists of all hues and color hate inter-religious marriages,especially when the couple involved decides to stick on to their own religion.

Even if they do not stick on to their own religion,such marriages based on love increases the social contacts between families of different religions and should be encouraged if the conversion to the spouse's religion is with out compulsion.

"Love Jihad"

Recently we saw an increasing number of news reports about love used for forcible religious conversion in South India,mainly Kerala. It has been alleged that thousands of Hindu and a few Christian girls has been trapped in to love affairs with Islamist boys and later forced into marriages and conversion to Islam. A newspaper in Kerala coined the term 'Love Jihad' for this phenomenon.

If you search 'Love Jihad' on google you will see a large number of furious Hindutva websites trying their best to raise the anger in the Hindu mind.The statistics they quote are mind boggling. It ranges from 1000 to 5000 Hindu girls already converted to Islam by this 'Love jihad'.
Here is an excerpt from 'Hindu jagruti''s website.

"Trapping naive Non Muslim girls (Read as Hindu girls) in the web of love inorder to convert to Islam is the modus operandi of the said organisation. Already more than 4000 girls have been converted to Islam by this Jihadi Romeos.



Special branch of Police started investigation when marriages of such large scales are reported within last 6 months. As per the instructions to recruits of this organisation, they have to love a Hindu girl within the time frame of 2 weeks and brainwash them to get converted and marry within 6 months. Special instructions to breed atleast 4 kids have also been given. If the target won’t get trapped within first 2 weeks, they are instructed to leave them and move on to another girl."


Is this really true?

Most of the Hindutva websites reveal the source of their information as Police Special Branch reports. The Kerala High Court asked the Police to enquire about this.The DGP has presented a preliminary report in the Court on October 23.
The DGP's affidavit said that apart from the 2 cases before the court there is no proof that such incidents are taking place. At the same time the affidavit said "there are reasons to suspect ‘concentrated attempts’ to persuade girls to convert to Islam after they fall in love with Muslim boys but no organisation called ‘Love Jihad’ has been identified so far in the state". The affidavit said police had no evidence regarding the operation of love jihad and the source of money.

What is the truth behind this?
I am very well aware that Islamists recruit many youths from the campuses in Kerala for propagating hate in name of Islam.
I am also sure that some inter-religious 'love' marriages have taken place and most probably conversions too. Most of those marriages were genuine.
Was the conversion forced? Is it really an organised movement by 'Jihadi' organisations to increase the number of Muslims in India? Even if it is so has this taken place in such a large scale as being alleged?

The Police special branch report the Hindutva websites are quoting is about complaints registered in police stations regarding missing persons.Police themselves say that most of those compliants have already been withdrawn as the missing persons have returned to their families. Only a few are yet to be traced.The statistics are grossly exaggerated to create bigger effect.

Read here from 'The Hindu' a story of alleged 'love jihad' from Karnataka

The ‘Love Jehad’ that wasn’t

When Anitha (22) of Barimaru village in Bantwal taluk, went missing this June, the rumour mills fed by several Sangh Parivar organisations claimed that she was forcibly converted to Islam by a Pakistan-backed, professional ‘jehadist lover’.



On October 4, the head of the Gurupura Math, Rajashekharananda, held a protest meeting where he alleged that Anitha had fallen prey to a terrorist ploy. The event, which according to top police officers, threatened to create a communally sensitive situation, led to the hurried constitution of a special investigation team.


In less than two weeks the team cracked the case: Anitha was poisoned to death by Mohan Kumar, serial killer arrested on October 21, who allegedly confessed to having murdered her and robbed 17 other women by luring them with offers of marriage.

On October 15, the Hindu Janjagruthi Samiti held a protest outside the Deputy Commissioner’s Office alleging that over 3,000 Hindu girls from Dakshina Kannada and 30,000 from the rest of the State had gone missing since the “Love Jehad operation” was launched by the “terrorists” a year ago. These figures, posted on the Samiti’s website, are now being quoted by other Hindutva organisations as well.



