Stop using women for your own battles


by Savita
25th February, 2007 at 7:56 pm    

The story about Hindu and Sikh girls being forcibly converted by Islamist fundamentalists on university campuses, so carelessly thrown around in the media last week, has a whiff of urban myth about it.

Apparently, as reported by a number of papers yesterday including The Metro, Hindu leaders want their own “security force” to protect these vulnerable, empty-headed girls who are being targeted by sinister Muslim radicals and are paid “up to £5,000 for each success”.

So where is the evidence of this mass targeted campaign? Having researched around this area I understand there is some nail-biting among some Hindus and Sikh in ‘the communities’ that there are genuine cases where women have converted out of their faiths. But whenever I asked for evidence of these so called malicious campaigns there was always a “well it’s someone, who told someone, who knows someone that this happened to”.

I remember when I was around 14, a letter was circulated by an organisation called Khilafat in our local area warning Hindu/Sikh parents to look after their daughters because they were the prey of Muslims. It caused a huge amount of panic and for months we were house-bound and banned from doing any after-school activities. But no one found out who produced it.

The fears of conversion seem to be played upon by a number of different communities because it is highly emotive and it will get people’s backs up about the “demon other” and is the perfect justification for asserting aggressive religious identities.

We only need to look back 60 years when India was being carved up and the disgusting use of this weapon “converting our women” to see how Hindu, Sikh and Muslim (men) turned this fear into an ugly reality. An estimated 75,000 women were physically abducted and brutally assaulted by pople – in the name of what? Women’s bodies have always been an easy target in these struggles to define and defend communities and the fear of conversion is being abused to play communal cards in the UK once again.

On top of that, how patronising is this to Hindu and Sikh girls who have obviously been successful in their education to be in University to be told that they need to be protected because they obviously can’t think for themselves and make choices about their relationships and identities?

We’re not Sitas in the jungles who need circles of fire drawn around us to protect our divinity because the evil Ravan is hunting us down to get back at Ram. Take your chauvinist ego battles somewhere else, we’ve got better things to fight for.

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  1. raz — on 25th February, 2007 at 8:12 pm  

    Yeah I think this is a story which needs to be looked at carefully. There is no doubt that nefarious Islamic groups are active at British universities and may be involved in some ‘coercion’ (although generally they prefer to target other Muslims rather than Hindu/Sikhs). Any intimidation of women by these Islamic extremists must be dealt with harshly. I have a feeling, however, that a lot of these supposed ‘forced’ conversions are in fact Hindu/Sikh girls meeting Muslims guys at university, falling in love, and then their families not approving of any marriage/conversion which might result. If the Hindu forum want to do something really worthwhile about bigotry, along with Muslim and Sikh groups, then they should really be looking at why relationships between Hindus/Sikhs/Muslims is still such a problem in our communities and why conversion to other faiths causes such outrage. Surely parents should want their children to marry the person who they will be happy with, regardless of what different religion their spouse might be.

  2. ally — on 25th February, 2007 at 8:29 pm  

    The last sentence is perhaps rather telling:

    “Sir Ian said: ‘There is a feeling in the Hindu community that we have not given them as much attention as other groups.’”

    New Generation Network take note…

  3. bikhair aka taqiyyah — on 25th February, 2007 at 8:35 pm  

    Ally,

    Why does it seem like all these minorities are all clamoring for the white man’s attention. What a shame.

  4. Gibs — on 25th February, 2007 at 8:43 pm  

    Ah yes, that word “protection” being used yet again. Sounds so benign, doesn’t it ?

    In reality it’s just another word for “control”. This special “security force” if it ever materialised, wouldn’t be there to “protect” vulnerable Hindu girls. It would be used to used to prevent free spirited “independent” girls (of Hindu parents) going out and enjoying student life – going to nightclubs, pubs etc (despite the very notion of someone being forcible converted to Islam in a pub, of all places, being frankly ludicrous).

    What would be the reaction of these religious policemen towards Hindu girls “converting to Christianity or atheism” (in other words mingling with white boys) I wonder ? Probably a very violent one.

    This is a “protection force” that everyone could do without – because if it did come about, it would undoubtedly consist of chauvinistic, biggoted thugs.

  5. sonia — on 25th February, 2007 at 8:50 pm  

    quite

  6. William — on 25th February, 2007 at 9:23 pm  

    There is fear of conversion among some people although it is also unclear how widespread this is or how widespread is any kind of pressure for conversion.

    That fear exists is borne out by the following anecdote which may seem a bit strange to some but is nonetheless true.

