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Muslims and Islamophobia ( 26 Oct 2009, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Is Love the new face of Jihad?

Youth Says He Has No Love Lost for Jihad

Lovelorn Or A Jihadi: What Is Love Jihad?

Top cops to discuss love jihad in state

‘Love jihad’ figment of imagination: PUCL

Virtual Jihad against love

India lost in 'love jihad'

Anti Muslim forces phrase 'Love Jihad'

HC asks Karna & Kerala police to probe "Love Jihad"

CID asked to probe ‘Love Jihad’

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Is Love the new face of Jihad?

By Prakash in Thiruvananthapuram

Oct 26, 2009

Saffron and Christian outfits allege Muslim youth from agroup called Love Jihad are marrying non- Muslim girls to convert them. But aKerala Police inquiry rubbishes their claim

MARRIAGES, they say, are made in heaven. But some Muslim fundamentalists are using wedlock to wage jihad ( holy war) and clear their path to paradise, RSS- affiliated outfits and the church in Kerala have claimed.

An organisation called ‘Love Jihad’ or ‘Romeo Jihad’ has enlisted the services of young Muslims to court Hindu and Christian girls, force them into wedlock and convert them to Islam, saffron groups have alleged.

These youths are operating nationwide, receiving funds from abroad and are also linked to drug trafficking and terrorism. Thousands of girls have been converted thus in the past few years, allege outfits such as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Sri Ram Sene.

But an investigation by Kerala’s director- general of police Jacob Punnose has failed to establish these claims. The DGP recently told the Kerala High Court he had no evidence to show an organisation named Love Jihad or Romeo Jihad had been created, albeit there could be a concerted attempt to force non- Muslim girls to convert after marrying Muslim boys.

Members of the Christian clergy have joined ranks with RSS organisations in warning women against Love Jihad.

They say Jihadi Romeos are also targeting Christian girls (although Islam does not require Christians or Jews to convert for marrying a Muslim). Even so, the church remains quiet about it’s own alleged efforts to force non- Christian girls to convert for marriage.

Kerala, which has large populations of both Muslims and Christians, has traditionally been open to inter- religious marriages. But the issue of Love Jihad has been simmering for some time.

THE POLICE initially claimed the ‘organisation’ provided money to ‘Jihadi Romeos’ to buy costly gifts such as designer dresses and mobile phones to woo girls, before marrying and converting them. They said Love Jihad, which was funded from abroad, was targeting college students. Nearly 2,000 students had been converted in the past three years.

Hindutva and Christian groups also took up the issue. Things came to a boil when the parents of a Hindu and a Christian girl who had married Muslim boys alleged their daughters had been forcibly converted by Love Jihad. While ruling in favour of the parents, the high court directed DGP Punnose to investigate the allegations.

But the DGP’s affidavit to the court went against the police’s initial claims. It said, “No organisation or movement called Love Jihad or Romeo Jihad is so far identified as working in Kerala.” He refuted the charge that Muslim youths were receiving funds from foreign sources to convert girls, and called the claim of their links with criminal and terrorist activities “baseless”. The DGP added that except for the two cases in question, there had been no complaints of forced conversions, although inter- religious marriages and conversions were taking place in large numbers. Punnose said a few allegations had cropped up indicating that some organisations may have devised plans for converting women by force or deceit, and the police was investigating the cases.

“No actionable information has been received by the police so far to confirm that any organisation in indulging in such activities,” he said. “However, the police will remain proactively vigilant and take action on all instances where any reasonable suspicion exists.” RSS leader Gopalakrishnan said Love Jihad was operating in Kerala and the Sangh was “trying to protect Hindus from it”. The Kerala Catholic Bishop Council had earlier come out with an article offering a district- wise break- up of the “abduction” of Christian girls by Love Jihad members. But Father Johny Kochuparambil, who penned the article, refused to discuss who the “abducted” girls were or explain where he got the figures from. He only said: “We got them (figures) from highly reliable sources and we are sure they are correct.” He also kept mum on the church’s insistence on forcing non- Christian girls to convert to Christianity before marrying a Christian.