However, official statistics given to The Hindu show that in the three years ended September 30 this year, 404 women went missing in the district. Of them, 332 women have since been traced by the police.


At Wednesday’s press conference, the police said that now only 57 women were missing in the district.


According to Superintendent of Police A.S. Rao, several of these 57 women are suspected to have committed suicide or eloped. “Among those who have eloped there are several who are not Hindus. There are also cases where Hindu women have eloped with Hindu men,” he said.

In another incident Siljaraj a woman of 23 years who eloped with her Muslim boy friend told the Karnataka High court that she had willingly converted to Islam and is waiting to get married under the provisions of the Special Marriages Act and asked for permission to go with her boy friend. But surprisingly the High Court asked her to return to her parent's home until the case is investigated.

Reacting to the order, senior advocate Ravi Varma Kumar said that it violated Article 21 (of life and personal liberty) and Article 25 (of freedom of religion) of the Indian Constitution. He cited Lata Singh vs. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2006, in which the Supreme Court upheld the right of a person who had reached the age of majority to marry of his or her own choice.
The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) has said it would file a writ petition in the Supreme Court challenging the Karnataka High Court’s order.



I feel that more than this alleged 'love jihad' being a threat to Hindu society [ are Hindu girls so dumb???], it has become a fodder for the propaganda machine of the Sangh Parivar to propagate communal animosity and there by helping them in trying to reduce all social contacts between Hindus and believers of other religions.
Muslim and Christian priests have also issued warnings to youth to be cautious of such inter-religious social contacts.
As I said above Communalists of all colors are the same.They hate social and religious harmony because then their very existence is questioned.

The issue underlines the need for high vigilance against communalisation of our society.

25 comments:

  1. The only way to resolve this problem is for the govt. to create jobs - once the youth are busy, religious organizations will not be able to seduce them with propaganda...

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  2. Even Christians started some networks to guard against 'Love Jihad' after Mosques in some European countries started training youth on luring local girls. Here is one such:

    http://www.faithfreedom.org/

    Interestingly, even Malaysia, a Muslim country, is taking similar action against Bangladeshis:

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2006\03\14\story_14-3-2006_pg4_19

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  3. I was googling 'love Jihad',

    One of the comments in one of the sites read :


    "This is a shocking fact. What Hindus should do is to Love Muslim girls and marry them, so they will become Hindus. Anyway they will like the young lads like us, just because they will be married to bloody old fellows like more than 20 years elder to the girls."

    I can't believe people are actually so jobless to marry someone for life, as a part of a larger conspiracy.

    Why would this result in extinction of Hindus anyway?I mean, don't we live in paternal society?Number of Hindu men will still remain the same and their offspring will be Hindus (not counting the exceptions), unless ofcourse this continues till infinity when no Hindu woman is alive and all other religions decide to not marry off their daughters to Hindu men. Aren't we dying of greenhouse effect by then anyway?;)

    Ridiculous! Let these 'Love jihadis' waste their time and life on this conspiracy even if its true or as the above commentator says 'pick up some jobless Hindus to do the same'.Ha!

    Irony is these very Hindu organisations directly and indirectly encourage female foeticide. Lets concentrate on eliminating that 1st.

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  4. I take all such news with a pinch of salt. There are no facts and lots of hype, and a very clear motive and benefit for some.

    These are the times when I notice some parts of the media support the right wing by creating a hype and creating labels and providing free propaganda.

    It was good to read a well researched objective post on the topic.

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  5. @Chikki I couldn't agree more!

    Irony is these very Hindu organisations directly and indirectly encourage female foeticide. Lets concentrate on eliminating that 1st.

    Any activity that make women look like dim wits encourages female foeticide. This kind of propaganda is dangerous.

