No, ‘there is no compulsion in religion’, not in the name of Jihad or of love
By: Ashique Nilambur
Yet, again ‘love jihad’ have been filling up magazines and newspaper following the campaign launched by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) across western Uttar Pradesh to counter so- called love jihad and the controversial speech of the BJP from Gorakhpur stating ‘we have decided that we will convert 100 of their religion[i] if they convert one Hindu girl’. The RSS is attempting to convince its cadres and the majority Hindu population that recent incidents like the Muzaffarnagar riots and the alleged gang rape in Meerat were all ignited by Muslim men on an agenda to convert Hindu women to Islam. One may think that it is true that you might know quite a few Muslim boys and Hindu girls who are in love. Some might as well have got married. No, that is not what the purported ‘love jihad’ is, for there will be an equal number of cases that were ‘misled’ by equally ‘scheming’ Hindu men. Rather it meant the deliberate attempt of Muslim men to convert Hindu girls by acting being fallen in love with them and promising to marry; once married forcing them embrace Islam; gang raped if they refuse to. After all some claims these are well- planned, organized and even funded by gulf petro- dollars.
Now, is the BJP government acting responsibly on the issue? Are they poll polarizing the issue for the next UP elections? It seems that the assumption they are poll polarizing seems more plausible, for the government or the police have failed to prove any such kind of phenomenon in the alleged cases. No wonder, the same happened in Karnataka and Kerala, the states were love jihad cases were first filed. After a yearlong tumult and mayhem, the Karnataka CID[ii], the Karnataka state Police[iii] and the Kerala State Police[iv] failed to establish ‘love jihad’ plot.
Whether the alleged ‘love jihad’ is planned or not, remembering and reminding the fact that the allegations have never being proven, Islam does not promote forced conversion, neither in the name of Jihad nor in the name of love. Furthermore Jihad and love are not words that could be used together. Jihad is not the ‘publically articulated’ holy war against non- Muslims, rather it means to struggle or strive hard in the cause of Allah and His religion; against any transgression done to one’s self and violation of rights of people. Thus it includes any form of struggle validated by the Islamic Sharia’a. Allah comments ‘to do jihad’ with the Qur’an points to the struggle by a Muslim to restrict and give up one’s sinful and corrupted desires. Of course, Jihad does include war (Qital) in the cause of Allah against enemies under special circumstances.
According to Islam ‘the right course has become clear from the wrong[v]’ so one has the freedom to choose and ‘there is no compulsion in the religion’[vi]. These accusations have been blamed with no evidence, but are stories built up with lies, doubts and assumptions as many other accusations against Islam and Muslims. The fact that an elected government is repeating after some extremists, should to be taken seriously. While at same time people from different religions should consider creating greater space for peaceful and healthy dialogues.
[i] Islam and Muslims meant here.
[v] Qur’an 2: 256
[vi] Qur’an 2: 256