Reacting to the Union Home Ministry’s reply to a question raised by a Congress MP on ‘Love Jihad’ in Lok Sabha yesterday, the Syro-Malabar Church said the circumstances under which the Synod of the Church made the statement on the issue of ‘Love Jihad’ still exists.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Syro-Malabar Media Commission said the synod had only expressed its opinion that inter-religious love affairs caused family troubles and that such cases should be inquired into.
The recently held synod of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, the biggest Christian Church in Kerala, had expressed concern over the growing incidents of Love Jihad in which Christian girls being targeted and killed in Kerala.
On Tuesday, in a reply in Lok Sabha to Congress MP Behanan Benny’s question the Home Ministry said: “The term ‘love jihad’ is not defined under the extant laws. No such case has been reported by any of the central agencies.”
“However, two cases from Kerala involving inter-faith marriages have been investigated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA),” it added.
The Syro-Malabar Church reacted to the Home Ministry reply and said: “The Public Affairs Commission of the Syro-Malabar Church has analyzed the written information provided by the Union Home Ministry in the Lok Sabha about the ill-advised inter-religious love affair known as ‘love jihad’. The Home Ministry is of the view that Love Jihad has not been reported in Kerala and Love Jihad has no interpretation in the present law.”
“As already stated, the Synod expressed concern about the inter-religious love affairs and related issues in the light of discussions received from various dioceses of the Syro-Malabar Church. The Synod has not evaluated these issues to the detriment of their friendship with Islam. The Synod demanded that the case be investigated as a matter of serious concern to society and the families. The situation in which the Synod made this demand still exists,” it added.
“The Public Affairs Commission of the Syro-Malabar Church has assessed that there are moves at some level to misrepresent the need of the Church in this regard. The church strongly disagrees with such moves. Believers and the public need to be vigilant against any attempt to disrupt the religious fraternity that exists in Kerala by activating this issue in the channels and other news media. The Syro-Malabar Church wishes to ensure that the communal harmony and brotherhood prevailing in the society should not be impaired. The Commission reminded the believers to be vigilant in this regard,” the statement further reads.
Meanwhile, the Kerala unit of BJP on Wednesday clarified that Love Jihad is a reality, which is happening in Kerala. BJP national executive member and former state president Shri P K Krishnadas told the reporters that the term ‘Love jihad’ is not defined under the extant laws but it is a fact that Love Jihad is happening (in Kerala). Krishnadas urged the Home Ministry to carry out a “comprehensive probe” into such cases to bring out real facts.
The BJP leader also accused the successive CPM-led LDF and Congress-led UDF state governments of not giving a proper report to the Centre over the issue of “Love Jihad”. “The state governments controlled by the UDF and LDF give reports to the Centre saying that such incidents are not at all happening in Kerala,” Krishnadas alleged, adding, “the BJP shares the views of the Syro-Malabar Church on the issue of ‘Love Jihad’”. “The complaint and allegations raised by the Syro-Malabar Church on the issue of “Love Jihad” is based on facts and truth. We share their views,” he said.
For the last few years, in several reported incidents from Kerala, Islamic terrorists have trapped dozens of Hindu-Christian girls by feigning love. In most cases, the girls have been forcibly converted to Islam and trafficked to the foreign countries like Afghanistan and Syria to fight for international Islamic terrorist organisations like ISIS. Time and again, many of the newly converted girls were also reported to have been killed after brutal torturing for unknown reasons.
So far, no proper investigation has been made into such incidents despite repeated demands from BJP and various Hindu organisations. In the recent past, the Church made an intervention in the issue and demanded for proper investigation into the incidents of ‘Love Jihad’ after Islamic terrorist outfits in the state recruited several Christian girls for ISIS and trafficked them to Syria, Iraq and Afghan. The investigative agencies including NIA had confirmed the presence of converted Hindu-Christian girls among the ISIS terrorist groups who left the country to fight on the foreign soil for the Islamic State.
On September 26, 2019, George Kurian, vice chairman of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM), wrote a letter to Home Minister Amit Shah, asking for a probe into cases of ‘love jihad’ or forced conversion of women by Islamic radicals. Demanding the involvement of NIA, he wrote, “The spate of organised religious conversions and using the victims for terror activities by trapping them through ‘love jihad’ has shown the Christian community is a soft target for Islamic radicals.”
Kurian quoted a report by the Kerala Catholic Bishops Conference’s (KCBC) Commission for Social Harmony and Vigilance, which claimed that there were 4,000 instances of “love jihad” between 2005 and 2012. “Love jihad is on, and it has been continuing in the state for a while. Here, conversion is not into Islam, but into terrorism. Even the Muslim community is objecting to it,” Kurian had told The Indian Express.