The “Love Jihad” controversy has been generating more heat than light. NDTV’s Sreenivasan Jain weighed in with an analysis of rape numbers by community, without normalising for relative population sizes. While Rupa Subramanya critiqued the analysis, we are still left with more heat than light. What is love jihad? Is it real? Is it possible to quantify? We try to answer this here since a rational data-based appraisal is the best way to counter both denial and exaggeration.
First let us define what we are studying. Sreenivasan Jain mixes in rape offenders by religion but we believe that is not identical to love jihad. So what is love jihad?
Love jihad. n. Muslim men specifically targeting non-Muslim girls for relationships and sex as part of a conversion strategy to Islam.
Love jihad may or may not involve coercion but it does involve intent, and, once consummated, it may be followed by abusive behavior towards the girl.
Does this exist for real? Sandip Roy, in an inane analysis, opines,
“While the pressure to convert on a young non-Muslim woman marrying a Muslim man can be real, as a cold-blooded global Islamization 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.”
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 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. Love jihad’s existence cannot be determined based on whether or not it is ultimately effective as a global Islamisation strategy.
So we need to look further than Jain and Roy for evidence if love jihad exists. Let us look at Exhibit 1 to see its most clear articulation, though its authenticity comes from a single source. In 2005, a pamphlet was found being distributed to Muslim young men in Luton, UK, reported on by journalist Clive Gresswell.
A Message to Moslem Youth
Real Khilafa – A Political Reality From Dr. K M Farukh.
For Private Circulation
We are each and every weekend having stalls where we give out literature about Islam. We have these stalls in may [sic] areas especially in areas where there are a lot of kafirs (Sikh Hindu Jews AND OTHER NONBELIEVERS) We would like to extend our activities further. We are in many ways surprised that so many Moslems have come to buy our books and provide funds for relieving the distressed Moslems of the world especially in places such as Kossovo and Kashmir. The government and local authority is not interested in our cause as they would rather fund Gurdawaras and Gays and Homos.
We have many interesting books about Islam showing why Islam is the only human way of life and other so called religions are animalistic. The teaching of the great Prophet Mohammed must be passed on until the whole world is Islam. The world will only thus be saved.
We call upon our fellow youth to come and join us in our mission -universal and global Islam.
The job is big but nothing is impossible. If the Kafir non believer does not accept by gentle persuasion or reasoning then other methods which are allowed for in the holy Quran must be used such as – going to war with the kafir or converting them by manipulation. We need to send out our boys to bring into the umma or community of Islam.
This task is getting easier by the day as the Sikh and hindu [?] girls are not taught (as is done in Islam) much about their religion at all. They have a westernized upbringing and the school college and university campus is the ideal place for our youth to carry out their duties easily in this way.
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 they like Moslems. Hardly surprising as we are attractive and intelligent compared with Kafirs. This is common sense and everybody knows. Otherwise why would Indian films have so many Moslem actors. There is not a single Hindu or Sikh actor in Pakistani films. We need more funds desperately to carry on our job and we need volunteers from amongst the youth specially. Come and join us this weekend and every weekend – we will be in an area near you.
We need your help at this crucial time when our moslem brothers and sisters are being killed in countries all over the world.
THE REAL KHILAFAH MOVEMENT – THE EYES THE EARS
THE VOICE OF Islam
The journalist reported personally witnessing the distribution of this to “Asian” men, but was this really happening? Since the veracity of the pamphlet is unclear, we have to triangulate using other data. In the UK, this phenomena is not labelled “love jihad” but “grooming”. Whatever the authenticity of the leaflet, as early as 1998, the Sikh community in UK found this to be a sufficiently serious problem that they set up the Sikh Awareness Society specifically to address concerns of grooming, with BBC producing a documentary on the “sexual grooming of young Sikh girls by Muslim men.”
In 2011, Andrew Norfolk of The Times broke the story of the Conspiracy of Silence about Pakistani (Muslim) men grooming white (non-Muslim) girls. This was the first time a major newspaper broke this story. The conspiracy of silence was maintained by political correctness in UK, for fear of being dubbed racist, quite akin to mainstream media’s denial in India, for fear of being dubbed “communal”. Unfortunately, silence or denial simply makes the problem worse. The Rotherham Report, a Government commission in the UK, finally broke this major scandal of 1400 young girls groomed and exploited by mostly Pakistani men, while the police in connivance with the politicians and the liberal media turned a blind eye to the happenings. The report pointed out that this abuse was ignored because it specifically involved Pakistani (Muslim) men which was a “politically inconvenient truth.”
