By Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
“Love jihad is a clear and present danger, a conscious, planned effort where non-Muslim women are lured into relationships and married to Muslims with the objective of converting them to Islam. Interestingly, the term and definition are being used in ongoing cases in the highest courts of the country.“It becomes pertinent to examine if love jihad or ‘Romeo jihad’, as some call it, is merely a ploy to convert or has more grievous connotations. Could it also be a form of human trafficking, an organized movement under the patronage of terrorist or separatist groups? The seriousness and peril engraved in the act are now coming to the fore and the Supreme Court has asked for a thorough investigation into its modus operandi.”Foreign Policy Magazine in an article titled ‘India’s fake love jihad’ wrote, “The so-called love jihad "phenomenon" sees young Muslim men seducing and eloping with young Hindu women and then converting them to Islam. It has launched websites such as LoveJihadInfo.com, a one-stop source for all things sexually sinister and Muslim that features articles such as "Mangalore: Love Jihad an indirect war on Hindu civilization." The site also claims that global love jihad is run by international terrorist organizations and blames the "fake secularism" of India’s mainstream media for encouraging it.”So-called secularist forces in India putting blame on ruling BJP say, “The government is allowing the RSS and others to use the state apparatus to further an agenda of establishing Hindu dominance in India, where 13 percent of the population is Muslim.”Confronting these media assault on India centering Love Jihad, Hinduwebsite.com said,“Love Jihad means using love and sex to convert people to Islam or establishing dominance over them. It refers to any attempt made by religious zealots and Muslim fanatics to lure Hindu and Christian women into a conjugal or sexual relationship and use it as an opportunity to convert them by force, indoctrination or persuasion.“In love jihad, the element of love is used as a weapon or means. It does not refer to the instances of genuine love, which may spontaneously develop between two consenting people because of mutual attraction, despite their different, religious and social backgrounds. Instead, the attempt is to pry upon vulnerable women and draw them into a relationship with an ulterior motive.“Thus, love Jihad is a political ploy, or an organized, covert effort by misguided youth who intend to use the emotion of love against vulnerable women for a sinister purpose. Its goal is to convert non-Muslim women to Islam and produce children through them to increase the local population of Muslims and thereby change the demographics of a non-Muslim country.”It said, “Those who are familiar with Islamic laws know that Islam does not favor inter-religious marriages without the conversion of the non-Muslim people, both men or women, who agree to marry Muslims. There is a taboo on Muslim women in Islamic nations not to engage in any marital or sexual relationship with men of other religions. The punishment in such cases is often instant death.“Men of other religions also, who dare to establish such relationships with Muslim women in these countries, face the prospects of a terrible end. Even mere suspicion is sufficient to implicate the people involved. The taboo is not confined to men of other religions only. Muslim men from countries such as India, Bangladesh and Pakistan are subject to similar treatment in many Islamic nations since they are considered inferior to the Arabs.“…However, love-jihad is a sinister ploy and should be viewed as such. It cannot be taken lightly because it is sporadic, or such incidents are rare. Hindu community must spread awareness about the problem, just as they caution the children to be wary of strangers and sexual predators. When incidents of love-jihad happen, they must be brought to light and reported by Media, without bias, so that people in the neighborhoods can take preventive measures.”In 2011, when Akhila Ashokan was eighteen, she left her home in T. V. Puram, a village in Kerala, for college in Salem, a busy town seven hours to the east. Her father, K. M. Ashokan, was an ex-military man; her mother, Ponnamma, a practicing Hindu. In Salem, Akhila studied homeopathy, boarding with five women, including two Muslim sisters, Jaseena and Faseena, with whom she studied, cooked, and talked. Akhila watched them pray. Soon after—it is unclear when, exactly—Akhila started to read books and watch videos that helped her understand Islam. Feeling the stirrings of a new faith, she began to pray. In 2015, she decided to call herself Aasiya.To her father, Akhila seemed a changed person in November, 2015, when she returned home for a funeral. She was quiet and reserved, reluctant to join in the rituals. After the funeral, Aasiya resolved to declare her new faith, and returned to school wearing a hijab. Her mother, when she heard of the conversion, told Aasiya that her father had broken his leg and asked her to come home to see him. But Aasiya, wise to the extravagant emotional blackmail of Indian parents, refused. She began a residential program for new converts at Sathya Sarani, a religious institute in Kerala; took yet another name, Hadiya; and registered a profile on waytonikah.com, a Muslim matrimonial site, where she noticed a man, bearded and lean, who worked at a pharmacy in Muscat, Oman. Shafin Jahan played goalkeeper for the F.C. Kerala soccer team, had a sweet smile, quoted Shakespeare, and hashtagged all his posts on Instagram. She met him, and then his family. Jahan’s Instagram went from pictures of food and football to photos of open skies and sunsets.Even before Hadiya and Jahan got married, in December, 2016, Ashokan had taken his concerns to court, arguing that the people behind his daughter’s conversion had “unlimited resources in finances as well as manpower” and were enabling “illegal and forceful conversions.” His counsel argued that Hadiya, then twenty-four, was in “a vulnerable position from which she is necessary to be rescued and handed over to the petitioner.” Ashokan was convinced that Jahan, who had ties to the radical-Muslim Popular Front of India political party, was sent to disappear his daughter, and was backed by a shadowy organization with links to the Islamic State. (“I can’t have a terrorist in my family,” he said.) The judgment from the Kerala High Court, which came in the last week of May, 2017, sided with Ashokan. “In the first place, it is not normal for a young girl in her early 20s, pursuing a professional course, to abandon her studies and to set out in pursuit of learning an alien faith and religion,” the judges wrote. They were clearly unimpressed by Hadiya, a “gullible” and “ordinary girl of moderate intellectual capacity,” who had “apparently memorized” Arabic verses. Hadiya’s five-month marriage to Jahan was annulled; Hadiya was put in the care of her parents.Conclusion:Name it Love jihad or forceful (rather I would call it tricky way) of conversion of non-Muslims into Islam – this disturbing phenomenon not only is on rise, but it already has reached an alarming level. Such tendencies are certainly destined towards implementing an Islamic conquest throughout the world. Most importantly, conversions of non-Muslims into Islam are getting vigorous patronization and secret funding from the Arab and Muslim nations. Muslim mindset is all about conquest, and turning the world into an “Islamic State”; or more precisely, a Caliphate. While we are doing everything within our capacities in confronting radical Islam, we certainly are yet to initiate any effective formula either in combating Love Jihad or stopping activities of Islamic charities (including mosques and Islamic centers) from luring non-Muslims into Islam as well preaching Jihad – murder of Jews, Christians, Hindus and non-Muslims.Unless we can’t stop this growing monster forthwith, radical Islam will defeat us and establish its reign of terror in the name of Caliphate and mass intimidation of non-Muslims and conscious individuals.
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Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is a seasoned editor, writer, columnist, author, and peace activist in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is also an editor & publisher of Weekly Blitz www.weeklyblitz.net The Bangladesh journalist is the recipient of various awards including "PEN USA Freedom to Write Award 2005" and "AJC Moral Courage Award 2006."
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