    A couple of years ago at University I spent a whole semester attending Islamic Society meetings just to broaden my outlook as I saw it. A Hindu freind was quite concerned warning me of the following

    Muslims will try to convert me

    Muslims practice black magic he had seen it for himself

    they may use this magic to convert me by putting something in my drink

    There was not even any wiff of trying to convert me when I went to the meetings. The Muslim students were freindly and just curious.

    I am not saying that there is never any problems in this area also I am not going to assume that many Hindus think the way that my freind thought, my experience is also anecdotal. We have to ask how much of this is just plain paranioa, we have to be careful not to demonise whole groups of people based on hearsay.

  7. daily — on 25th February, 2007 at 9:26 pm  

    Is Savita your real name or are you using a Hindu name to disguse this post?

    First of all these stories are true and not urban myths.
    Yes I agree Daily Mail did go over the top in how they reported it but we all know they are well documented for their hype, and shit stirring.

    As for your comments you just want to brush it under the carpet because ‘it didnt happen to me’. I didnt get bullied so I say bullying is myth! It doesnt exist.

    The proof you seek is with the BBC Asian Network.
    Sonia Deol did an interview on her discussion show some years ago discussing this very problem.
    This is not a problem that has been brought up out of the blues.
    It has been posted by girls on forums but everyone ignores them and fobbed them off as antiIslamic.

    Sonia interviewed listeners where some Muslims rang up and said on air that they would marry nonmuslim gilrs just for the sake of converting them to Islam. That was their sole intention. They openly said they were considered doing a great thing if they forced anyone into Islam.

    This proof is well documented that you need. So please turing a blind eye to it is doing no justice to the real problem however large or small.

    I suggest Sunny gets to the BBC archives and pull out these recordings and listen for himself and put them on here, proof that shows Muslims are willing to force girls just for sake of money and getting into heaven.

    So just because these girls don’t want to come out into the open for whatever their reason;
    is no reason to deny the problem.
    Why do bullied people bottle up?
    Why do beaten housewives don’t speak up? Whatever their reason lets get to the bottom of this and support each other as communities.

  8. Amrit — on 25th February, 2007 at 9:47 pm  

    I like how, in the nebulous vortex of confusion that always surrounds stories like this, the girls involved disappear themselves. I’d like to hear some of these women tell their experiences. Why were they picked on? Why did they not resist?

    I suspect it’s entirely as raz and Gibs have already said. However, in cases where women HAVE been vulnerable, the question should be asked: WHY were they vulnerable? I bet that’s one lots of members of Sikh / Hindu communities don’t want to answer, because it might involve things like:

    a) the parents favouring the ‘boys’, and making the girls feel like second-class citizens.
    b) the parents basically making it clear to the girls that any education etc. would only be a temporary distraction for your ‘real’ job, i.e. being a wife / mother.
    c) the parents trying to force their children to think ‘their’ way and subsequently driving them to rebel…

  9. Sunny — on 25th February, 2007 at 9:59 pm  

    Is Savita your real name or are you using a Hindu name to disguse this post?

    It’s her real name, stop whining.

    Sonia interviewed listeners where some Muslims rang up and said on air that they would marry nonmuslim gilrs just for the sake of converting them to Islam. That was their sole intention.

    There are plenty of idiots out there in the world, but you’re not reading what Savita is saying. Firstly she says Sikh/Hindu girls are not that stupid.

    You seem to believe that Hindu/Sikh girls are just going to marry some guy real quick for the sake of conversion. Are they that stupid? I don’t think so.

    Secondly, where is the evidence that HF is citing? Just some idiots ringing up Sonia Deol is not evidence my friend. We’ve all done more research on this than clearly you have, listening to BBC AN (I bet that’s you Sunray).

  10. Bert Preast — on 25th February, 2007 at 10:24 pm  

    “I remember when I was around 14, a letter was circulated by an organisation called Khilafat in our local area warning Hindu/Sikh parents to look after their daughters because they were the prey of Muslims. It caused a huge amount of panic and for months we were house-bound and banned from doing any after-school activities. But no one found out who produced it.”

    This happened in the UK?

  11. daily — on 25th February, 2007 at 10:24 pm  

    “Firstly she says Sikh/Hindu girls are not that stupid.”

    This comment suggest she is denying the forced conversion.
    Yes girls are not stupid that they will quickly convert.
    Thats why we have this problem.

    Do you not understand the reason then where the the word ‘force’ comes from.

    Its becuase these girls are not stupid and becuase they are strong but harrasement, , bribery, bullying, forced whatever word you like to use is happening.
    So stop your denial Sunny.

    “Secondly, where is the evidence that HF is citing?”
    The evidence comes from the Muslims themslves yet you still want to close your eye to it.
    Why do you suddenly think BBC AN interviews are worthless piece of shit?

    lol. you make me laugh. You seem to change your tune so often and only to suit your end.