But Rajendra Prasad, a leading social activist, said no one who knew Kerala’s society could honestly say an organisation like Love Jihad could exist there. “There is not much opposition to inter- caste or inter- religious marriage here. In fact, social norms exist for it,” he said. The whole issue is an effort by certain sections to communalise the society and thus protect their institutionalised set up.”



By Prakash in Thiruvananthapuram

Oct 26, 2009


SHAHAN Sha was a smart MBA student at St John’s Business School in Pathanamthitta, the hilly eastern district of Kerala. He was active in campus politics and was the office bearer of the MSF, the Indian Union Muslim League’s student wing. He also led agitations in college demanding facilities that were mentioned in the prospectus.

Confrontations between Sha and the college management led his parents to send him for a short religious course. He returned a changed man and spent more time on studies than organisational activities.

Sha also became intimate with two juniors — Methula, a Hindu girl, and Bino Joseph, a Christian. Soon, he and Methula fell in love while Bino found a partner in Sirajudeen, Sha’s friend.

The girls’ parents came to know about the affair and brought them home. However, they escaped, converted to Islam and married their lovers.

The families filed habeas corpus petitions in the high court. But the girls told the court they had converted without coercion and wanted to live with their husbands.

Despite the plea, the judge asked the girls, well above 18 years of age, to stay with their parents and convince them about their marriages.

But then came a twist in the tale. In the next hearing, the girls told the court that they would prefer living with their parents instead of their husbands.

The police said in their report they suspected an organisation called Love Jihad/ Romeo Jihad was functioning in the state.

They alleged that the group members, comprising Muslim youths, wooed non- Muslim girls and forcibly converted them to Islam and married them. According to the police, the group receiving funds from foreign sources and it was a pan- India movement.

The court asked the state DGP to look into the allegations. The news brought pro- Hindu organisations on the streets. They alleged that the conversion movement had been going on for years and thousands of Hindu girls had been converted to Islam this way.

The groups organised protest marches and agitations. They were joined by the church, which warned the laity to protect their daughters from Love Jihad. They said it was part of an international conspiracy to increase the Muslim population and that extremist organisations were also involved.

Interestingly, the theory seems to have now been accepted by Karnataka too, where even the courts are convinced that the movement exists. All marriages between Muslim youths and Hindu/ Christian girls are now being branded as the result of Love Jihad’s campaign.

Sha, in his twenties, says: “ Till now, the charge against me was that I had abducted a girl. Now, I have been made an extremist too.” He swears he never forced Methula to convert. “ She studied in a school run by Sai Samathi, where the teachings of all religions were taught. She had basic knowledge of Islam and, like my other friends, frequented my house. She took Islamic books from my house and, by the time of our marriage, had switched over to the religion.” Sha says everyone in his college knew the couple was dating. “ It was Methula who disclosed our marriage plan to my mother, who first dissuaded us fearing the repercussions. Now, my parents support us,” he adds.

When asked how the ‘ jihad’ element came in, Sha says: “ It was Methula’s relative, a senior police officer, who gave a twist to the case to break the relationship forever. The police incorporated the jihad element without investigation.”




Hindu and Christian groups in Kerala and Karnataka have alleged that Muslim youths are courting non- Muslim girls, marrying them and converting them to Islam in an organised manner. They have also claimed the ‘ conversion campaign’ is being carried out under an organisation called Love Jihad or Romeo Jihad.


Kerala Police initially claimed the ‘ organisation’ provided money to ‘ Jihadi Romeos’ to woo non- Muslim girls by buying costly gifts, before marrying and converting them. The youths are also allegedly involved in counterfeiting money, smuggling, drug trafficking and terrorism. After the police, Sangh Parivar- affiliated outfits and the church joined ranks to claim victimisation by Love Jihad.