In India, the denial strategy used with greatest effect is to turn every such report into a “Hindutva plot.” In this article, we specifically avoid using any Hindutva sources to avoid that bogey. As early as 2009, the Kerala Catholic Bishops Council alleged that 4000 girls had been subjected to this form of religious conversion. But this is simply an allegation, do we have any real data?
CNN-IBN’s Bhupendra Chaubey framed the issue as “Love Jihad: Is inter-religious relationship a crime?” saying BJP leaders are making it out to be one-sided, as if “members of one community were out to get members of another community.” Before we look at the data, we can keep this question in mind. 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?
We’ll let Kerala’s Congress Chief Minister present the figures. Chandy, in a written answer in the State legislature, specified that in the period 2006-2012, 7713 persons converted to Islam vs 2803 to Hinduism. This is a ratio of about 2.75:1. In 2009-2012, 2667 of the converts to Islam were young women, of which 2195 were Hindus and 492 were Christians. In contrast, the number of young women who converted to Christianity and Hinduism were 79 and 2 respectively. So while the overall conversion rate (though for a bit different period) to Islam and Hinduism is 2.75:1, it jumps to an incredible 1097.5:1 when it comes to young women.
Since, we don’t specifically have numbers on inter-religious relationships or marriages, it could be possible that all these young women spontaneously developed a love for Islam, at over 300 times the rate of “normal” conversions. However the odds are unlikely. Young woman are more likely to be seduced by young men than by religion, and given evidence of targeting from other countries, the protests of diverse Sikh, Christian and Hindu groups and qualitative evidence, it is likely this represents a phenomena of “Muslim men specifically targeting non-Muslim girls for relationships and sex as part of a conversion strategy” aka Love Jihad. They say where there is smoke there is fire and here there is a lot of smoke from different communities and countries. Enough, at least, to warrant further study.
But, let’s see the ostrich responses. Firstpost again dismisses this as a “failed propaganda campaign” (from Kerala) by communal groups to “vitiate the atmosphere”. Chandy had said that there is no evidence of “forced conversion” though Hindu and Christian groups protested a police cover-up in the investigations. Police cover up? Let us hear what the police said when investigating the case of conversion of two Hindu girls by Muslim men who “cheated them into converting to Islam by promises of love.”
“The state police after investigation had informed the court that though there were complaints about attempts to convert by feigning love that there was no evidence for the existence of an organisation named love jihad in the state. After this the court withdrew its order to inquire into the issue.”
The report is dismissed because there is no evidence of an organisation named “love jihad”!
Does it need to be pointed out that love jihad is the label for a phenomenon and not the name of an organisation? Can cover-up get any more blatant? As accomplices to this cover up, the Firstpost article has this statement, which it carries without question:
“The Muslim groups called the charges, a ”malicious misinformation campaign” by Sangh Parivar outfits.”The misinformation campaign against the non-existent organisation in the name of ‘Love Jihad’ would only lead to vitiating the prevailing communal harmony ..” (emphasis added)
So there you have it. If the UK could have a conspiracy of silence for years, while young women continued to be duped, groomed and abused, since the truth was politically inconvenient, you can imagine how long Indian politicians and “secular” media can carry on the farce.
If the so-called liberals stood against religious fundamentalism, they would expose this phenomena, strengthen liberal Muslims and take the wind out of the Sangh Parivar making it their issue. Instead they choose denial, apologia and fudged figures. This lets issues fester, provides cover for extremist Islam and suppress the truth till it erupts in a communal frenzy. Let us end with two quotes from liberal Muslim voices:
Dr Taj Hargey, an Imam at Oxford, The Telegraph, ‘Imams promote grooming rings’, Muslim leader claims
‘“The activities of the Oxford sex ring are “bound up with religion and race” because all the men – though of different nationalities – were Muslim and they “deliberately targeted vulnerable white girls, whom they appeared to regard as ‘easy meat’, to use one of their revealing, racist phrases”, Dr Hargey said.
In all cases the perpetrators were Muslim men and the victims were under age white girls. To pretend it is not a problem is the Islamic community is “ideological denial”, Dr Hargey said.’
Tufail Ahmad, in The New Indian Express article “Secularism Leading to Islamism”
“The bigger challenge is how to rescue South Asian secularism from its amorous embrace of Islamism”