    Exactly what research have you done?

  12. The Dude — on 25th February, 2007 at 10:37 pm  

    When are we going to learn that rumour (from whatever quarter) is NOT fact. Only large amounts of objectivity can lead to proof. Nothing I’ve seen or heard thus far adds up to a hill of beans as far as the intimidation of Sikh and Hindu girls by raving mad Muslims is concerned. Alas I can’t say the same thing regarding the stupidity of said girls. We all do stupid things, that is the nature of our humanity. I’ve come across a fair few university educated Hindu/Sikh (and Muslim) stupid girls in my short time on the planet earth and take it from me that the stupidity doesn’t stop there. Men are just as thick.

  13. raz — on 25th February, 2007 at 10:48 pm  

    To be honest, from my personal experience, religion is only a nominal factor in a lot of these relationships. When I was at university, there were quite a lot of relationships between Pakistanis and Indians. Now, generally, the Pakistanis were technically ‘Muslim’ and the Indians were technically ‘Hindu’ or ‘Sikh’. In reality, neither party were actually devoutly religious (because most religious Muslims/Hindus/Sikhs don’t engage in pre-marital relationships), the religion was more of a cultural identity rather than an ideological one.

  14. Sunny — on 25th February, 2007 at 11:00 pm  

    Do you not understand the reason then where the the word ‘force’ comes from.

    Daily: Cite one example where a Sikh / Hindu girl has been forced to convert out of her will and what happened as a result.

    Savita’s article still stands. All you’re doing is tying yourself up in knots without any evidence. Some idiots ringing up the Asian Network is not evidence, and neither have the Hindu Forum shown anything that approaches evidence of anyone forcibly converting girls and getting away with it.

  15. The Dude — on 25th February, 2007 at 11:03 pm  

    Raz

    Are you trying to say that Muslim,Hindu and Sikhs boys and girls engaged in sex, while away a university, far from the watchful eye of mummy and daddy? I am shocked! I suggest that you wash your mouth out with a block of soap. NOT!

  16. daily — on 25th February, 2007 at 11:47 pm  

    ‘Some idiots ringing up the Asian Network is not evidence’
    Some Binladen rings up aljazeera TV is not evidence then.
    Some Bush fellow rings up CNN is not evidence then.

    When Muslims says they are doing this openly on BBC you refuse to believe them.
    Like I said you use the evidence from BBC when it suits you –you’re making me laugh.

    And your research was……….Barfi.com I assume?

    Hindu Forums have got their hands tied till the victims themselves are ready to give evidence. Perhaps you might want to check how the Law of this land works.
    And the forced conversion around the world are just myths as well to you.

  17. Riz — on 26th February, 2007 at 12:10 am  

    …paid “up to £5,000 for each success”.

    Where do I sign up for the programme? Is it like Comic Relief…where I phone a number and get a free DVD and ‘how-to’ guide? If I convert one person a week for a year that’s a potential quarter of million pounds.

    As an incentive, I’ll split my hoard of cash 50/50 with the convertees (who can of course switch back when no one is looking).

    Come on, hook me up.

  18. daily — on 26th February, 2007 at 12:18 am  

    Those morons were after the virgins in heaven then the £5,000 reward. You better kill yourself to get that reward.

  19. Sunny — on 26th February, 2007 at 12:50 am  

    ‘Some idiots ringing up the Asian Network is not evidence’
    Some Binladen rings up aljazeera TV is not evidence then.
    Some Bush fellow rings up CNN is not evidence then.

    Are you seriously comparing them? Are you out of your mind?
    If the Hindu Forum is putting out these stories in the press, their evidence is some idiot who may have rang up the Asian Network a few years ago and bragged about converting some girl?

  20. douglas clark — on 26th February, 2007 at 3:23 am  

    Savita,

    Interesting article. Like Bert, I wanted to know more about this Khilafat group. The name seems to relate to a Muslim group that was interested mainly in re-establishing a Caliphate in what was then the Ottoman Empires’ remains and British India. It seems to have peaked between 1919 and 1924.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khilafat_Movement

    There are articles from the more recent past, for instance a site devoted to the subject:

    http://www.alislam.org/library/links/00000003.html

    Curiouser and curiouser. We have an allegedly Muslim group writing to warn Sikhs and Hundus about other Muslims? And in an area of religious policy that seems miles away from their main concerns. Could this be a false flag exercise to sow discontent?

  21. douglas clark — on 26th February, 2007 at 3:27 am  

    Errm, Hindus.

