Anatomy of a violent Love Jihad

Many thankless Hindus do not give due credit to people like Yogi Adityanath who are leading the crusade against Love Jihad. In addition the grave matter is ridiculed by comparison to inter-religion marriages, without giving a thought on deceit and forceful conversion angle that fighters against Love Jihad want to highlight. There were people in Rotherham who let their daughters get raped but chose not to speak against the crimes due to phobia of getting branded Islamophobe. Leaving them to their own devices, we can now only try to understand why and how Love Jihad can escalate.

Taking up two cases from outside India, which share great similarity to the LoveJihad we face in India, but with even crueller forms and graver consequences. The names are different, but the methods of deceiving, marrying and later exploitation are same with added crimes of forcing into prostitution, trafficking and violence.

Case 1: Sexual Grooming of Sikh girls in London

The investigative team from BBC Inside out covered how Sikh girls were targeted and forced into prostitution through series of well calculated moves and later subjected to horrific sexual abuse. The officials denied any particular community involvement, however one of the sexual groomer himself explained the rationale behind targeting Sikh/ Indian origin girls. It is heartbreaking subject to be talked about in gurudwaras but uncomfortable talking was what had to be done to highlight the menace of sexual grooming.

An ex groomer gang member in hiding told BBC in detail that how 11-16 year old girls can be used for guaranteed sex by these groomers. Sikh girls are basically targeted because a Sikh girl would not actually tell her parents what she is up to or parents will not report if they were to find out making them easy target for the abusers.

Pimping doesn’t start easily, they first pretend to be Sikh by appreance using sacred sikh symbols like kada, khanda etc. and meet during nagar keertans and langars. Usually an 18-19 year old guy approaches, asks for number and this is extremely normal in the way it all begins. Then the usually teenager girl is seduced in sequential moves, first by making her centre of attention and showering gifts, all this while slowly ostracising her from her community and friends. One thing usually leads to another but in most of the cases the girl comes to know later that her park meets, kisses and making out sessions are being photographed or video recorded by a third member. It is now that two things happen: she comes to know that the man she is seeing is not Sikh and blackmailing using the photos gets going. In 20 cases that Sikh awareness society reported till 2013, all involved Muslim groomers. However Children’s commission of England gave statement that groomers come from diverse background and Muslim clerics had dismissed the allegations.

On the promise of destroying photographs, girl is asked to go out with men three times her age one last time every time. Spiked drinks, gang rapes, drugging and more obscene videos continue. The gangs are organized and interlinked and even if one relocates within UK, the network is efficient in pulling girls in again. In 9 out of 10 times the girls go back to the perpetrators because the groomers and gang members are not hesitant to pursue girls of the virginity-linked-honour based Sikh families.

Pimping doesn’t start easily, they first pretend to be Sikh by appreance using sacred sikh symbols like kada, khanda etc. and meet during nagar keertans and langars. Usually an 18-19 year old guy approaches, asks for number and this is extremely normal in the way it all begins.

Police has long to way to go in solving this issue due to following reasons:

  • They assume that South Asian communities have tendency to overplay their sensitivity over “family honour” issues
  • Profiling groomers by religion is considered despicable
  • Police does not want to get involved in ethnic minorities’ strife assuming that these are accusations made by Sikhs as part of history of religious conflict they share.

Parenting needs a total overhaul because:

  • Parents do not realize that not reporting sexual abuse can do more harm to their own as well as others’ children in long term. Child abuse is not a personal but criminal issue.
  • Family honour is not paramount and stigma around sexual abuse of children has to be removed. Virginity is not the most sacred matter to base dignity in community on.
  • Indian origin parents are not approachable and are usually the last ones to find out. Even if the child wants to share his/her problem the usual remark ‘why did you get involved in the first place’ amounts to putting blame on the child.
  • A victim being sent away to another country to be saved from groomers is another way of not asking for justice and showing child as a problem. It subtler way of parents considering the child was not innocent which creates problem in a girl’s post-trauma emotional recuperation.

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The good news is that Sikh awareness society (SAS) has now started their own investigation in cases and started collecting evidences. They have also been able to legally convict criminals and are getting full support from the Sikh community home and abroad.

Case 2: Rotherham scandal involving sexual abuse of 1400 children

Teenagers and children for more than 16 years suffered through the hands of older Pakistani origin men. Not only did their own police and system ignore their sufferings, for some even their parents did not bring up the subject due to fear of disrupting “ethnic and racial diversity” of the town. When number of these children grew up and spoke against the crimes in independent inquiry by Professor Alexis Jay, only then the scandal was brought to light.

A very structured model of grooming was being run for more than 20 years. It targeted white teenager girls, beginning from young boys in their early 20s coming up for a casual talk, following it with hanging out at malls and car rides. This stage would be followed by soft jokes of sexual nature to judge the interest of girls in having a sexual relationship or carry out rape, whichever easier for groomers.

