Why OpIndia has decided to use ‘Grooming Jihad’ instead of ‘Love Jihad’ moving forward

In a case that was widely termed as one of ‘Love Jihad, a girl in Sonbhadra was beheaded and buried, shabbily, when she refused to convert to Islam by a man she had married. Her dismembered body was found when women saw a dog, walkabout nonchalantly with her severed hand in her mouth. In Haryana, a woman named Nikita Tomar was shot in broad daylight by one Tauseef because she refused to return his advances.

Her parents say she was also being forced to convert to Islam. In fact, it was revealed that Tauseef’s mother had called Nikita and asked her to convert to Islam. She refused. She was killed. In the case of the Kausambhi rape, the barbarians had asked the minor girl to plead for mercy in the name of Allah.

The atrocity does not stop there. There are cases where Muslim men pretend to be Hindus and when their identity is revealed, either by accident or by design, forcing the girl to convert to Islam, they kill the Hindu woman they had wedded. One remembers Subhologna Chakraborty, shot dead by her soon-to-be-husband Sultan who was posing as a Hindu.

While the Left dismisses these occurrences as a figment of the ‘right-wing imagination’, the cases are real. The dead bodies are also real and the threat is imminent.

The case that emerge can broadly be categorised into the following:

  1. Where a Muslim man pretends to be a Hindu and traps a Hindu woman. Thereafter, his real identity is revealed either as an accident or, when they force the women to convert to Islam. Thereafter, the man proceeds to, more often than not, murder the Hindu woman.
  2. The Hindu woman and the Muslim man get married, knowing each others’ identity fully well, however, after marriage, torture to convert to Islam ensues.
  3. Hindu woman is raped in the name of Islam – the case was most evident in the Kausambhi gang rape case where a minor Hindu girl was raped and asked to beg for mercy in the name of Allah. The perpetrators specifically asked the girl not to beg for mercy in the name of Bhagwan. In these cases, the aim could either be the conversion of the Hindu woman or, it could be seen as a mere punishment being dished out to Kafir women.
  4. One-sided obsession of a Muslim man with a Hindu girl that ends in murder, rape or torture when the girl refuses his advances. In several cases, the refusal also includes the refusal to convert to Islam, like in the case of Nikita Tomar, however, even without the element of conversion to Islam, these cases have been widely been seen as an act of Jihad.
  5. Where Hindu woman or underage girls are married to Muslim men after being raped and converted to Islam. Such cases are most prominent in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and elsewhere. In such cases, one often sees that after the marriage and conversion, the girl says that she has converted to Islam and married the man out of her own free will. One such case was recently seen in Pakistan where a 13-year-old Christian girl was handed over to her 44-year-old abductor, and while the parents wailed, she claimed that she had converted willingly. In such cases, a parallel to UK grooming gangs becomes necessary to understand that the mere statement of the girl cannot and should not get us to assume that there was no angle of Jihad here.

All the categories of crimes against women we see, listed above, point to one stark and daunting reality – the subjugation of non-Muslim women, their grooming to make them ripe for Jihad (whether that is fighting in Syria or simply to induct them into the fold of Islam for the purpose of increasing population/numbers or for inflicting punishment for being ‘Kafir’), and the tyranny inflicted upon them, including severe brainwashing is an integral part of ‘Jihad’ itself.

Non-Muslim women have been at the heart of Islamic subjugation historically. There are several stories of women being taken captive or even their mortal remains being desecrated after the Islamic conquest of Hindu lands and the defeat of Hindu rulers. In the contemporary world, the Bhola massacre comes to mind. In October 2001, in Bhola districts, Lalmohan region, Hindus were attacked by Muslims. The attackers rushed into Hindu homes, looted their belongings, cut down their trees, destroyed their crops. In Bhola’s Char Fasson, BNP supported Muslims had attacked and raped over 200 Hindu women. The youngest victim was 8. The eldest was a 70-year-old woman.

Years later, a Judicial Commission inquiry in Bangladesh had concluded that over 25,000 leaders and local party workers of the then ruling BNP and Jamat-e-Islami were involved in the attack against Hindus and other minorities that had led to hundreds of deaths, injuries and had forced the Hindus in Bangladesh to flee into India.

