Take action against Love Jehad – Organiser Editorial

published on November 3, 2009

What is the lure of Love Jehad? The problem is old. But the terminology is new crediting its origins to some imaginative police officer in Kerala, who filed his affidavit in the High Court following a widespread commotion against an alleged sinister campaign by Kerala Islamists to convert non-Muslim women to Islam through deceptive love and marriage. Such cases have become commonplace in North India and the readers of Organiser are familiar with them, as such cases have been written about in the journal. The problem received wider attention in Kerala because the Christian girls are equal victims of the jehadi Romeos as the Hindus, and the church has taken a serious view.

The Commission for Social Harmony and Vigilance of the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council, which is actively creating public opinion against the organised menace of Love Jehad, says that women so converted to Islam are being used by male Islamist terrorists for satisfying their carnal needs in their camps in inhospitable areas from where escape is impossible. Reports quoting senior police officials say that they can trace the presence of love jehadis but are unable to lay hands on them because of the political patronage they enjoy.

Reports emanating from various parts of the country confirm that the aim of luring vulnerable women from other religions with the offer of love and marriage is to convert them to Islam before using them as couriers, cooks and sex-slaves. This is no liberation theology, as they claim.

The matter hit headlines in recent months when parents of two missing girls approached the Kerala High Court with habeas corpus petitions. One of them is a Hindu and the other Christian. Soon reports about several such incidents popped in the media and police stations, political parties and community organisations came out with appeals to the public to be on the guard against the evil designs of the Islamic groups engaged in this activity. According to a report in The Pioneer, police officials probing the Love Jehad have estimated that as many as 940 women had gone missing in Kerala in the past five years in dubious circumstances. Love jehadis have converted more than 4,000 women in Kerala alone through love and marriage in the recent past, according to reports appearing in the local media. As a result, a concerned Kerala High Court ordered the State Director General of Police and the Union Home Department last month to file their reports on the matter after a thorough probe. Last week, the Kerala DGP Jacob Punnose filed a reply, which he later termed interim, in which he denied the presence of any organised campaign or outfit named Love Jehad. Experts termed his report politically dictated and funny because of its timing and contradictory observations. The Kerala ruling Left Front, facing three by-elections on November 7, tried to woo the fanatic Muslims by presenting such a reply in the Court. However, it backfired. The reply admitted that Muslim men had been trying to convert women to Islam through love marriages. Such Muslim youth could be getting external financial assistance for expensive clothes, motorbikes and money to attract girls, it said. The DGP’s reply further revealed that these young men could be getting legal assistance for staying out of dangers from police and public. Irked by the contradictions in the reply, the High Court ordered the DGP to file a fresh report.

In July, the Maharashtra assembly had ordered a CID inquiry into organised women conversion by marriage after several MLAs raised the issue. The Kerala incidents have fortunately highlighted a national menace, which the country as a whole has so far tried to brush under the carpet. This is an organised crime and a major threat to peace and harmony in the society. It is also a form of demographic aggression. But for the external financial support, these scoundrel gangs are getting, it is impossible to believe that any woman in her right senses would convert to a religion that denies even basic dignity and human rights to the fair sex. On October 28, a report from Saudi Arabia said, a female journalist was sentenced to 60 lashes for participating in a television show in which a man talked about sex. Another report, from Somalia on October 16 said that country’s Islamic group al Shabaab gave women 50 lashes in public for wearing bras, which according to them violates Islam. They rounded up all women seen with “firm busts and had them publicly whipped by masked men. The women were then asked to remove their bras and shake their breasts”, according to a report in The Indian Express. In Pakistan and Afghanistan women are routinely rounded up and publicly beaten for being seen in the company of men other than their parents or husbands. These fanatics burn down schools for admitting girl children. On all this neither the state nor the society comes to the rescue of these besieged women. Because they follow the Islamic jurisprudence. To such a situation no women would willingly convert. It is here that the state has to step in to protect the hapless victims. Hindu religious organisations also have to keep a vigil so that these deceitful jehadis meet their Waterloo.

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