Love-Jihad: A Rising Concern For Christian and Hindu Women

Martin Meenacherry 

In the past few years,there has been a rising voice against love-jihad,a term coined by Hindu religious groups to the phenomenon wherein Muslim men target and lure Hindu or Christian women into marrying them and converting their religion to Islam. It has caused major upheaval,with various personalities trying to point out the reality of it all.

The past two or three years have witnessed this phenomenon affecting the lives of several Hindu and Christian women.

A recent video surfaced where a woman, who married a man against her parents’ wishes, gets to know after the wedding about the husband’s real religion- Islam.

Suddenly, within a few hours of her wedding, she is faced with a shock and is expected to change her religion from Hinduism to Islam.

What’s worse is the outcome of these incidents of love jihad. Many women have been trafficked to terrorist-laden Islamic states.

Despite their repeated protests, these women are unable to save themselves and are sent off to these dangerous locations.

Just recently, 8 women were sent to Syria against their will, and this, unfortunately, is not a new case.

Kerala, the most educated state in India, has no qualms about inter-religious marriages or conversions, as long as it is done with consent.

The moment the women are kept in the dark and then forced to go to Syria or be part of ISIS, it changes the scenario altogether.

People of the Syro-Malabar Church have been vocal about their worries regarding the issue.They are concerned about the safety and security of their women.

The Church, which is the second-largest Catholic church in the world, addressed their issues and said that love jihad is getting their women “tortured and killed.”

It is said that since 2009, over 32000 women were forced or manipulated to convert to Islam, were sent to Syria as terrorists, and succumbed to their harsh reality which they could never come out of.

They were sent to Afghanistan, and Syria- places where terrorist activities are rampant. With so many radical and extremist Islamic organizations running in Kerala, there has been an massive increase in the trafficking of women to the Gulf region.

Kerala Muslims: Are they becoming the dominant population?

It’s not just the phenomenon of love jihad that the people of Kerala worry about.In 2019,a leaked audio showed the discontent of a Muslim community in Kerala over a newly opened supermarket owner a Hindu.

Intolerance is what concerns the public. In Bangalore, there are several supermarkets that are owned by Kerala Muslims.

One of the reasons why they can afford it is that many Muslim Keralites go to Middle-Eastern countries and earn a lot of money.This has led to their rise in the market in Bangalore.

There’s another reason for Keralites to worry.Many Kerala Muslims turn out to be terrorists and bombers.

But why is it so? Politicians claim that it is a “breeding centre for Islamic terrorism.”

Over 1000 political murders have taken place in the last three years, indicating a huge rise in the rate of organized crimes in the state.

IN 2019, there were more than 40 cases of pro-ISIS activities in Kerala, more than any other in the country.

This rise in pro-ISIS activities is happening for a reason. According to Islamic extremists, there is more “pro-Hindu” movement in India, leading to more oppression.

The way to retaliate is through extreme measures, which is leading to a lot of Hindu and Christian populations being afraid.

Is there a way out?

While Kerala has always been open-minded and accepted love and marriage between different faiths, they are protesting against these criminal acts against women and wish to take a stand immediately.The Syro-Malabar Church has already vocalized its concerns regarding the same.

In 2020, the UP government passed a law to punish forceful and fraudulent conversions post-marriage. If such actions are taken in Kerala, then there will be a more organized and systematic way to prevent such acts from happening to women of Hindu and Christian backgrounds.

Even though it might still be a long way to go, the realization is slowly creeping up on people, and there soon will be a way to avoid such incidents in the future.