Kerala’s director- general of police Jacob Punnose has told the high court in a sworn affidavit that there is no evidence to prove the existence of an organisation named Love Jihad. Further, even though the number of inter- religious marriages is high in Kerala, the court has received just two complaints regarding forced conversion of students — the supposed target community of the so- called ‘ Love Jihad’.


Top cops to discuss love jihad in state

By Imran Gowhar


Home Minister V S Acharya calls meeting with senior police officers after high court orders look into the phenomenon; says Muslim men are luring hundreds of women into marriage, for conversion

 In response to a high court order to investigate a phenomenon called 'love jihad,' which allegedly involves Muslim men pretending to fall in love with women of other religions to convert them, Home Minister V S Acharya has called an emergency meeting with senior police officers.

Calling it a serious issue, Acharya told media-persons that 'love jihad' was to be found not only in Kerala, where the police had confirmed the phenomenon to a court, but also in the state, especially in north Karnataka.

"There are hundreds of cases reported in Raichur and other districts, and this is a matter of serious concern," he said. "The meeting is a follow-up of the high court directive."

Conspiracy theory

The home minister said the issue was a sensitive one, and the alleged conspiracy by a minority group to lure girls from other communities and forcibly convert them after their marriage with a member of the group "may have ramifications for national security."

Acharya said that as directed by the high court, the state government would attempt to understand and deal with the issue.

He also said that he had sent a letter to the Kerala Government requesting cooperation, since those involved in these cases were spread beyond state borders.

No forcing anybody

"We will tread carefully. Under the Constitution, nobody can force a girl in matters of marriage or choice of life partner," Acharya said.

Director-General of Police Ajai Kumar Singh said the department was yet to receive the high court order.

"We do not want to interfere in the private lives of individuals, but are concerned about the girls whose lives are being spoiled," Acharya said. "Reports suggest that girls are lured into marriage, converted and then abandoned."

He said there were reports that such conversions were happening systematically in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

"I have asked the officers concerned to take stock of the situation," he said. "The Monday meeting will review the situation to take up precautionary measures."



‘Love jehad’ figment of imagination: PUCL


Bangalore: The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) has said it will file a writ petition in the Supreme Court challenging the Karnataka High Court’s order asking a woman who had converted to Islam to marry a Muslim man from Kerala, to return to her parents’ home until the case was investigated.

The PUCL will question the decision of the High Court to send the 23-year-old woman back to her family despite her statement in court that she had willingly converted and was waiting to get married under the provisions of the Special Marriages Act.

Hearing the case of Siljaraj and Azghar, the court had said the facts had “national ramifications concerning security, besides the question of unlawful trafficking of women,” and ordered the Director-General and Inspector-General of Police to hold a thorough investigation to rule out the theory that this was a case of ‘love jehad’ (a loose coinage implying that women are being lured into conversion through marriage) and file a report by November 13. The girl was asked to stay with her parents until such time.

“She is a major and no one has a right to thrust her back into the family. We see it as part of a pattern of continued intimidation on the basis of community and gender, first started in Dakshina Kannada,” said Ramadasa Rao of the PUCL. He feared that the girl might come under pressure of family and community during her stay with them.

The whole notion of ‘love jehad’, said Professor Rao, is a “figment of the imagination” and the order will severely impact the rights of young women and men to free association and marriage.

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. Kirti Singh, a Supreme Court advocate and legal convener of the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA), described the case as “absolutely shocking.” She said the question of national security was being mixed up with the simple case of a girl exercising a choice guaranteed to her under the law of the land and Constitution. “The court has taken a patriarchal role,” she said, stating that it reflected intolerance for the girl’s choices.

In Bangalore, Home Minister V.S. Acharya told reporters that ‘love jehad’ appeared to be a “serious issue.” The State government would take steps to counter it.

The Muslim Central Committee of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts will convene a conference of Muslims in Mangalore on November 12 to discuss issues related to ‘love jehad’.

Addressing reporters in Mangalore on Thursday, committee president K.S. Mohammed Masood alleged that vested interests were attempting to tarnish the image of Islam by framing the phrase ‘love jehad’. “There is no such phrase in Islam. It is an absurd usage,” he added.



