ISI to ISIS: How marriages in India are exploited for religious conversion

India

oi-Vicky Nanjappa

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Posted: Tuesday June 22, 2021 12:41 PM [IST]

New Delhi, June 22: In police custody, Mohammad Umar Gautam, a man who had converted from Hinduism to Islam boasted: “I converted 1,000 non-Muslims to Islam by marrying them all to Muslims. .

This point shows very clearly that marriages have been used as a tool of religious conversion. We witnessed a similar incident in Kerala where many women were married and then lured into joining the Islamic State. The issue came back to the news following the arrest of two people who were engaged in religious conversions at UP and during their interrogation they said they attracted Hindus with marriage, money and work.

ISI to ISIS: How marriages in India are exploited for religious conversion

Umar and Mufti Qazi Jahangir Alam Qasm of Jamia Nagar in Delhi were arrested by police for leading a group involved in converting deaf-mute students and other poor people to Islam in Uttar Pradesh with funding from ISI Pakistan. The arrests were made by the Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terror Squad after an FIR was registered in the case at ATS police station in Lucknow.

Convert 1,000 non-Muslims to Islam by marrying them to Muslims boasts of ISI conversion module managerConvert 1,000 non-Muslims to Islam by marrying them to Muslims boasts of ISI conversion module manager

Recently, the Allahabad High Court ruled that conversion for marriage alone was unacceptable. The court made the observation while rejecting a petition filed by an interfaith couple asking for instructions from the police and the girl’s father not to interfere in their married life.

While dismissing the petition, the court said the lady converted her religion on June 29, 2020 and celebrated the wedding on July 31. This clearly reveals that the conversion only took place for marriage.

A lady from Kerala had said that she had met a person called Mushabeer and had fallen in love with him.

However later he started to pressure her to convert to Islam. He also threatened to pour acid on her if she didn’t change her religion, she also alleged.

Similar issues were raised in the Supreme Court, and in the Rev Stanislaus v Madhya Pradesh case, the question was whether the basic right to practice religion also included the right to convert. The court made it clear that while Article 25 guarantees freedom of religion, it also said that the word propagate religion does not give the right to convert.

The word propagate has been used in Article 25 (1) of the Indian Constitution, but it does not give the right to convert another person to their own religion, but to transmit or disseminate their religion by setting out their principles.

The Chamber also observed that while the spread of religion was allowed, conversion was not a fundamental right. What the article grants is not the right to convert another person to their own religion, but to transmit or spread their religion by setting out its principles.

In the Sarla Mudgal case, the court ruled that the religious conversion to Islam of a person of non-Islamic faith is not valid if the conversion is carried out for the purpose of polygamy.

In the Lily Thomas case, it was observed that marrying another woman after converting to Islam is punishable under bigamy laws.

In the Chandra Sekaran case, the court observed that a person does not cease to be Hindu almost because he declares not to have faith in his religion.

The Indian Legal Commission, charged with examining the issue of forced conversions, made the following recommendations.

ISI goes from honey trap to spy tactic to trap Indian womenISI goes from honey trap to spy tactic to trap Indian women

Within one month of the date of the conversion, the converted person, if he or she so wishes, may address a declaration to the marriage registration officer of the constituency concerned.

The registrar must present a copy of the statement to the office notice board until the date of confirmation.

Said declaration should contain the required details, namely details of the convert such as date of birth, permanent address and current place of residence, name of father / husband, religion to which convert originally belonged and the religion to which he converted, the date and place of the conversion and the nature of the process followed for the conversion.

Within 21 days from the date of dispatch / filing of the declaration, the converted person can appear before the registrar, establish his identity and confirm the content of the declaration.

The registrar enters the declaration and confirmation memorandum in a register kept for this purpose. If objections are notified, he can simply register them, i.e. the name and contact details of the objector and the nature of the objection.

Certified copies of the declaration, confirmation and extracts from the register are provided to the party making the declaration or to the authorized legal representative, upon request.

Article first published: Tuesday June 22, 2021, 12:41 PM [IST]

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