Love Jihad (Malayalam: ലൗ ജിഹാദ്‌ ) or Romeo Jihad is an alleged activity under which young Muslim boys in Kerala and Coastal Karnataka reportedly targeted college girls belonging to non-Muslim communities (especially Hindu) for conversion to Islam by feigning love.[1] Kerala high court has directed the Kerala Police and Union Home Ministry to probe this activity.[2] In response the Director General of Kerala Police Jacob Punnose submitted to the high court that no conclusive evidence had been received about existence of 'Love Jihad' movement.[3]. But the court has checked the case diaries used by the investigative agencies and found that Love Jihad is in fact happening, and the report submitted by the DGP was not factual [4]. PDI and NDF leaders have said “Religious conversion is not a crime; conversion takes place to Hinduism and Christianity also"[2]. Kerala Muslim outfits called the term love jihad as misinformation and should not be used by constitutional establishments like High Courts[5].

Other than Kerala, Love Jihad is alleged to be conducted in Mangalore in Coastal Karnataka region,[6] with opponents claiming that on average three girls from Dakshina Kannada district are going missing every day due to it.[7] Karnataka High Court orders probe into the Love Jihad in a madrasa in Ponnani in Kerala.[8]. The Karnataka government said 'Love Jihad', an attempt by some Muslim men to lure non-Muslim girls with promises of marriage and get them converted to Islam, appeared to be a serious issue and it would take steps to counter it [9] Karnataka govt. ordered CID probe into the matter in October 2009.[10]

Communal effects

Catholic Church in Kerala urged believers to act against Love Jihad activisits. Christian groups, such as the Christian Association for Social Action, and the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) joined hands to take on this, with VHP making Hindu helpline.[11] VHP claimed that they received as many as 1,500 calls in three months regarding Love Jihad.[12] The Vigilance Council of the Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC) alerted all believers against the activities of the Love Jihad activists.[13]

SNDP general secretary Vellapally Natesan said that Love Jihad attempts had also been reported in the families belonging to Narayaneeya communities.[14][15] State police revealed they were probing the presence of the right-wing group Shri Ram Sena, after it lanuched a poster campaign in Thiruvanathapuram, Kerala warning women against Love Jihad.[16]

Former Union Minister O. Rajagopal said that the "Love Jihad" activists may be getting foreign funds.[17] Muslim groups have responded by claiming that Hindus and Christians have fabricated these claims as part of a joint conspiracy.[18] The Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN) have reported that Catholic Church is concerned about this alleged phenomenon.[19]

Shri Ram Sena announced that it will launch a nation-wide "Save our daughters, save India" campaign, beginning in Karnataka, against Love Jihad. Rama Sena president Pramod Muthalik claimed that 3,000 girls who had reportedly married Muslim boys had returned to the Hindu community.[20] Shri Ram Sena had previously attacked girls in a pub in Mangalore and had launched a campaign against Hindu and Muslim youths "mixing together".[21]

Kerala High Court verdict

The Kerala High Court on 9th December 2009 found indications of ‘forceful’ religious conversions under the garb of ‘love’ in the state, and asked the government to consider enacting a law to prohibit such ‘deceptive’ acts. “Under the pretext of love, there cannot be any compulsive, deceptive conversion,” the court said [22]. After perusing the case diary in ‘love jihad’ cases, justice Sankaran concluded that there were indications of forceful religious conversions.The court observation goes contrary to the reports submitted by the Central and state governments on the alleged love jehad [23]. The court reached the conclusion after checking in detail the case diaries used by the investigative agencies in detail [24]. The court verdict confirms the criticism that the claims made by the central and state governments were not based on facts, but motivated by potential political advantage. The judge also declined to entertain the demand that the terms ‘love jehad’ and ‘Romeo jehad’ should not be used. The court had earlier taken a stand that these terms had appeared in police report and it would not restrain the media from using them [25].

Allegations by Christian organizations

According to Fr. Johney Kochuparambil, a Christian leader, Jihadians posing as lovers with their good behavior, and they trap girls in sexual relations and blackmail the girls to convert. Fr. Johney also claimed that in the last four years 2,676 girls had fallen prey to love jihadians.[12][13] According to the KCBC, the largest number of victims were targeted in Kasargode district (586 victims) and Malappuram district (412).[26]

Police report

Kerala Director General of Police Jacob Punnoose informed the High Court that there were reasons to suspect that there were concerted attempts to persuade girls to change their religion after they fell in love with Muslim boys in the State. In a report filed before the court today, the DGP said there was also unconfirmed source of information received by the Police Department that some groups were actively working among youngsters encouraging conversions feigning love.

Meanwhile, the report also stated that it was not so far identified that any organizations like the 'Love Jihad' or 'Romeo Jihad' were working in the State. It was also not established whether any particular organization was actively involved in such acts. The report added there was also no evidence regarding financial support from abroad and the connection among 'Jihad' Groups in smuggling, drug trafficking and terrorist activities. [27].

See also


  1. Stephen Brown (16 October 2009). "The “Love Jihad”" (in English). Retrieved 20 October 2009. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Kerala HC wants probe into 'love jihad'". Indian Express. 
  3. [1]
  4. "Kerala HC asks govt to frame laws to stop ‘love jihad’". The Economic Times. 2009-12-10. 
  5. 2nd Nov 2009
  6. [2]
  7. [3]
  8. [4]
  9. "Karnataka to take steps to counter 'Love Jihad' movement". Deccan Herald. 2009-10-22. 
  10. [5]
  11. G. Ananthakrishnan (2009-10-13). "Love Jihad' racket: VHP, Christian groups find common cause". Times of India (Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India: Retrieved 2009-10-18. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 Babu Thomas (13 October 2009). "Church warns of 'Love Jihad' in Kerala". Christian Today. Retrieved 17 October 2009. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Beware of ‘love jihad’". Mathrubhumi (Kochi, Kerala, India: 2009-10-15. Retrieved 2009-10-18. 
  14. "SNDP to campaign against Love Jihad: Vellappally" (in English). Asianet. 19 October 2009. Retrieved 20 October 2009. 
  15. "SNDP to join fight against ‘Love Jihad’" (in English). ExpressBuzz. 19 October 2009. Retrieved 20 October 2009. 
  16. Babu Thomas (26 September 2009). "Poster campaign against ‘Love Jihad’". Retrieved 17 October 2009. 
  17. [6]
  18. 'Anti Muslim forces phrase 'Love Jihad
  20. 'Rama Sene to launch 'Save our daughters Save India'
  21. [7]
  22. "Kerala HC asks govt to frame laws to stop ‘love jihad’". The Economic Times. 2009-12-10. 
  23. "HC calls for law to check ‘love jehad’". The Indian Express. 2009-12-10. 
  24. "Kerala HC asks govt to frame laws to stop ‘love jihad’". The Economic Times. 2009-12-10. 
  25. "HC calls for law to check ‘love jehad’". The Indian Express. 2009-12-10. 
  27. "DGP suspects presence of 'Love Jihad' in Kerala". Mathrubhumi. 
ml:ലൗ ജിഹാദ് വിവാദം

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