The New York Times on Friday provided platform to Islamic bigotry in a blog where the author narrates her ‘tragic’ love story. It is the story of a son who refused to abandon his parents and and that of a daughter who could not convince her parents to accede to her wish.
The protagonists in the love story were a Hindu man of Indian origin and a Muslim woman with roots in Pakistan. As Ramsey Bolton would say, “If you thought this had a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.”
But to be young and feel the pangs of love, many a greater man and woman have fallen for such whims of the heart. And thus, while the world was ending outside amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, the two found love and joy in the confines of their home.
Things were going well and the question of marriage came up. Both were eager to tie the knot and none of them believed it was too soon, which is a bit crazy since the elephant in the room had not been addressed but love is like that.
She told him on their fifth date, “If we decide to be together, you need to understand that the only way forward is for you to convert. It won’t make things easy, but it will make things possible.” The boy, apparently, replied that he was ‘game’.
She claims that he told her, “Sometimes, you are willing to change your whole future for one person.” That should have been the first red flag, the boy appears to have watched too many Karan Johar movies. But, again, love is like that. Things that appear monstrously cringe-worthy from the outside make perfect sense to those in on it.
The second part of the drama ensued after they went home for Thanksgiving. During that period, the author, Myra Farooqi, told her mom that she had met the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with.
Farooqi told her mom that the man was not Muslim, not Pakistani and could not speak either Urdu or Hindi. So, naturally, her mother burst into tears. However, Farooqi’s mother recovered from the shock when she told her that the he was willing to convert to Islam. Again, naturally.
The boy, apparently, was jubilant initially but soon turned anxious after realizing that her mother’s approval was predicated entirely on his conversion to Islam. One tends to guess he went to one of those schools where they teach religion does not matter and a world without borders would be utopia.
Ultimately, he found the spine to tell her, “I will never convert to Islam. Not nominally, not religiously.” “Then that’s it,” she replied. And that is where the two star-crossed lovers parted ways.
The son’s U-turn, as it turns out, was inspired by his parents, which once again demonstrates why parents are the greatest thing on this planet. Apparently, when he told his parents that he had decided to abandon his faith over a girl, they broke down into tears and begged him not to give up his identity. Again, naturally.
Farooqi says of the whole affair, “Many people will never understand the requirements of marrying a Muslim. For me, the rules about marriage are stubborn, and the onus of sacrifice lies with the non-Muslim whose family is presumably more open to the possibility of interfaith relationships.”
“Many will say it’s selfish and incongruous that a non-Muslim must convert for a Muslim. To them I would say I cannot defend the arbitrary limitations of Muslim love because I have been broken by them. I lost the man I thought I would love forever,” she adds.
The sense of entitlement here is quite astounding. The confidence with which she says that the onus of conversion lies with the non-Muslim half of the relationship is quite astounding. Even more bizarre is the fact that the New York Times actually published this garbage.
She assumes that non-Muslim families are more open to interfaith relationships. In her case, quite clearly, her boyfriend’s family was not. She does not appreciate once that her boyfriend and his family never insisted on her conversion to Hinduism. But she takes it for granted that the man should convert to Islam.
Quite clearly, in addition to being selfish and incongruous, Farooqi is also narcissistic. The only saving grace is that she makes no effort to defend the bigotry of her family. And being forced to give up on love is punishment enough.
Such incidents do not occur in the United States alone. They happen in India too. Only recently, a Hindu neighbourhood in Delhi was attacked by Islamists because a Muslim woman married a Hindu man out of her own volition.
Not too long ago, ‘JNU scholar’ Shehla Rashid was forced to delete her Facebook account after receiving rape threats from Islamists for saying that Muslim women should be able to marry Hindu men if they so desired. Her post was prompted by the murder of Ankit Saxena by the family of his girlfriend for their relationship.
Even on the face of such unparalleled bigotry, it is Hindus who are demonized for highlighing the issue of ‘Love Jihad’, which is a legitimate cause of concern as the women in such cases are duped by Muslim men faking a Hindu identity or forced to convert, often through physical violence.
Thus, the love story in question is quite astounding. Farooqi says that the onus to convert is on non-Muslims since their families are more open to interfaith relationships. And yet, at the same time, her coreligionists tell us that it is Hindus who are more intolerant of the same. It’s a ‘heads I win, tails you lose’ situation. And arguments are twisted to always favour one side. And that side is not of non-Muslims.