Tuesday, November 29th, 2022 02:29:25

Mystery Of Love Jihad

Updated: September 27, 2014 1:27 pm

There are some who argue that Love Jihad may or may not involve coercion but it does involve intent, and, once consummated, it may be followed by abusive behaviour towards the girl

The marriage between Ranjit Kohli alias Raqibul Hassan Khan, who’s accused of torturing his wife, competitive shooter Tara Shahdeo, and forcing her to convert to Islam, is being investigated by the police. Court hearings are also proceeding. Another similar case has also been reported.

They have caused unrest in Hindu organisations who suspect that these marriages were part of the plan in which men will feign love, marry and then coerce her to convert. Termed a Love Jihad, organisations like VHP are demanding an immediate inquiry.

In Rotherham (England)

Over 1,400 girls in this northern English town, just outside Sheffield—populated mostly by families from Pakistan—were sexually abused by gangs of young as 11-year-old.

They were plied with drugs and alcohol before being trafficked to cities across northern England and gang raped by groups of men, predominantly, Pakistani men over a period of 16 years.

So its Love Jihad in India and its Rape Jihad in England. But while there is hard evidence that sex was exploited with the clear intent of ruining non-believers—the white girls—and it was done as part of grand design to damage the English society of Kafirs, there is no reason so far to believe that there is any grand plan to lure Hindu girls for conversion.

The discord between the two could be more of a personal one and thus an isolated case rather than part of a plan to dupe non-believers into wedlock and then coerce them to convert.

The police has to first ascertain whether Ranjit alias Raqibul has any terror links. It is possible that Rafiq hid the fact that he is a Muslim because he could have been afraid that then Tara could refuse. So giving him benefit of doubt one can excuse him. But if he is found guilty of marrying Shahdeo by giving wrong facts he could be charged under various sections of the IPC, for breach of trust, fraud, cheating, making false representations, and even rape. But all this does not justify coining it as Love Jihad.

A Jihad using sex as a weapon is different from the concept here. In fact, in the UK a series of attempts to at first to ruin Sikh and then later white girls have led to various cases being filed by the police. Whereas, one Rafiq marrying a Hindu girl and then pressurising her to convert could be an isolated case and to brand it Jihad of whatever form is not justified.

There are some who argue that Love Jihad may or may not involve coercion but it does involve intent, and, once consummated, it may be followed by abusive behaviour towards the girl. Sandip Roy, in an analysis, opined, “While the pressure to convert on a young non-Muslim woman marrying a Muslim man can be real, as a cold-blooded global Islamisation strategy it makes absolutely no sense. It takes too long. It expends too much energy. It requires too much investment. But like all great urban myths the Love Jihad persists.”

The Uttar Pradesh BJP unit has dropped the issue of “love jihad” from its poll agenda, but for the VHP and such like the Shahdeo case has become a cause celebre to arouse passions—they allege men like Raqibul are on a mission to lure non-Muslim women by feigning love and posing as Hindus into matrimony.

Various Sangh Parivar-linked organisations, including the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Hindu Jagran Manch, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, are joining hands to set up new fronts, particularly in western UP, to fight such alleged conversions.

The first such organisation has been formed in Meerut—Meerut Bachao Manch—where a former madrasa teacher had allegedly forced conversion and gangrape recently. The new front recently organised a peace march in Meerut and submitted a memorandum to the district administration demanding strict action in the case. It also sought measures to curb “love jihad”. Once married these women, like Tara, would be tortured to convert. In contrast, the incidents called Rape Jihad in the UK—reported since 2006—highlight the fact that love jihad might be politically helpful for passion rousing or polarisation but it does not prove that there is any terror angle.

In contrast, in 2006, in Britain posters pasted on walls appeared in a few inner cities like Luton urging Pakistani men to ply liquor to Sikh girls, date them, get them used to good living and drugs, rape them and then abandon them.

The posters were much on the lines of a write-up for private circulation, ‘Real Khilafa—A Political Reality From Dr. K M Farukh.’ The message was somewhat like, “It is easy to take the Sikh girls out on a date as they generally like a good drink and from these gradually they can be brought into Islam. This is not a hard job at all as the Kafir women like Moslems. Hardly surprising as we are attractive and intelligent compared with Kafirs. This is common sense and everybody knows.”

The men were promised passage to heaven and 72 virgins

This was real jihad at its most dangerous. Avenge the unbelievers. Whether any terror group was involved or not is yet unknown! But the plan could not get going. In the UK, this phenomenon was labelled “grooming”. “Whatever the authenticity of the leaflet, as early as 1998, the Sikh community in UK found this to be a sufficiently serious problem to set up the Sikh Awareness Society specifically to address concerns of grooming, with BBC producing a documentary on the “sexual grooming of young six girls by Muslim men”.