Virtual Jihad against love

Communities on Facebook and Orkut warn that young girls are being wooed into marriage by youth from a minority community with the intention of converting them

Sameer Ranjan Bakshi

October 26, 2009


While the police in Karnataka and Kerala are yet to investigate allegations of ‘Love Jihad’ where young men from a minority community reportedly lure young girls from a majority community into marriage with the intention of religiously converting them a high-decibel debate has begun on the subject over on social networking sites. Exclusive communities have cropped up on Facebook and Orkut to wage war on this Jihad.

The concept of ‘Love Jihad’ came to the fore when a section of the media alleged that some terror groups were luring college-going girls into their fold by flashing the romance-card. The news reports alleged that scores of girls were trapped by these Jihadi romeos, who are sponsored from the Middle-East. It is believed that ‘Love Jihad’ is widespread in coastal Karnataka, though there is no concrete evidence to prove these this.

These communities are mostly owned by hardliners. Interestingly, one of these communities even offers a helpline number (0-9495323905) for young girls and students. The community warns people, especially girls, not to be trapped by the terror lasso.

A post by Rahul Ezham Thamburan on his community “Anti Love Jihad” reads: “Hi my dear Indians, I created this community to make my brothers/sisters beware(sic) of nasty and anti-social organisation called LOVE JIHAD. Their hidden agenda is to molest young indian(sic) girls. Come on friends... Let’s join our hands and show the power of Indians against terrorism.”

Eight such communities have cropped up recently and most of them in this month. Another community claims that youth who succeed in Love Jihad get Rs 1 lakh to set up a business. It reads, “Trapping naive girls in the web of love in order to convert them is the modus operandi of the said organisation. Already more than 4000 girls have been converted by these Jihadi Romeos. Special branch of police started investigation when marriages of such largescales(sic) are reported within last 6 months. As per the instructions to recruits of this organisation, each Romeo is to love a Hindu girl within the time frame of two weeks and brainwash them to get converted and marry within 6 months. Special instructions to breed at least 4 kids have also been given. If the targeted girl doesnt reciprocate within the first two weeks, the Romeos are instructed to leave them and move on to another girl.”

These communities have also started forums and polls. A person named Vivek S Menon has appealed everyone to join hands to fight the social evil. He also pleads for raising awareness through emails and networking sites.

Girl spikes Love Jihad

Love Jihad’ created a furore when a 21-year-old girl, Siljaraj, disappeared from her home in Chamarajnagar on August 8. Her father, C Selvaraj, received a call from Kannur district in Kerala a few days later informing him that she had married a Muslim boy as per the Islamic law. Later, Selvaraj was told that she had converted to Islam and was in a madrasa. Subsequently, he filed a Habeas Corpus petition in the High Court of Karnataka. The girl appeared before the court and denied that she was being held against her will in the madrasa - spiking all allegations of ‘Love Jihad’.

HC orders probe

Meanwhile, the Karnataka High Court, last week, directed a DGP-level inquiry into allegations of Love Jihad made in connection with Siljaraj’s case and asked the report to be submitted within three weeks. The court observed: The girl being a major is free to marry anybody but the facts create suspicion with ramifications of national magnitude concerning national security besides the question of unlawful trafficking. We deem it necessary that the DGP should get the matter thoroughly investigated. The court also recommended that a special cell be set up to look into cases pertaining to missing girls. Statistics revealed that from January to May 31 this year, 2,521 cases of missing women and girls were registered, out of which 1,001 are yet to be traced.



India lost in 'love jihad'

By Sudha Ramachandran

BANGALORE - As part of an organized campaign, young Muslim men are deliberately luring women from different faiths into marriage so they will convert to Islam, say radical Indian Hindu and Christian groups in south India.

The alleged plot has been dubbed "love jihad". It first surfaced in September, when two Muslim men from Pathanamthitta town in the southwestern state of Kerala reportedly enticed two women - a Hindu and a Christian - into marriage and forced them to convert to Islam.