  22. daily — on 26th February, 2007 at 7:46 am  

    “If the Hindu Forum is putting out these stories in the press, their evidence is some idiot who may have rang up the Asian Network a few years ago and bragged about converting some girl?”

    hehehhe. still a joker.
    First of all why are you assuming Im posting on behalf of the Hindu Forum. Im not. But that’s what you to do best, twist stories. You really are getting very desperate arent you sunny.

    Secondly it was not one idiot. There were many of them.

    Next thing you’ll be asking some Bolly star to turn detective to sort British problems.
    Who knows it might happen.

    Muslims were saying the same thing before the July bombings. Infact some are still in denial after the bombings. They probably think its all stage managed by Hollywood director George Bush. None of it was real you see.

    Just because the police are still clueless about who the powers behind offering busty virgins in heaven to suicide bombers are; does not mean an organisation doesnt exist or the offer isnt there.
    The problem no matter how small or big is real and the faster you offer your support and protection to these victims on Pickled the better.

  23. daily — on 26th February, 2007 at 7:54 am  

    Victims not only have to fight the culprits but the very people who are supposed to help them. No wonder rape victims used to hide (and many in Asian community still do) as if they had done something wrong.

    You sound just like some people in our community. They would rather hang the vicitms then see the ‘good’ name of their community tainted. Well done for having a that totally backward Asian attitude.
    You mock the victims instead offering them solutions.

    You also try to make yourself out to be some do-gooder but all youve ever done on Pickled is abused the victims, year after year.

    Youve never once offered the victims a phone number, a private chat, a private hearing or help to anyone. Just like the rest of the media gang, you just bash away at anything that will give you name and fame.

    Grow up will you. Obviously money and fame is more important to you then giving victims somewhere to turn to?

  24. The Dude — on 26th February, 2007 at 9:48 am  

    Daily, you’re still not getting this.

    What I want is proof. Names, addresses, telephone numbers. I want documentary evidence, recordings, photographs, interviews with witnesses who’s evidence can then be verified and checked.

    Put it this way. Four years ago, Tony Blair took this country to war on the false premise that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. The evidence he used ws largely third hand, made up or ripped off the internet. All of it was later found out to be totally untrue. You are not Tony Blair.

  25. Leon — on 26th February, 2007 at 10:20 am  

    The last sentence is perhaps rather telling:

    “Sir Ian said: ‘There is a feeling in the Hindu community that we have not given them as much attention as other groups.’”

    New Generation Network take note…

    Clearly the cap in hand brigade and radical/conservative elements have a lot to gain from these scare stories. I wonder how many women are having their lives curtailed (further?) by their relations using these stories?

  26. savita — on 26th February, 2007 at 10:38 am  

    Daily – Yes my real name is Savita. And I just wanted to clarify that I am far from saying brush this issue under the carpet. What I’m requesting is rationale – this issue is highly emotive and it deserves to be looked at in terms of research/evidence. If it is happening on campuses than I’m strongly for doing something about it but in a responsible way.

    This shouldn’t be an agenda to jump on the Muslim bashing bandwagon but about harassment and freedom of choice in conversion and relationships. My concern is that the way in which the story was put out there was less of a concern for women and more about fighting for a spot under the camera.

    Douglas – I believe that the letter that was circulated, was never proved by the police to be genuine and I’m not sure whether it has the same historical links with the Khilafat group that you’ve mentioned. All I know is that there are some people hell bent on stirring up hatred using the fear of forced conversion…

  27. Sunny — on 26th February, 2007 at 11:58 am  

    Youve never once offered the victims a phone number, a private chat, a private hearing or help to anyone.

    Awwwww… you poor thing! Is that what you wanted all along? A private chat? You should have just asked!
    Daily (or should I say Sunray), you’re falling for exactly what Savita is talking about – painting Sikh/Hindu women as some brainless idiots who fall for anything, especially a man only interested in them to convert.

    Think this through for a second with your brain if it’s still working. A man firstly has to keep up a pretense of going out with them and caring for years before persuading to marry. Then he has to ‘persuade’ them to convert, if he wanted to, which is even more difficult.

    On top of that you keep talking about ‘forced’ as if he can somehow force a person to change their religion or that once she has ‘converted’ there is no going back. What’s he going to do, run off with her to Pakistan? How many cases of this can the Hindu Forum cite? I’d like to see.

    A broken relationship where a girl is Hindu/Sikh and the guy is Muslim doesn’t automatically mean there is a forced conversion attempt by some fictious group. I’m not blaming the victim, I want to see some evidence.

    We know this shit happened over 10 years ago, I was there at uni at the time when the fools from Hizub ut-Tahrir spread their propaganda. But right now they’re more worried about getting banned from the government or getting turfed out from uni then about Indian girls.

    Basially, it’s just an attempt by people like you to spread your prejudice. Anyone can see through it. Grow up.