The Sikhs formed groups and started retaliating and beating up the gangs of Pakistani men. The seduction of girls from that community stopped. Such strict watch and aggressive measures to counter attempts by Pakistani men, forced a change in the scheme. Target Sikh girls was shifted to preying on white girls.

The preying on white girls by Pakistani gangs began from early 2007 and gathered momentum. British police hesitated to act, fearful that they would be branded racists. Recent exposures reveal that the number of abused white women runs into four figures.

Parents had complained that wherever there was large Asian communities, white girls as young as 12 were being targeted for sex by older Asian men, but the authorities were reluctant to act fearing being labelled racist.

cover-story4I was given the same excuse. I spoke several times to Ann Cryer, a Labour member of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee. She was in the forefront in attempts to tackle the problem. She had got complaints from mothers in her constituency about young Asian men.

Her problem, she said, was that most families were in denial. She once said the cultural norms of Asian men allows them to marry a first cousin or other relative back in a village in Mirapur or wherever the family comes from. Therefore, until that marriage is arranged they look out for sex. But I marvelled at her sincerity and devotion for saving girls from the evil men. Her campaign did put pressure on the authorities to take a stricter view of the ‘grooming’.

These cases in Britain justify their being called Rape Jihad. In India a couple of cases are being investigated. So far it is unverified if these are test balloons before a copycat (like in England) abuse of gullible women starts here. But at present there is nothing to get hysterical over what has been termed as Love Jihad.

Earlier this year, the issue of vulnerable white girls being targeted by Asian men for sex prompted Jack Straw, the former home secretary, to claim some British Pakistani men regard white girls as ‘easy meat’.

He spoke out after two Asian men who raped girls in Derby were given indefinite jail terms. “We need to get the Pakistani community to think much more clearly about why this is going on and to be more open about the problems that are leading to a number of Pakistani heritage men thinking it is OK to target white girls in this way,” he said.

Can any political leader dare talk in the vein of Straw. The so-called intellectuals whose self-assessment of importance rises every time they are invited by a channel, would make a mince-meat of anyone who says something derogatory of Pakistan or about non-Hindus even if they are members of terror gangs. Remember our eternally young man Rahul Gandhi at a dinner meet hosted by the then Prime Minister told the US Ambassador that Hindu Fundamentalists were far more dangerous than Muslim radical groups. By such reasoning Hafeez Saeed is much lesser dangerous for us than Mohan Bhagwat.

It is said because of the whispered information, the Americans did not ease Visa restrictions on Narendra Modi. Significantly, he has not spoken a word on this controversy. I suppose he too believes that Shahdeo case does not by any stretch of imagination can be cited as an example of some groups planning to ruin and control non-Muslim women.

One point to consider is: Just as all terrorist plots may not be entirely rational, whether love jihad (see definition) exists or is an “urban myth” cannot be judged on Sandip Roy’s opinion of its efficacy as an Islamisation strategy. Islamists could be using their own logic. Wooing a woman in any case takes energy. If that energy can be expended on a kafir girl perhaps the rewards on earth can be combined with the benefits of heaven. Besides, since kafir girls are not in burqas, they must be, in Islamist logic, “uncovered meat”, hence easy.

27-09-2014Likewise, love jihad’s existence cannot be determined based on whether or not it is ultimately effective as a global Islamisation strategy. So one has to look further than Jain and Roy for evidence if love jihad exists. For instance in Luton in 2005 were distributed to Muslim young men. This was reported by me as well as journalist Clive Gresswell.

CNN-IBN’s Bhupendra Chaubey framed the issue as “Love Jihad: Is inter-religious relationship a crime?” saying BJP leaders were making it out to be one-sided, as if “members of one community were out to get members of another community.”

Are these groups simply protesting against the natural inter-religious relationships where people from different communities may be falling in love with each other (which conservatives are trying to bar or use for propaganda) or is there anything more sinister?

The Shahdeo case looks, as one said earlier, to be a personal dispute between husband who says he is being framed and a wife who alleges deceit and deception, and now torture. In cases both parties make up a long list of unfairness from the other. The only matter of concern is the report about the husband. He is alleged to be connected with high-ups in politics, bureaucracy and business. It is said he has several houses, many luxury cars and has allegedly looked after the ‘comforts’ of many of them. This is why the Chief Minister has been talking about giving the case to CBI. But so far the fear of Love Jihad seems far-fetched. Yet one would have to be vigilant. Radicalism and groups wishing to terrorise all non-believers societies have global reach.

India would be a soft target. Love Jihad turning something more lethal would take no time. So if some organizations have taken precautionary measures, they should be helped rather be ridiculed.

Let the intellectuals, liberals and sick secularists be livid. They would shut up the moment some near one of their’s is enticed by Love Jihad.