The women first claimed to have became Muslims voluntarily, but after being allowed back to their parents' houses said they had been abducted and coerced to convert. The men were reportedly members of Campus Front, a student wing of radical Muslim group the Popular Front of India (PFI).

The Pathanamthitta incident was followed by an avalanche of media reports on "love jihad". Some described it as a movement, others claimed that forced conversions through marriage were actually being run by an organization called Love Jihad, or Romeo Jihad.

Hindu and Christian groups have weighed in with their own "facts" on the "love jihad".

The Sri Ram Sene, a fundamentalist Hindu group, now claims thousands of girls were forcibly converted to Islam in the past few years after marrying Muslim men. It says that after conversion the women were "trained in anti-national activities". India's main opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, has said "love jihadis" have receiving foreign aid - from the Middle East - for the campaign.

Senior Christian leaders are now campaigning against the alleged threat.

"Around 4,000 girls have been subjected to religious conversion since 2005 after they fell in love," Father Johny Kochuparambil, secretary of Kerala Catholic Bishops Council's Commission for Social Harmony and Vigilance, wrote in an article in the church council's newsletter.

The article lists 2,868 girls who fell into the "love jihad" net between 2006 to 2009. Kochuparambil has not clarified where the statistics came from, citing only "highly reliable sources".

The phenomenon has spread to Kerala's neighboring state, Karnataka. This month, the father of a woman who converted to Islam to marry a Muslim filed a habeas corpus petition in a Karnataka court, alleging his daughter was a victim of "love jihad". The woman told the court that her conversion was voluntary.

The court, however, said it has "serious suspicions" regarding the statement of the petitioner's daughter and that the case "has ramifications for national security". "It has raised questions of unlawful trafficking of girls and women in the state. So it has to be investigated by the police," the court said.

On the orders of the court, police in Kerala and Karnataka launched an investigation into whether an organization called Love Jihad or Romeo Jihad actually exists. They concluded that it doesn't.

Kerala's director general of police said no such organization had been identified in the state, but there were reasons to suspect there had been "concentrated attempts" by Muslim boys to persuade non-Muslim girls to convert to Islam after they fell in love.

The PFI, meanwhile, has denied it is waging a "love jihad".

"Religious conversion is not a crime; conversion takes place to Hinduism and Christianity also ... One cannot paint all love affairs as cases of forced conversions meant for extremist activity," said PFI spokesman Naseerudheen Elamaram.

In India, religious conversion is not a crime - article 25 of the constitution recognizes the right to freely profess, practice and propagate religion. However, the issue of conversion is extremely sensitive. In recent years, Hindu groups have opposed, sometimes violently, the conversion of Hindus to Islam and Christianity.

For centuries, Hindus converted to Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Islam and Christianity, some out of conviction, others to escape the tyranny of the Hindu caste system or to benefit from professing the religion of the ruling class. However, Hindu groups maintain that it was through the use of the sword that Islam spread in India. They also accuse Christians of using economic incentives to attract Hindus to the faith.

Ironically, "love jihad" is now the bringing the sworn enemies together. Christian and Hindu groups that had been at each other's throat over religious conversions have now vowed to join forces to combat the alleged campaign.

"Both Hindu and Christian girls are falling prey to this. So we are cooperating with the VHP [Vishwa Hindu Parishad, a fundamentalist Hindu group] on this," K S Samson, from the Kochi-based Christian Association for Social Action (CASA), told the Times of India.

When CASA got to know of a Hindu schoolgirl who had become a victim of "love jihad", it "immediately referred the case to the VHP", he said.

The "love jihad" phenomenon - which may just be linked to a few religious-minded Romeos - could have been comical had it not deepened domestic hostility towards India's Muslim minority. There are fears that the use of the word "jihad", often interpreted as meaning holy war, may give extremist Hindu and Christian groups an excuse to justify attacks on Muslims.