  28. douglas clark — on 26th February, 2007 at 12:34 pm  

    Savita,

    Thanks for taking the time to provide the additional info. On the main thrust of your article I agree completely. It is patronising in the extreme to think that intelligent women are going to fall for an obvious scam such as this. Which suggests to me it is, as you hint, a disinformation campaign. Folk should always take a deep breath when something as self serving as this comes up. But they never do…

    And anyone, like your good self, who points out that it it is evidence free is basically accused of being a party pooper! What utter nonsense.

    Best wishes.

  29. Refresh — on 26th February, 2007 at 1:04 pm  

    Sunny, what’s going on?

    I’ve kept away for a while, come back and we end up with the same old stuff. Its playground stuff being with playground commenters.

    Surely the issue has nothing to do with being patronising to hindu/sikh girls – the issue is who is behind this trashy effort to demonise muslims further?

    Can we have some real journalism – some research into what is really going on?

    Who puts the stories out? Who runs them? And who benefits?

    Believe me its not the muslims.

  30. Refresh — on 26th February, 2007 at 1:05 pm  

    Its playground stuff being with playground commenters.

    Should have been

    Its playground stuff being played up by playground commenters.

  31. Kismet Hardy — on 26th February, 2007 at 1:27 pm  

    If someone offered me 5 grand to change religion I’d happily accept. From a non-believer in one religion to a non-believer in another. nice little earner.

    What you fail to get Daily is that you can’t force someone to change religion and for it to count for shit, unless you marry her. And to woo a uni girl into the marital bed, you’ve got to look a little less unappealing than your standard mullah

  32. Frank — on 26th February, 2007 at 4:29 pm  

    Didn’t this accusation cause violent confrontations in Slough?-or have I got the wrong place?

  33. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 26th February, 2007 at 5:58 pm  

    I’ve never seen a BNP member with bombs, but I’ve read it in the papers. I can only conclude that the papers are lying and they don’t exist?

    In fact I’ve ever even seen a BNP member, I don’t think that they exist.

    I’ve never been to the Middle East, I think that is made up to make us scared.

    How about you?

    TFI

  34. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 26th February, 2007 at 5:58 pm  

    I’ve never seen a BNP member with bombs, but I’ve read it in the papers. I can only conclude that the papers are lying and they don’t exist?

    In fact I’ve ever even seen a BNP member, I don’t think that they exist.

    I’ve never been to the Middle East, I think that is made up to make us scared.

    How about you?

    TFI

  35. The Dude — on 26th February, 2007 at 6:10 pm  

    Sunny

    You’ve gone too far this time. I’ll not have a bad word said about UK born and breed desi babes. If some Muslim love machine wants to kiss goodbye to an education, shag morning, noon and night for at least three years, marry then convert before being rewarded with £5000 and a truck load of virgins, I say good luck to the fella and that’s comin g from one dude to the next.

  36. Innit — on 26th February, 2007 at 6:11 pm  

    As Gibs has already mentioned, which by far I think is the most probable explanation- control.

    ‘Keep us united, and we shall be strong!’, (alright, that’s my quote, and I can say it in a mean jolly accent).

    I think, for the hardcore folk when you allow the dilution of communities, it indirectly will trouble their minds as it affects their own identities.

    Us humans are a funny lot, the need to have rigid identity and structure in a ‘foreign’ land is at its peak.

    And seriously, these 5 grand givers- how on Earth would they even finance that?
    c’mon, why has not anyone asked that?

  37. daily — on 26th February, 2007 at 9:08 pm  

    New Generations manifesto.
    “We, the signatories to this manifesto, today call for a new approach to tackle discrimination and prejudice and forge a fresh approach to building a modern Britain. We are optimistic that people of different backgrounds and faiths can live together in our society. Thus we want to ensure that the national conversation is not dominated by our fears or polarised voices. “

    Its amazing how fast manifestoes are flushed down the toilet.
    Victimising the victims is your idea of helping.

    “We need to foster a climate in which people can have private differences which include religion, language and culture, but also have a public space where such differences are bridged.”

    You are certainly doing that here aren’t you–NOT

    “To tackle extremism we must allow diverse voices to speak out.”
    Youre shutting them up.

    This agenda is so hollow. First time someone needs a help and you demonise them and make it virtually impossible for them to speak out.

    Im still waiting for this made up research.
    No don’t bother. You don’t have one and I don’t have time to waste.

  38. Sahil — on 26th February, 2007 at 9:17 pm  

    How old are you Daily? Are you angry that no one invited you to play, or did someone just drop you on your head when you were a baby? Or do you secretly fancy Sunny, but can’t reconcile your private thoughts in a public manner?