    Loved your 'unless ofcourse this continues till infinity when no Hindu woman is alive and all other religions decide to not marry off their daughters to Hindu men. Aren't we dying of greenhouse effect by then anyway?;)

    Absolutely brilliant :)
    :)

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  6. Bones, I feel it is time all realise that religion is just a point of view or philosophy abt life and it is possible for ppl with different beliefs to live happily together under one roof in one family and it is only the communalists who use religion as a short cut for power are worried abt peaceful coexisistence of religions

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  7. Phase shift, I do not think girls are that dumb or love hungry (whether in Europe or anywhere else) to fall for such a conspiracy . May be it is the communalists desire to spread such rumours so that their hold on belivers of religion will remain intact. In Malaysia the Bangladeshis would be poor and a conservative parent may not like the daughter marrying a poor guy.

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  8. Chikki, yes when looking at it rationally it is stupid and ridiculous.But communalists are dead serious in wanting to grab power using religion.

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  9. IHM, you will hear this exaggerated statistics in your drawing room or on the comment space of your blog quoted by unsuspecting and naive people.So be prepared.
    The tragedy is this is a big setback to inter-religious love marriages as proved by the surprising Karnataka High Court order I quoted above.

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  10. What is jihad

    First, we would like to start with stating that Islam does not call for violence; rather it abhors all forms of violence and terrorism, whether against Muslims or non-Muslims. Islam, moreover, calls for peace, cooperation, and maintaining justice, and provides for the happiness and welfare of humanity as a whole. This fact is declared in the Qur'an when Allah says: (Allah commands justice, the doing of good, and liberality to kith and kin, and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion: He instructs you, that ye may receive admonition.) (An-Nahl 16: 90)

    Jihad is one of the words that have been misused due to misunderstanding its true meaning. The word “Jihad” is derived from the Arabic word “Jahd” which means fatigue or the word “Juhd” which means effort. A Mujahid is he who strives in the Cause of Allah and exerts efforts which makes him feel fatigued. The word “Jihad” means exerting effort to achieve a desired thing or prevent an undesired one. In other words, it is an effort that aims at bringing about benefit or preventing harm.

    Jihad can be observed through any means and in any field whether material or moral. Among the types of Jihad are struggling against one’s desires, the accursed Satan, poverty, illiteracy, disease, and fighting all evil forces in the world.

    There are many religious texts that refer to these types of Jihad. Among the forms of Jihad is defending life, property or honor. Those who die while engaging in Jihad are considered to be martyrs, as confirmed by Hadith. Jihad is also done to avert aggression on home countries and on all that is held sacred, or in order to face those who try to hinder the march of the call of truth.

    In Islamic Shari`ah, Jihad in the Cause of Allah means fighting in order to make the Word of Allah most high, and the means for doing so is taking up arms in addition to preparation, financing and planning strategies. A large number of people are supposed to take part in Jihad including farmers, craftsmen, traders, doctors, engineers, workers, security men, preachers, writers and all those who directly or indirectly participate in the battle.

    This type of Jihad was a major concern of Muslims in the beginning of the formation of the Islamic community, and a lot of verses of the Glorious Qur’an and the Hadith advocated and encouraged it. Almighty Allah says: (March forth, whether you are light (being healthy, young and wealthy) or heavy (being ill, old and poor) and strive with your wealth and your lives in the Cause of Allah.) (At-Tawbah 9: 41) Jihad is considered an individual duty (Fard `Ein), on all Muslims who are capable and fit to fight, in the event of being invaded by the enemy, and is considered a collective duty (Fard Kifayah) in the event of not being invaded. However, if the Imam (leader) calls to Jihad, people must respond to his call. This is evident from Allah’s Saying, (O you who believe! What is the matter with you, that when you are asked to march forth in the Cause of Allah (i.e. Jihad) you cling heavily on the earth?) (At-Tawbah 9: 38), and the Hadith narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim, "When you are called to Jihad, then go forth."

    learn quran online, learn quran tajweed

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  11. I came here via IHM's link and as you commented, let me continue to hope that I am one of those naive and unsuspecting characters :)

    yet a question still continue to haunt me..

    when in love does one bother too much about religion?

    during their their moments of togetherness are their talks centered on religion?

    is your acceptance of the other solely depend on religion?

    am asking these questions since even before these girls get married they have already accepted a new faith.

    please dont bother to answer if it sounds frivolous...