Karnataka, the state where the term ‘ love Jihad’ was first used publicly to decry a love marriage in 2009, has pushed it to the background since a police report found no evidence of such a conspiracy to target Hindu girls. Five years later, ‘love jihad’ has travelled north, to Uttar Pradesh, where it has been officially made part of its politics by some right-wing outfits, and east, where Jharkhand has been hit by bandhs over an alleged forced conversion. Any inter-religious marriage or affair now faces the risk of being seen as part of a conspiracy. Tara Shahdeo, a shooter in Jharkhand and national level table tennis players are more recent and serious instances. In the Kerala Assembly, Congress CM Oommen Chandy, admitted in 2012 that 2,667 girls were converted to Islam. His predecessor V S Achyutanand, a marxist, too had warned in 2010 of plans to “Islamise Kerala“ in 20 years, using“ money and marriage.“ Also the Kerala High Court took suo motu cognisance of the matter and asked the DG to expedite the investigations in matters of alleged conversions and forced marriages. Allahabad High Court judge Rakesh Verma expressed concerns on this matter and asked the UP DGP to investigate 22 such matters. Incidents of love jihad had been more prevalent in Uttar Pradesh, majority of them from Meerut, Muzaffarnagar and Saharanpur districts.


cover-story2More focus on the word Love Jihad is needed. It is in effect an odd combination of words, with both meaning differently. Jihad is defined as a war (holy) for a cause and love is the intense feeling, liking and emotive attraction between a man and a woman for each other. So what has love got to do with jihad?

One can explain it as oxymoron, a combination of contradictory words, like honest dishonesty or hate love, falsely true or cruel kindness.

But in Wikipedia, Love Jihad has been described as, “Muslim boys and men reportedly target young girls belonging to non-Muslim communities for conversion to Islam by feigning love.

The term has been used to describe the activity in India, while similar activities have been reported in places like the United Kingdom. 2010 and 2012 official investigations in Kerala and Karnataka found no truth behind the allegations.


cover-story3This is a case of 2011. A vulnerable teenager was stabbed and thrown into a canal to die after she brought ‘shame’ on an Asian family.

Laura Wilson, 17, who was groomed for sex by a string of British Pakistani men, was repeatedly knifed by 18-year-old Ashtiaq Asghar. He then pushed her into the water, using the point of the knife to force her head below the surface as she fought to stay alive.

Wilson had a brief fling with her neighbour Ishaq Hussain, 22, and gave birth to their daughter in June last year but he refused to accept the child was his. The court was told Asghar was furious after the young mother revealed details of their sexual relationship to his Muslim family and was on ‘a mission to kill’, the court was told.

He exchanged a series of texts with his married friend and mentor Ishaq Hussain, 22, who also had an affair with Laura, and who the judge described as a man who regarded white girls as ‘sexual targets, not human beings’.

In one message, sent a day before he killed Miss Wilson, Asghar wrote: ‘I’m gonna send that kuffar (non-Muslim) bitch straight to Hell.’

In another he wrote: ‘I need to do a mission.’ He talked of buying a pistol and ‘making some beans on toast’, a reference to spilling blood used in Four Lions, a satirical film about suicide bombers. Asghar admitted murdering the 17-year-old after making a dramatic plea-change mid-way through trial.

Court told Asghar that he must serve a minimum of 17-and-a-half years after he pleaded guilty to murder and was jailed for life. Hussain was acquitted of murder by joint enterprise after a retrial.

Sentencing Asghar, Lord Justice Davis told him: “I take the view you came under the influence of Mr Hussain who is something of a mentor to you.

“He seems to have regarded girls, white girls, simply as sexual targets. He does not treat them as human beings at all. You got into that mindset yourself.

“You no doubt once had feelings for Laura but treated her with contempt in the latter stages.”

The judge added: “I am sure there was a plan between you and Mr Hussain and that was a plan initiated by you.

‘You talked about getting out your hit list. Mr Hussain then encouraged you in it. I am quite sure he was lying when he said there was no plan.”

After killing Miss Wilson he went to a snooker hall ‘without a care in the world’ and tried to hide the evidence.

Miss Wilson was a troubled teenager who was first identified as being at risk of sexual exploitation by British Pakistani men when she was 12.

She had developed several links with Asian men in her home town of Rotherham, South Yorkshire.

In 2007, when she was 13, she and her family appeared on The Jeremy Kyle Show. During the programme—about out-of-control children—her sister warned her that ‘your attitude is going to get you in big danger’.

Workers at a child sexual exploitation project, later sent a report to social services, but no action was taken to remove her from what became a continuing spiral of sexual abuse.

By the time she was 16, she had embarked on an affair with Hussain, who was then 20 and already married.

The teenager’s body was found in a canal in Rotherham. (VD)

By Vijay Dutt

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