Bhola is not the only example. In India, there are several cases where, if one really wants to, one can see a pattern in how Muslims tend to use non-Muslim women as an essential pawn in their Jihad. In 2018, a Muslim man was detained for forcing his wife to convert to Islam and then, attempting to sell her to become an ISIS sex slave. Since 2018, several such cases have emerged from Kerala, as almost a syndicate was unearthed. Even the Christian community has raised alarm.

One recalls the attacks in Cologne, Germany where hoards of Muslim men molested and attempted to rape non-Muslim women. The men first surround their victim in circles. Some then sexually assault her, while others not directly involved watched or diverted outsiders’ attention to what was occurring. In 2011, it was CBS reporter Lara Logan who was on video right before she was attacked by hoards of Muslim men. While some, who have made a career out of defending Islam and its crimes claim that ‘Taharrush’ merely refers to ‘flirting’, the lived-experience of what Taharrush refers to is extremely different.

In the United Kingdom again, the phenomenon of Grooming Gangs have gone largely unreported in India, even though, India is one country that perhaps faces the lion’s share of Jihadi activity. Grooming Gangs are mostly made up of Muslim men in the UK, who prey on young girls and even women, identify their vulnerability and rape them repeatedly as a punishment for being non-Muslim. Several people in the UK have termed this ‘Rape Jihad’ even though the authorities in the UK refused to act decisively against these gangs for fear of allegations of being racist.

In his book, ‘Easy Meat’, Peter McLoughlin records that Sikh groups were aware of the phenomenon and were trying to warn everyone before anyone else. Even last year, when Labour MP Sarah Champion was fired from Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet for calling out the ethnicity of the rapists and alleging that there had been attempts to cover it up for far too long. Hindu and Sikh organizations had commended the MP and the states that Hindu and Sikh girls were raped and groomed by the gangs for decades. Thus, calling the groups and the rapists “Asian” is a gross affront towards Hindus and Sikhs who have also suffered as a consequence of the authorities’ hesitation towards tackling the crime.

According to a study by the Sikh Mediation and Rehabilitation Team charity, Pakistani men have been grooming Sikh girls in Britain for decades for sexual abuse and rape. The study also claims that the Police ‘recklessly ignored’ complaints about reasons of ‘political correctness’.The report was accessed by Daily Mail. It says, “The research has found verification demonstrating a history of predominantly Pakistani grooming gangs targeting young Sikh females for over 50 years.” It also asserts, “The over-representation of such perpetrators in selecting non-Muslim victims would appear to be indicative of a wider acceptability in certain sections of the community towards the targeting of young females from outside of the Pakistani community and/or Muslim faith.”

The report says that the failure of local authorities to recognize the menace has allowed such networks to flourish. It says, “Over the course of three decades, Sikh community leaders in the West Midlands repeatedly assert that when families or community representatives contacted the police regarding the abuse of children, their information was consistently met with disinterest and their claims met by inaction.” And “With the emergence of multiple similar cases across the UK, the perceived failure to act has now been attributed to the ‘political correctness’ that inhibited authorities and agencies from addressing the racial and cultural dimensions understood as causative factors behind the abuse.”

According to the report authorised by Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham to investigate the historic failings of police and social workers, a paedophile network of about 100 suspected assaulters is accused of exploiting 57 young girls in south Manchester in the 2000s. The report states that the gang primarily consisted of Asian men, who hooked their victims on drugs, primed, and sexually abused them. One girl, aged 15, died after being injected with heroin by a 50-year-old man. The report, which was published after a two-year enquiry, stated that vulnerable girls in care were groomed and abused in “plain sight”.

The report was a scathing indictment of the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) which is believed to have been biased in tackling grooming gangs comprised of predominantly Asian Muslim men. Stating that “fears over race relations” ran high, it stated that the GMP and city council shelved an investigation because officers were wary of “many sensitive community issues” around enforcing the law in south Manchester in 2002 and 2003.