The girls would be singled out from their group, they would find the boys like ‘Knight in shining armour’ even helping them with homework in initial phase. 95% of the online grooming involved white girls. Of course the dating season would only last till the gang became active after which girls were raped, trafficked to other cities and intimidated. 11 year old girls were made to witness brutally violent rape of other girls by groups of men to keep them silent.

Muslim community in Britain should be ashamed of these crimes because:

  • 67 out of the 77 convictions were Pakistani Muslims and almost accused in rape and sexual abuse from Pakistani background.
  • One of the arguments given was: ‘White people need to introspect why their girls were out at 2 or 3 in the night’.
  • Argument of ‘Cultural baggage and cultural dissonance because people come from conservative background to over-sexualized culture’ in order to defend the perpetrators
  • Denial to introspect by opposing it to be labelled as race-based issue. They claimed that vile degenerate men do heinous acts; it should not be related to any community without acknowledging that all the victims happened to be white and all the accused happened to be South Asian Muslims.
  • While White sexual offenders always were convicted alone and feared anyone knowing about their crimes, only Pakistani Muslim males were among those who did the “sharing” and sexual activities in a networked manner. This shows their ease in committing crimes of sexual nature against ‘worthless white girls’ and that it was normalized group activity for them.
  • When it comes to UK laws straightening up, Muslim community uniformly wants no laws be pushed upon them claiming that they are being targeted. When such crimes come up, they change stance saying that it is law& order situation and officials need to do their job.

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In this incident parents were not at fault, they were approachable and supported their children. But when the parents took issues to agencies and social services, they were dealt with contempt. Only after Professor Alexis Jay lead an independent inquiry into the incidents reported from 1997 to 2013, she came up with report stating more than 1400 cases of child abuse had occurred in the town. The systemic failure in services can be seen in:

  • Blatant failure of leadership where the services remained ‘politically correct’ while their children were getting raped. Officials chose to not take up cases as they feared that ethnic sensitivities may be at play and feared being called racist.
  • There was incident where 12 year girl was found in a car with 5 males, 2 of them accepted that they had just had sexual intercourse with the girl. The policeman let them off with caution because he said “girl had been 100% consensual in every incident with each man separately”
  • Police responded to complaints of parents with disbelief and ignored them accusing them to be exaggerating the scale of the problem
  • The video interviews of children were interrogations and in many cases the evidences “got lost” making it legally challenging to prove crime. Officers suppressed crimes at the same time affirming impression to the children that these criminals were untouchables.
  • Services confirmed the blackmail and torture inducing abusers’ prophecy: both criminals and police saw girls as “naughty, liar, dirty little girls who deserve what is happening to them”,
  • Social services also questioned the parenting of the complainants also implying that girls had made a choice and parents needed to deal with it.

Now we need to understand the factors that help Love pretending sex jehadis.

Sikh Girls, London Christian (White) Girls, Rotherham Model replicable for Hindu girls?
Operational Effectiveness Pretence of Love and act of being Sikh easy to pull due to Indian featuresNetwork operations with organized and structured activities Pretence of friendship and loveNetwork operations with organized and structured activities Yes
Fit and Sustainability Playing on family honourBlackmailing Exploiting liberal culture Yes
Risks Sikh awareness society Social InstitutionsIndependent organizations Moderate riskAwareness lowMinority card play helpful
Reinforcement and persuasion Blackmail Size of network showed strength and stature Yes
Public relations Support from clerics and moderate muslims rubbishing small number of complaintsPlaying on historic religious and ethnic tensions Community standing up against racial profilingPossible involvement of authorities in suppressing crime reportsPlaying on strength of cultural sensitivities Yes
Who failed girls? ParentsPolice PoliceSocial services Yes

There were specific segment of girls that were targeted and their vulnerabilities exploited, which we need to carefully look into.

Sikh Girls, London Christian (White) Girls, Rotherham Model replicable for Hindu girls?
Social factors Family structure – honour based, moderate personal involvement Family structure – personal involvement high but freedom to children for friendship and social outings Yes
Personal Factors Age – young/ teenagersSelf consciousness high Age – young / teenagersSelf consciousness high Yes
Initial decision making process Sensory process, romantic relationships and emotional appealBiological need exploited Sensory process, romantic relationships and emotional appealBiological need exploited Yes
Cultivating relationship Need for affiliation, belongingness, acceptance played upon through show of love, giftsLater instrumental conditioning – girls tried avoiding degradation of family honour Social need fulfilment through friendshipThen need for belongingness played uponLater need for safety used in instrumental conditioning – girls tried avoiding physical torture and violence Yes
Attack Strategy Emotion based Violence based Yes

 

Girls themselves, parents, families, social services and police organization need to know these facts and ulterior motives that sometimes come along with Love, so that the crime of forceful conversions and exploitation can be dealt without racial bias or pressures of minority appeasement.

Those who believe that fight against love jihad is against the freedom to make a choice about life partner could not be more wrong. We want our girls to make informed choice, more powerfully now than ever before.

Ritika Sharma works in Pharmaceutical industry and is a Management grad. Her interests at present are consumer behaviour, management, and politics.