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  12. Came here from the link in IHM's blog. As I commented there it really annoys me as a Malayali Hindu woman that these people imagine that we are so dumb and incapable of recognizing these type of so called "romeo jihadis" . OK fine, maybe a couple of such instances have occurred. But now girls are aware of this and they are quite capable of being on their guard. The "love jihadi's" purpose is thus automatically defeated. Now what is the need for all this continued brouhaha about this? Why do they need to act like women are mindless zombies who need to be shepherded around? Only to gain political mileage and pander to their vote banks.

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  13. @Dreamer - I agree, Why do they need to act like women are mindless zombies who need to be shepherded around? Only to gain political mileage and pander to their vote banks.

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  14. Happy Kitten, Welcome to this blog.
    As I said in the post a few girls might have been converted to Islam.

    Was the girls forcefully converted?
    Unlikely. [why they should allow that?]
    May be with only partial consent in some cases.
    Was it a planned and foreign funded conspiracy?
    Extremely unlikely.
    Police reports effectively negates the exaggerated claims of Sangh Parivar.
    I think many ppl believed the propaganda of the Hindutva brigade.Their propaganda machine is very powerful and omni present especially on the net. I was not referring specifically to someone.
    Now to your questions.
    "when in love does one bother too much about religion?"
    No you should not bother and most ppl dont. But when it comes to marriage many are not strong enough to withstand the pressure to convert from the spouse.

    'during their their moments of togetherness are their talks centered on religion?'
    I hope it is not
    " is your acceptance of the other solely depend on religion?"
    It should never be like that.

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  15. Dreamer,
    Welcome here to my blog.
    I fully agree to what you said.

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  16. Thank u very much for your comments. Please bear with me since I may be trying to understand this whole thing from a mother's point of view. ( a selfish mother of a 12 & 13 year old, one could say:) )

    I do not think that the girls are forced. The conversion happens in a more subtle manner. In the case of our relative, it was shocking to note her attitude of contempt for her former religion. I blv this does not happen if their affair is not centered on religion. (She is yet to marry though she says she has embraced Islam)

    I was ready to brush this away as a stray incident until I heard more such instances from friends (most of it starts in the college campus)

    I continue to hope that it is not as the media or the Hindu/Christian activists portray it.

    But then it is also amusing since most Christian Colleges in Kerala has a "Campus Crusade for Christ" and yet the Christians are protesting!

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  17. In the case of ur relative i feel it is Islam ideology winning her mind first and love if present is secondary. Young minds are easily impressionable especially if they do not have a firm ideological or religious base. So conversions in religion and political ideology takes place very commonly in campuses. 'Love' helps such conversion.We as parents should prepare the child for an ideological brain washing and teach them the correct questions to ask. The whole controversy can be used to teach children how anti woman most religions are in actual practise. Presence of good dose of secular politics in the campuses like it was when I was in the campus in the 80s will keep the communalists under control.

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  18. I find Jodhabais marrying Akbars, Indiras marrrying Firoz, Pushpa to Hidayatulla (CJI), Sharmila Tagore to Pataudi, Sangita to Azrahuddin, Gauri to Shahrukh, Kiran to Amir. . . . . .
    I also find the Jammu Hindu youth marrying a Muslim girl of the Valley and being tortured to death.

    I leave it to u to make out the sense.

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  19. Thank you Ramesh for proving my point that inter religious marriages based on love will come good if the Communalists are not allowed to intefere, with some good examples

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  20. I landed up here accidentally and the 'Love Jihad' is shocking for me.
    I am a Christain who is married to a Hindu for the past 8 years. Neither of us are converted and we still remain strong in our own faiths.
    As I see it, a conversion is not required for a successful relationship. If somebody gets converted based on the instinct to prove that you love everything about your partner, it may cause trouble for your own conscience in the near future.
    Society, relatives , friends will have their own reasons for asking for the conversion..But this is from an external point of view.As an insider in the relationship, you will know what works better for you..and NO TWO MARRAIAGES are the SAME.