  39. ally — on 26th February, 2007 at 9:28 pm  

    daily… I’m neither Muslim nor Hindu and have no particular axe to grind either way here. But I would urge you to compare this story with the last one that Sunny linked to… the domestic violence story here:
    http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/s/236/236514_asian_bride_tells_of_her_life_in_fear_.html

    In that case you have a named journalist reporting a personal interview in some detail with a particular victim. That gives the story a degree of face validity.

    I think all Savita, Sunny or anyone else is asking here is for the same type of first-hand witness reports on this story. Just one, that is all that Sunny has asked for. I have to say, as a media type meself, I wouldn’t run this story or campaign on this cause without a case study or two.

    Not too much to ask is it? Someone from an interest group assuring me that they’ve heard about hundreds of examples just doesn’t cut it for me, sorry.

  40. DR1001 — on 26th February, 2007 at 9:49 pm  

    “you can’t force someone to change religion and for it to count for shit, unless you marry her”

    I’d like to add to this by saying that even if someone converted, if they don’t practice (even if they marry) it doesn’t count for much either.

    I also like the point made about the funding by paying 5 grand…yeah how do they manage that if this is so prevalent?

  41. Leon — on 26th February, 2007 at 10:40 pm  

    Christ, this threads turned into a bit of a shit magnet for idiots hasn’t it!?

  42. squared — on 27th February, 2007 at 12:14 am  

    Amen to the last two paragraphs.

    Brown men always seem to assume brown girls are naive and can’t spot a shitbag for a mile.

    Yes, people make mistakes in relationships. But trust me, it’d take a complete moron to not notice your boyfriend trying to change something as ingrained as your religion.

    Apparently, all of us brown women are that complete moron.

  43. Kulvinder — on 27th February, 2007 at 5:18 am  

    Mcsquizzle some of us brown men are pretty righton. Assuming this is nubbin, if it isn’t im terrible sorry for appearing to be a weirdo.

    :)

    C

  44. mirax — on 27th February, 2007 at 6:32 am  

    “This happened in the UK?”

    The more I read of PP, the more I begin to understand why you guys need a “progressive” site such as this. It’s like many of you just jumped off the boat from some village in the Punjab. And the Hindu Forum thugs’ proposal of a “security force” on campus. Priceless!

    Raz nailed it in his first post.

  45. daily — on 27th February, 2007 at 9:03 am  

    Savita
    Your headlines ‘Stop using woman for your own battles’ shows immediate hate for the Hindu organisations and the people loud and clear. The agenda is set for a cynical approach to the whole issue.
    Then you have the audacity to tell me “What I’m requesting is rationale – this issue is highly emotive and it deserves to be looked at in terms of research/evidence.”

    How can you look at this rationally when you have started with Hindus bashing headlines? You have made no rational observations either.
    I blame sunny for allowing such spiteful headlines.
    But then Im not surprised since Sunny has been bashing Hindus for NO GOOD reasons for many years. If you have GOOD reason then I’ll join you but blinding yourself to the fact that someone is called a ‘Hindu’ or ‘Muslim’ is not a good reason for your hate.

    We don’t know if this is true or false but savita why do you victimise the victims by calling them “empty-headed girls”. Further down you make them feel even more worse by saying “how patronising is this to Hindu and Sikh girls”. How would a victim reading that feel? If I was a victim Im not sure if Im more scared of the abusers or attention seeking media people like you.

    The rest of your article as much as it makes sense just isn’t worth the read since your biased attitude is clear which you finally show by calling those who offer help “Take your chauvinist ego battles somewhere else, we’ve got better things to fight for.”

    Id say the first post by Raz makes good article since he is offering both solution and looking at it rationally.

  46. daily — on 27th February, 2007 at 9:10 am  

    As for those still dancing the tunes of the pied piper sunny.
    All Im saying is don’t dismiss this story.
    Some of you are keeping an open mind which is good to know.

    But as group of do-gooders on this forum, what are you offering as solution and by way of help and advice to any potential victims?

    This mythical Next Generation group was supposed to help victims of such abuse.
    Victims of both sides I might add, Whether its girls getting it bad or Muslims being victimised with this story. We don’t have proof yet that either this happened or has not happened.
    But I have been saying this has happened on the grounds of some abusers openly claiming they are doing it.

    An organisation does not go to the police or the media just to make a false statement unless there is some truth behind it. At least the police are keeping and open mind and offering any help to the victims.
    If this proves false Im sure they will have good word with the organisations.

  47. sonia — on 27th February, 2007 at 10:28 am  

    44. mirax :-)

    i think raz does have a good point in as much as in my experience certainly, the islamic societies prefer to ‘target their own’..and girls who don’t look ‘islamic’ apparently come into the group of people they studiously ignore and pretend don’t exist. especially when one goes to their meetings and is seen to be ‘kicking up a fuss’. seem to be very focused on a certain type of people – probably the ones they think will ‘conform’.

