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Reassertion Of Love Jihad

MICHAEL VAZ, MERCES
Not long ago when the theory of ‘love jihad’ was promulgated by the right wing organizations as a systematized plot by the Islamic religious extremists to lure young Hindu girls to marry Muslim men and then force them to dance to their tunes, it was brushed aside by the Islamists and well supported by the nation’s opposition parties that it was just a ploy to tarnish the minorities and it was even argued that it is the right of youngsters to fall in love cutting across religious contours. We lament that the opposition can stoop to any extent to be in good books with the minorities without trying to unfold the hidden agenda. Presently, what has shocked us most is the reality (not concept) that love jihad has astounded the Christians in Kerala as affirmed by the Syro-Malabar Church during their 28th synod. It is alleged that the Christian girls are lured into love traps with Muslim men and then forcibly converted to their religion and compelled into prostitution and thereafter being coerced to joining their well-scripted terrorist organizations. They have further claimed that half of the 21 youth in Kerala who have been lured into Islamic State have been Christians indicating that a wave of religious polarisation is sweeping the state. We have said in the past that ‘love jihad’, implying a religious war under the guise of love, is a serious malady and if not viewed seriously is liable to pose a serious threat to society. Unlike the usual religious bigots we do not intend that young people should be united only with partners of their creed, yet our word of caution to youngsters is to be ever alert for diverse groups are working underground to target the naïve and cast them in a web of slavery. This is another case to justify how the weapon of religion is used either under allurement or duress to trap the unassuming youngsters. History is replete with instances where the dominant community of the time has ruthlessly imposed its will on the meek, weak and lowly and forceful conversions were more of a norm than an exception. We may brush that aside as what transpired in the days of yore, but today when we call ourselves a civilized lot entrenched in a democracy, all such poisonous weeds need to be uprooted sooner than later.

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