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  21. "Young minds are easily impressionable especially if they do not have a firm ideological or religious base."

    Think she never had a firm religious base; else she is very intelligent, beautiful and has a mind of her own.

    And maybe we need to take this in a positive note too… If I look at all the interreligious marriages that have happened in mine and hubby’s family, over the years (starting from 70’s) it was always to a Hindu and this one would be the first one to a Muslim.
    Maybe it also shows that the younger generation Muslim youths are looking for partners outside their own community which they seldom did earlier.

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  22. Rose, welcome to this blog. As you said conversion is not a necessary precondition for a successful relationshsip.It may even harm a relationship.
    Yes each marriage is unique.
    You may be interested to read this post and comments in Indian Home maker's blog http://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2009/11/01/what-would-you-not-change-for-love/

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  23. Happy kitten, yes we should welcome more and more inter religious marriages

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  24. ...What was her "naivette"?

    That she had trusted and shared soft drink with her class mates belonging to a different religion after she had known them for months together.

    However, a huge difference being the guys involved did not intend to convert her, though that was fringe benefit. They used to 'sell' kidnapped girls and send them to gulf as slaves. My cousin was fortunately just saved. These kind of crimes were not possible without cooperation from the highest levels in the government.

    Now with availability of mobile phones, greater awareness, change in administration and 'encounter' of Lateef, these crimes have stopped.

    What I only wanted to point out was religion-based organized crime at least used to exist in Ahmedabad with modus operandi somewhat similar to one pointed out in your article, but the motivation used to be quite different.

    And though I prefer BJP to the Congress, I am an atheist, and at least would not consider myself to be a religious fanatic! ;)

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  25. Ma'am,

    I have gathered this impression that people in Kerala are in general much more open to conversions. So indeed, the statistics and reports you quoted seem quite exaggerated & sensationalist.

    However, I would like to point out a few issues where I disagree or have something to add.

    Motivations for conversions are varied, & they depend largely upon socioeconomic status. Some get attracted because of economic incentives. Some get attracted because they would've had bad experiences with their native religion. Some because of genuine brainwashing. And some out of subtle emotional blackmail of love.

    I saw a generalization in discussions here that "girls cannot be so naive". But the fact is many girls falling in love do so out of naivette. But another fact not considered correspondingly is that so do guys! Many guys too are naive. Pretence of love is indeed used as a trap across the economic & educational strata and by both genders. Some do it to deceive someone more affluent into love, some do it for seeming 'cool' among peers, some do it to satisfy their sexual needs. What's common to all the cases is one of partners is getting deceived. The partner could be of any religion or gender. And in some cases, religion could indeed be the motivation.

    Whether an organized racket exists to do this is a different question. To me the conspiracy of trying to lure people (of either gender) into religious conversion through love sounds a silly idea. But other means of organized conversions do exist.

    And I'm not opposed to such conversions, too! But the problem with this happening is, then religion becomes a battle of collective oneupmanship. I wouldn't be miffed by one getting converted, but I would be disgusted by the insecurity of one proselytizing or tempting others into conversions.

    But it's wrong to state organized religious rackets do not exist. In Ahmedabad, there was an organized racket run by a don called Lateef. My own first cousin'd been befriended, drugged & married under that tranced state under Muslim customs. But fortunately she was rescued. However unfortunately, given the mentality of Indian society she had faced rejection from closest of 'relatives' like uncles, aunts & even grandfather. There were calls for disowning her, but fortunately my uncle had been tactful & patient and helped her get married & still supports her financially. And well, if someone asks what was the necessity to get married, well, she wanted to...

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Comments are welcome especially if you do not think like me. But anonymous comments behind masks and those not relevant to the post are not encouraged.