"Certain fundamentalist groups that have been carrying out vigilante attacks against inter-community couples for several years have now started using the 'love jihad' theory to justify their attacks," a police official told The Hindu newspaper. He did not name the groups, but was probably referring to the Sri Ram Sene and the Bajrang Dal, which target women and religious minorities.

Sri Ram Sene is now preparing for a nationwide campaign on the issue. Its leader, Pramod Mutalik, has said 150 party activists have been deployed in public places to keep an eye on "suspicious activities". When a "love jihad" activity is identified, "it will be stopped then and there", he said.

Meanwhile, the Kerala Catholic Bishops Council has issued "love jihad" guidelines, calling on parents and schools to monitor children's activities and discourage them from using mobile phones or spend long hours on the Internet. "Bringing up children the spiritual way is the best means to fight the love jihad," said the Christian group.



Anti Muslim forces phrase 'Love Jihad'

23 October 2009

Mangalore: A conference of Muslims to discuss the issues related to 'love jihad' will be convened by the Muslim Central Committee of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts here on 12th November.

While addressing the press here on Thursday, K S Mohammed Masood, the president of the committee alleged that vested interests were attempting to tarnish the image of Islam by framing the phrase love jihad. He asserted that there is no such phrase in Islam and it is an absurd usage.

Mr. Masood alleged that these vested interests envied the progress of Muslims in various sectors. Therefore, they have continuously been attempting to ensure that the community remains economically backward all the time. These forces, especially in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts are striving hard to present a negative portrayal of the Muslim community, they are being portrayed as terrorists and are forcefully involved in such cases. He further alleged that attempts were also made to project madrasa's as a store house of arms and ammunitions.

He alleged that these forces couldn't tolerate the fact that the Muslims built engineering colleges, nursing colleges and other educational institutions in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts. As an attempt to destabilize peace and unity among the Hindu Muslim society, such forces are trying to divide Muslims and Hindus by coining phrases like love jihad.

If any Muslim was found converting women under the guise of love jihad, the Government should take strict action against that person. The Government should also take action against the forces behind the love jihad campaign against Islam. He notified that Muslim intellectuals, representatives of Muslim educational institutes, and ulemas would attend the conference.

Hameed Kandak, vice-president of the committee, conveyed that some activists of the Sangh Parivar staged a protest in front of the Bantwal town police station on October 11 alleging that forces promoting love jihad were behind the incident in which a Hindu woman, Anitha from Bantwal, had gone missing. A prominent Hindu religious leader and a political leader also took part in the protest, he said.

However, the police on Wednesday announced the arrest of a person, Mohan Kumar, on charges of murdering 18 women. Anitha was one of his victims, according to the police. All the women murdered by Kumar were listed as missing from their homes. This incident showed that the allegations that women who had gone missing had fallen prey to love jihad were baseless, he said.



HC asks Karna & Kerala police to probe "Love Jihad"

Oct 21 2009

Karnataka High Court today directed the state government and Kerala police to jointly investigate the so-called "Love Jihad movement" where young non-Muslim girls are allegedly trapped into marriage and converted into Islam.

The court wanted the serious ramifications of this practice allegedly conceived by a section of Muslims in Kerala to be probed and a report be submitted to it on November 13.

A Division Bench comprising Justice K Sreedhara Rao and Justice Ravi Mallimath issued the direction on a habeas corpus petition filed by the parents of a missing girl, as it took into account 'alarming statistics' of missing girls in Karnataka in the last six years furnished by Additional Advocate General K M Nataraj.



CID asked to probe ‘Love Jihad’

27 Oct 2009

BANGALORE: The state government on Monday asked the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to probe into the existence and network of ‘love jihad’ in the state and submit a report within a fortnight.

The CID shall look into all aspects of ‘love jihad’ where young Muslim men are learnt to be luring women from other religions to convert them to Islam in the guise and promise of marriage, Home Minister Acharya said.

After a meeting with the top brass of the state police, Acharya said, “We need to gather more information on the issue and the tragic consequences of young women falling into this trap should be found out.” The DGP (CID) has been entrusted with the task, and the probe shall include the details of the missing women too, he said.


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