Sep 6, 2011

US investigates ‘love jihad’ in India


US investigates ‘love jihad’ in India

Love Jihad
Wikileaks has revealed that the US government investigated rumors of “love jihad” in India where Muslim men would coerce non-Muslim women into marrying them.
The rumors have caused an uproar among Indian Christians and Hindus following which US Consul General Andrew Simkin met Sajan K. George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians, to address the concerns.
The leaked cable stated that the alleged plot was more a combination of fear and xenophobia within India’s Hindu and Christian communities than one based on facts. George was convinced that there was a concerted effort in south India by Muslim men to get Christian women to fall in love with them in order to convert them.
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However, Simkin said the fears seem to have been caused by doctored statistics propagated by media and extremist groups. “The media and some religious groups have been fueling the hysteria by making vague statements about large numbers of missing young women in Karnataka over the last six years, suggesting that these disappearances are related to the ‘Love Jihad’,” Simkin wrote.
After concluding that the “Love Jihad” rumors were unfounded, Simkin warned that they were a sign of extreme cultural tension in the region.
Stories of intentional plots by Muslim men converting non-Muslim women have been a major concern among Hindus and Christians in India for several years now. In 2009, the Asia Times reported that several Hindu and Christian groups were investigating and warning their members of the “love jihad” dangers.
“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, according to the Asia Times.
- ucan


Are these Allegations true?... Let’s see what the MID-Day News magazine came up with in 2009...

Love Jihad's baby machines
Ketan Ranga, Mumbai

Fundamentalist Islamic body gets young recruits to allegedly lure, 'love', bed women to convert and make them breed a brood
Over 2,000 girls missing from different places in Kerala from 2005 onwards, may have been lured into marriage, converted to Islam and repeatedly raped to produce children a brood of at least four say Hindu and Christian groups in south India.

The alleged plot, hatched by a group called Love Jihad, recruits young Muslim boys to make Hindu or Christian girls fall in love with them (in a time span of two weeks) and then convert them to Islam in six months.

If the recruits can't make the girl fall in love in two weeks, they are told to move on to the next target.

A Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader who did not want to be named said, "There are over 2,800 girls who have gone missing from Kerala.

They want our girls to be converted and then made to bear children and then force them into terror activities.

We have been getting threatening calls from Saudi Arabia and Dubai for trying to rescue the girls."

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Case one

Two women ran away from the abuse and returned to their families.

They have also approached psychiatrists and priests for support. One of these women, Rosy Kurien (21, name changed), a copy of whose complaint to the Kerala High Court is available with this paper, said, "We fell in love with the boys, but came to know of the truth only after we ran away with them.

The boy I eloped with was a senior from my college.

During the courtship period he used to talk to me about Islam and make me read religious books. He told me that after the wedding I would have to convert to Islam."

When asked, if she was sexually abused, the girl said she was and had been told that the motive behind the love affair was for her to bear children.

"His family kept watch so that I wouldn't run away, but I managed after four months of virtual imprisonment," she said. Luckily, Kurien is not pregnant.
Case two
The other girl, Latha Nair (23, name changed) from Pathanamthitta in Kerala, in her statement to the court writes, "I was a MBA student sharing a room with my best friend Anne.

I met a Muslim man, Shahenshah, a senior student, who was helpful and friendly. He became friends with both Annie and me.

"He took us home to meet his family and his mother taught us Islamic rituals. He used to talk a lot about religion and tell us how wonderful Islam was.

"On July 18, 2009, Anne and I ran away with another Muslim guy and I with Shahenshah.

We got married and then he forced me to convert. I heard that one of the girls we were staying with had been sexually abused."

'Sexually abused'

Dr Malika G S, director of Man Shakti counselling centre in Kerala said, "The two girls have been sexually abused, but do not want to admit to it.

When I spoke to them, I realised that the main intention of these people is to increase the Muslim population.

Last year, three girls who had committed suicide had eloped with Muslim boys. They had been then raped by their lovers and their friends."

Jacob Punnoose, director general of Police, Kerala, in his statement to the court said, "It is not established that any particular organisation is actively engaged in religious conversions.
We have received two complaints of conversion and have registered cases and are investigating the matter."

Not God's Will
Maulana Mustakeen Azmi, Maharashtra President Jamait-ul-Ulema said, "I certainly condemn the forceful conversion of the girls into Islam. This is against God's wish.

If one wants to convert of their own free will, that's fine, but this is cheating, if the girls are being forced into conversion."




More about Love Jihad....

Love Jihad - From Wikipedia

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Love Jihad also called Romeo Jihad, is an alleged activity under which some young Muslim boys and men reportedly target college girls belonging to non-Muslim communities for conversion to Islam by feigning love. While similar activities have been reported elsewhere, the term has been used to describe the activity in India. The allegations have raised concerns in various Hindu and Christian organizations, while Muslim organisations in Kerala have denied that they are true. Officials in India have taken concerns seriously and investigations were launched in 2009 in Kerala and Karnataka, but to date no organised activity of the sort has been confirmed in those investigations.