The Detective Superintendent, while submitting his findings to the report panel, claimed that though his investigative decisions were not influenced by the concerns about inciting community tensions, the senior officers in the gold command group were of the opinion that the impact had to be “clearly considered”

What happened in the UK with respect to Grooming Gangs was rather evident, to all but those who wish to water down crimes committed by members of the Muslim community – Muslim men were preying on non-Muslim girls and women in wage a sort of ‘Jihad’ that many have termed ‘rape jihad’.

These girls, Sikhs, Hindus and White girls were brainwashed, raped, injected with drugs, some killed or converted and essentially, punished for being non-Muslim. A similar case had also happened in India – that of Ajmer Dargah, where hundreds of non-Muslim girls were sexually exploited, way back in 1992. It is still spoken about in hushed tones, with no real discussion over the root cause of such cases.

In India, the only organised syndicate that we speak of now is the phenomenon of ‘Love Jihad’.

The NIA for example had observed this in 2017: “A pattern emerges from similar cases that have been reported from Kerala. In multiple cases, the persons who play a role in approaching young girls help them in conversion, give them shelter and get them married to Muslims, appear to be common. They seem to approach young girls who appear distressed because of disagreement with parents”.

What the NIA defines as ‘Love Jihad’ comes eerily close to what UK went through with the Grooming Gang phenomenon. However, there are several other categories of crimes that don’t fit into the narrow definition of ‘Love Jihad’ per se.

It is rather evident that non-Muslim women are, as we said earlier, at the heart of the Jihad that is waged by radical Muslims. From the categories of crimes, we see in India as listed above to Tahharush, Grooming Gangs and also, the mass subjugation we saw in Bhola.

But does all of these come under the periphery of what we today define as Love Jihad? In its strictest form, Love Jihad would mean that a non-Muslim woman, mostly Hindus in India, are lured into marriage with a Muslim man for the strict purpose of conversion to Islam. In this, the element of how the Muslim man lured his victim and how the conversion came to be extremely important. In this strict definition, the nuances that often lie outside the margins of the definition get terribly missed.

Now, when a Muslim man ‘lures’ a woman into a relationship with him by exploiting her vulnerabilities, it is entirely possible that after marriage, she girl says that she converted willingly. Let us assume that an underage girl, about 14 hails from an extremely economically weak background. How difficult is it for a grown man to lure this girl and make her believe that he genuinely cares for her and is capable of giving her a good life even though, he might not mean it and is saying so simply to brainwash the child so he can convert her to Islam?

Thereafter, if the girl is tortured and continues to stay shackled by the man, how difficult is it for the deniers of Love Jihad to simply claim that though the thought of a 14-year-old getting married to a 20-year-old is despicable and against the law, the element of “jihad” is missing since the girl refuses to admit to forced conversion?

Would a crime like Taharrush, or one that we saw in Bhola, be considered ‘Love Jihad’? Would even the murder of Nikita Tomar be called ‘Love Jihad’ in its strict definition since Nikita and her murderer were never really in a relationship to begin with and she was murdered not only because she resisted her advances but also his pressure to convert to Islam?

It is because of the narrow definition of a term like ‘Love Jihad’ that the Left is now attempting to twist it to allege that the term Love Jihad is simply used because ‘extremist Hindus’ are against inter-faith marriages, whereas, the phenomenon is far from being about consensual relationships.

It is for these reasons that OpIndia has now decided to do away with the term ‘Love Jihad’ in its parlance and reportage. There is no ‘Love’ in Jihad and even if accept the term along with its problematic syntax, it fails to capture the severity of the Jihad that is being waged by sections of radical Muslims that specifically target non-Muslim women. We believe that the term ‘Grooming Jihad’ is far more appropriate since it encapsulates within itself all categories of crimes that keep women at the centre of this Jihad.

Non-Muslim women are being groomed to accept their own subjugation at the hands of Muslim men. They are kidnapped, raped, lured, converted to Islam, punished and brainwashed. There is no ‘Love’ in these crimes against humanity. There is no ambiguity that it is a form of Jihad. It is time to call it what it is – Grooming Jihad.

Nupur J Sharma: Editor, OpIndia.com since October 2017