Love Jihad - War in the Name of Love

Hinduwebsite editorial - Love Jihad
From The Editor's Desk

(Hinduwebsite Editorial - Exploring Truth Amidst Illusions and Distortions)

By love Jihad we mean any attempt by extremist elements in any Muslim Community who aim to lure unsuspecting non-Muslim girls into a marriage relationship and convert them to Islam either by force or by persuasion. It is not about genuine love that develops between two mature adults due to mutual attraction who belong to different religious and social backgrounds. It is about using the emotion of love upon vulnerable women for a sinister purpose. Its purpose, as we understand, is to convert non-Muslim girls to Islam so that they can bring about a radical change in the demographics of the local populations.

Rumors about love Jihad appeared in the news a few years ago when incidents involving some radical Muslims and non-Muslim girls from Kerala came into light. Most people then took the matter lightly or joked about it. The reports suggested that radical Muslims men were hatching a sinister plan to lure Hindu and Christian girls into marriage with the sole purpose of converting them and forcing them to become Muslims. The Catholic Bishops Council of Kerala reported that in 2009 alone about 4,500 girls in the state were targeted for this purpose. Another report from Hindu Janajagruti Samiti estimated that about 30,000 girls in Karnataka were converted in a similar manner. While these figures were not officially verified, the Kerala Chief Minister stated in a report that since 2006 the number of women who were converted to Islam through marriages stood at 2667.

It seems that while the media and Hindus looked away, the idea gained momentum and became a national and international issue. Many innocent girls and women were drawn into the program and deviously converted. Incidents of love jihad were reported from both urban and rural areas in Northern India and even from outside the country. Few days ago there was news that radical Muslims in London were using love jihad as a ploy to convert many Hindu and Sikh girls.

Like many things, the response of many Hindus, both in India and abroad, to incidents of love jihad range from total indifference to utter disbelief. The so called secular and ignorantly tolerant kind, for personal, commercial, and political reasons are either ridiculing it or imparting a communal flavor to it with the sole purpose of undermining the threat and making light of it. It is a sad reflection of how in times of crises Hindus become their own worst enemies. It happened many times in the long history of Hinduism. It seems many Hindus choose not to see the flood coming until it hits their homes.

Islamic nations do not favor inter-religious marriages unless such marriages are followed by the conversion of the Non-Muslim partners. In some cases, even it may not save the person from possible death. In many Islamic nations which follow Sharia to the letter, swift punishments are meted out to non-Muslims and even Muslims from outside, if they are even suspected to be involved with local women. Honor killings in orthodox Muslim families is a traditional practice and in some cases young women who try to break away from tradition are forcibly married and held in captive. In Islamic law, a non-Muslim woman who is married to a Muslim male or lives with him as a live-in partner enjoys no better status than a slave. She has no right to her life or a share in the property of her husband. She can be sold freely, as the leaders of Boko-Haram recently threatned to do.

Hindus should be aware of such medieval practices allowed by Sharia, and not allow themselves to feel guilty about their stand on love Jihad. Love jihad is a real issue.  It has now a history of its own in India and it said to have spread to other parts of the world where Hindus live. Hindus must respond to this threat appropriately and contain the problem  in its early stages. They must spread awareness about it among people to safeguard innocent girls and single women from harm and exploitation. They must stand with the organizations that are trying to prevent it and report any cases they may notice to the parents and responsible members of the community.

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