Scope

Love Jihad was alleged to be conducted in Kerala and Mangalore in the coastal Karnataka region. According to Kerala Catholic Bishops Council, up to 4,500 girls in Kerala have been targeted, whereas Hindu Janajagruti Samiti claimed that 30,000 girls have been converted in Karnataka alone. Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana general secretary Vellapally Natesan said that there had been reports in Narayaneeya communities of "Love Jihad" attempts.

Reports of similar activities have emerged from Pakistan and the United Kingdom.

The practice is said to be popular on college campuses, and it was on one such that in early September 2009 two girls — one Hindu and one Christian — indicated that they had been forced to convert by two Muslim youths. The young men, both of whom were members of the Muslim Popular Front of India's student organisation Campus Front were subsequently arrested and held without bail. Other women have reported similar situations. According to press reports, the purpose of the activity is to force girls to produce children for Islam.

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Official investigation

in October 2009, the Karnataka government announced its intentions to counter "Love Jihad", which "appeared to be a serious issue". A week after the announcement, the government ordered a probe into the situation by the Crime Branch CID to determine if an organised effort existed to convert these girls and, if so, by whom it was being funded.

One woman whose conversion to Islam came under scrutiny as a result of the probe was temporarily ordered to the custody of her parents, but eventually permitted to return to her new husband after she appeared in court, denying pressure to convert.

In April 2010, police used the term to characterize the alleged kidnapping, forced conversion and marriage of a 17-year-old college girl in Mysore.

Following the launching of a poster campaign in Thiruvanathapuram, Kerala, purportedly by organisation Shri Ram Sena, state police began investigating the presence of that organisation in the area. In late October 2009, police addressed the question of "Love Jihad" itself, indicating that while they had not located an organisation called "Love Jihad", "there are reasons to suspect ‘concentrated attempts’ to persuade girls to convert to Islam after they fall in love with Muslim boys". They documented unconfirmed reports of a foreign-funded network of groups encouraging conversion through the subterfuge, but noted that no organisations conducting such campaigns had been confirmed and no evidence had been located to support foreign financial aid.

In late 2009, The Karnataka CID (Criminal Investigation Department) reported that although it was continuing to investigate, it had found no evidence that a "Love Jihad" existed. In late 2009, Director-General of Police Jacob Punnoose reported that although the investigation would continue, there was no evidence of any organisation using men "feigning love" to lure your women to convert to Islam.

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However, on 9 December 2009, Justice K T Sankaran for the Kerala High Court weighed in on the matter while hearing bail for the Muslim youth arrested for allegedly forcibly converting the two campus girls. According to Sankaran, police reports revealed the "blessings of some outfits" for a "concerted" effort for religious conversions, some 3,000 to 4,000 incidences of which had taken place after love affairs in a four year period. Sankaran "found indications of ‘forceful’ religious conversions under the garb of ‘love’", suggesting that "such ‘deceptive’ acts" might require legislative intervention to prevent.

According to The Indian Express, his conclusion that "such incidents under the pretext of love were rampant in certain parts of the state" ran contrary to Central and state government reports. In early 2010, the State Government reported to the Karnataka High Court that although a large number of young Hindu women had converted to Islam, there was no organized attempt to convince them to do so. A petition was also put before Sankaran to prevent the use of the terms "Love Jehad" and "Romeo Jehad", but Sankaran declined to overrule an earlier decision not to restrain media usage. Subsequently, however, the High Court stayed further police investigation, both because no organised efforts had been disclosed by police probes and because the investigation was specifically targeted against a single community.

Community response

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Various organisations have joined together against this perceived conduct. Christian groups, such as the Christian Association for Social Action, and the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) banded against it, with the VHP making a specific Hindu helpline that answered 1,500 calls in three months related to "Love Jihad". The Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN) have reported that Catholic Church is concerned about this alleged phenomenon.

The Vigilance Council of the Kerala Catholic Bishops' Council (KCBC) raised an alert for the Catholic community against the practice. In September, posters appeared in Thiruvanathapuram, Kerala under the name of right-wing group Shri Ram Sena warning against "Love Jihad".

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The group announced in December that it would launch a nationwide "Save our daughters, save India" campaign to combat "Love Jihad”.

Muslim organizations in Kerala called it a "malicious misinformation campaign". Popular Front of India (PIF) committee-member Naseeruddin Elamaram denied that the PIF was involved in any "Love Jihad", stating that people convert to Hinduism and Christianity as well and that "[r]religious conversion is not a crime". Members of the Muslim Central Committee of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts have responded by claiming that Hindus and Christians have fabricated these claims to undermine the Muslim faith and community.

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In July 2010, the "Love Jihad" controversy resurfaced in the press when Kerala Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan referenced the alleged matrimonial conversion of non-Muslim girls as part of an effort "to make Kerala a Muslim majority state".

The Popular Front of India dismissed his statements due to the findings of the Kerala probe, but the president of the BJP Mahila Morcha, the women's wing of the conservative Bharatiya Janata Party, called for an NIA investigation, alleging that the Kerala state probe was closed prematurely due to a "tacit understanding with the Popular Front of India".

The Kerala Congress responded strongly to the Chief Minister's comments, which they described as "deplorable and dangerous".

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