  48. sonia — on 27th February, 2007 at 10:54 am  

    of course forcible conversions have happened and not in such pleasant ways that can be ‘covered up’ – there was plenty of evidence that girls were being raped in egypt and forcibly converted. but that only serves to make savita’s headlines even more valid. why the fuck are men -muslim or not – of any religion using women to fight their stupid battles? if they are so damn superior good for them – leave the rest of us out of it. one is always hearing how muslim men in certain places will try and stop women’s lib on the grounds they have been exposed to ‘pernicious western influence’ = what’s that if not having a battle with ‘the west’ and dragging women into it? Men being “protective” of women is pants and the same old rubbish excuse mullahs and their ilk have used for centuries to stop women from having fun and being independent. and not just mullahs, old patriarchal types. don’t care what religion they might try and use, or rubbish men are stronger than women arguments. they’re fighting with other men over a woman – whether it be due to their sense of #honour# or not i don’t care – it ain’t very different to the dueling in the old days. bring religion into it – even crappier, but not a good excuse. there would be a lot less danger for everyone if these sorts of stupid men didn’t fight with each other.

  49. Katherine — on 27th February, 2007 at 11:57 am  

    Hear hear Sonia.

    Daily, your ranting would be funny if I could work out what the hell you are trying to say/do. You are clearly doing exactly what the piece is accusing – using women to fight your own, different battle.

    My evidence? In all your posts, except to quote the title of the piece you have not used the words “woman” or “women” one single time.

  50. Yusuf Smith — on 27th February, 2007 at 12:33 pm  

    Having read the article, it’s interesting that it has no date on it, but “the voice, the eyes and the ears of Islam” clearly comes from al-Muhajiroun, which called itself “the voice, the eyes and the ears of the Muslims”. Either it was members of that group, or people inspired by them, or it was a malicious hoax intended to look like them.

    Funny how this sort of nonsense never appears in the literature of the actual fundamentalist groups like HT and even al-Muhajiroun.

  51. Sunny — on 27th February, 2007 at 3:26 pm  

    But then Im not surprised since Sunny has been bashing Hindus for NO GOOD reasons for many years

    I love it when people say stuff like that.

  52. William — on 27th February, 2007 at 3:34 pm  

    I keep an open mind that there may be a certain amount of something going on but all to often human beings can blow things out of all proportion which in itself fuels hostility. Also it would be better not to just dismiss peoples anecdotes simply out of hand which if they were true would leave people feeling that they are not going to be believed.

    Even if something was true it is still worth asking the question is the issue becoming a composite part of a battle of male insecurities.

    Further what exactly is going on if something is going on. Would it be low level manipulation which could be possible considering how some members of religions can act but this may not be just Muslims.
    If something is going on is it a small or very small quantity of situations. In connection with this here is another anecdote which pulls the issue away from just Muslims.

    A few years ago a female freind of mine who was Christian got into a relationship with a guy from a particular Christian group. I met the guy and he tried to convert me. I have discussed religions with all kinds of people from all kinds of religions and this was the only time I lost it with someone. He was scary. A couple of weeks later I met my freind and she told me that her partner and someone from the same Christian group had locked her in a house. The idea of locking her up was the following. She was Christian but not fully converted yet because she was still under the influence of satan. Locking her up was so they could get access to her to drum the truth into her. She told me that they were right to do this, and that she now realised that she was led astray by satan. She married the guy and last year I discovered she was still married to him.

    Such things happen but hopefully very rarely and if rare would it be just Muslims.

  53. savita — on 27th February, 2007 at 4:37 pm  

    Daily – Take a deep breath.

    Firstly, the tile ‘Stop using women for your own battles’ is not Hindu bashing in the slightest, it doesn’t even mention religion! And even if it did and what? Do you think a story that concerns faith and even ‘victims’ can’t be questionned?

    Secondly don’t even go there matey with how I have a lack of concern for the victims of conversion on campuses. I have said clearly enough that these voices should be heard. But I’m slightly sceptical (putting it mildly) how the Hindu A-Team can help. Why not work with Asian women organisations (who deal day-in-day out with abuse of this kind) why not look at it as a student saftey issue? Come on Daily…

  54. savita — on 27th February, 2007 at 4:45 pm  

    Just to add to the last point that faith groups can address this within a faith context but you could also look at it as an issue across faith-communities as conversion and the fine line between choice/force will be a key issue.

    For those who say conversion doesn’t exist in Hinduism/Sikhism, yes it may not formally but if women are policed from these backgrounds to make sure they only hang out with, dress and educate themselves exclusively about their “own” faiths than what is this?

