The Love Jihad
I absolutely love this story out of India, because it so aptly demonstrates the willingness of religious fundamentalists to believe anything they are told that promotes anger towards another religion.
Once again we have the Wikileaks to thank for this piece of information getting out to the public.
While it has now been proven to be untrue, it was alleged that in India Islamic fundamentalists created an incentive program for Muslim men to get non-Muslim women to fall in love with them in order for them to convert to Islam. This was supposedly taking place in Kerala.
That’s right, Islamic men is coming for your daughters in order to force them to convert to Islam. I mean this piece of fear mongering propaganda is right up there with the Western perception that hoards of Black men are descending into the suburbs to steal away White daughters.
Apparently there was so much apprehension over the non-existant issue that Dr. Sajan K. George, president of the ‘Global Council of Indian Christians’ contacted the US government and did everything he could to convince the Americans that this was a real threat. And a threat to America as well.
The Consul General Simkin also pointed out that a body under the powerful Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC) had even sent out warnings and suggestions to Christians on avoiding the “love trap.”
“The Commission for Social Harmony and Vigilance of the Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC) reported that there had been 2,868 female victims of the “Love Jihad” in Kerala from 2006-09.
“The Commission made several recommendations to parents through its newsletter, including a recommendation to monitor children’s mobile phones and computers, to fight this “social evil”…
“He said that his organization was publicly tight-lipped about the incidents because it did not want to exacerbate religious tensions in Kerala and Karnataka, which he said were already high.
“Dr. George said that his group found it necessary, however, to warn Christian parents and young girls of the danger posed by the “Love Jihad” so that they can be better prepared to resist what many call “charming” young Muslim men involved in the scheme…”
The Consul General also pointed to the role played by the media and Hindu groups.
“Multiple Hindu extremist groups held a rally at Mangalore’s district headquarters on October 15, alleging that over 3,000 Hindu girls from the region and more than 30,000 from the rest of the state had gone missing since the alleged launch of the “Love Jihad” in 2008, figures that were reportedly repeated on the websites of various Hindutva organizations..
“[However,] Official statistics reportedly show that 404 women were reported missing in 2009, and that police tracked down 332 of them,”
US Consul General Andrew Simkin began looking into and sent a cable to the US government saying it, “is probably the result of the overall paranoia and religious tension in South India.”
If there is one thing this incident proves is the willingness of religious fundamentalists to believe that the existence of other religions poses a deadly threat to them. This kind paranoid xenophobia is the real danger to not only India but any country where they exist.
And that anti-Muslim hysteria is not limited to Christianity and Judaism.
There’s also this sexist aspect to it, the idea you have to protect women from who they fall in love with, the insinuation that you must control who they fall in love with. This is very patriarchal, it continues the idea that the father or the brother must control the daughter’s to male members of society and thus restricting her freedoms.
Hopefully as society progresses we’ll out grow such petty ignorance.