  55. daily — on 28th February, 2007 at 8:16 am  

    “Firstly, the title ‘Stop using women for your own battles’ is not Hindu bashing in the slightest, it doesn’t even mention religion!”

    Oh. Im sorry. I must have read that all wrong. NOT

    “even ‘victims’ can’t be questionned?”
    Its not your job or mine to question the victims. The police will do that when they are ready. The victims have come for help so lets give them help instead interrogating them and making them feel like they are the guilty ones.
    I now understand why women who are raped are so afraid to speak out.
    You mentioned Sita, and look what happened to her! Its such an ordeal for women to prove they are innocent because society wont rest till they have been hounded and hanged. After 5,000 years we have learnt nothing.

    “Secondly don’t even go there matey with how I have a lack of concern for the victims of conversion on campuses.”
    I don’t want to post a tit for tat reply but lets say you didn’t show your concern at all in this piece.

    “But I’m slightly sceptical (putting it mildly) how the Hindu A-Team can help.”
    Can you name me any other organisation who stood up and took complaints from these students seriously? It seems teams like the Next Generation Network are more concerned about hanging these women then helping them.

    “Why not work with Asian women organisations (who deal day-in-day out with abuse of this kind) why not look at it as a student saftey issue?”
    Which Asian Women organisations? Where are they when the girls need their help?

    “you could also look at it as an issue across faith-communities as conversion and the fine line between choice/force will be a key issue.”

    The Hindu Forum have clearly stated they want to work with all religious groups. Did you even read/hear their side of the story?

    “if women are policed from these backgrounds to make sure they only hang out with, dress and educate themselves exclusively about their “own” faiths than what is this?”

    Youre learning well from Sunny. Twisting things that is. Policing is not about stopping them from what they enjoy or even who they go out with. It is about giving someone help and support when they need it.

    “We’re not Sitas in the jungles who need circles of fire drawn around us to protect our divinity because the evil Ravan is hunting us down to get back at Ram. Take your chauvinist ego battles somewhere else, we’ve got better things to fight for.”

    Firstly there is nothing wrong with men protecting women even in the 21st century.
    It is a very noble deed. Where then does this ‘chauvinist’ crap comes from?

    Savita if you are Hindu and you have a brother then I assume you may have tied a rakhi on his hands? In return the brother offers his protection. Are you going to call him a chauvinist? In fact the Hindu Sister equally offers her protection to her brother in return during Bhaibeej (after Diwali).

    Secondly again- if you read or heard from the Hindu groups the protection offered to women was by women also. The ladies from the National Hindu Students have offered help to these girls. So where does this male dominated chauvinist come from?
    You see why I am annoyed at this article and the way you have gone about it.

    Anyway enough said.

  56. P — on 28th February, 2007 at 12:23 pm  

    I’d like to offer a different angle on this urban myth/truth whatever you want to call it!
    Perhaps Muslims do get unfair coverage and are demonised.
    Love marriages between Hindus/Sikhs and Muslims should be accepted so long as both parties especially the girls consent and know what they’re doing.
    Girls need to be aware of the sacrifice they’re making; giving up their culture, families etc and converting to a new religion, different to how they’ve been brought up.
    I’m not saying women are not intelligent or strong enough to know their own minds but people get carried away when it comes to love and then the reality turns out to be something completely different.
    What I’d like to ask Muslim brothers/partners etc, is would they consider converting to Hinduism or Sikhism to appease the girls’ families?
    Therein lies the problem with this situation because I have a feeling all would say: “No way.”
    However having said all that, I have to say these stories of Islamic fundamentalists converting Hindu/Sikh girls was doing the rounds when I was at university almost 10 years ago!
    go figure.

  57. Kulvinder — on 28th February, 2007 at 12:35 pm  

    Daily, one day, one glorious day, you’ll make a coherent argument.

  58. Edward the Bonobo — on 28th February, 2007 at 12:55 pm  

    There’s a disturbing trend in white racism. Those who would have been easily identifiable as out-and-out racists in the past are now at liberty to say: “I don’t mind Sikhs and Hindus…it’s the Muslims I have a problem with. And, of course, that’s not racist – its fair comment on religious ideas.

    One obviously suspects they are being disingenuous. They just happen to have singled out the largest minority group in the country, but they’re borrowing a secular, liberal, and not-necessarily-racist arguments.

    In this context, one wonders what the origins of this hate propaganda are. Is it put about by Sikh or Hindu militants? Or are Sikhs and Hindus perhaps the victims of white racist propaganda? It would certainly be a win-win situation: Muslims demonised; Sikhs and Hindus terrified; disunity amongst British Asians.

    As a bit of an outsider, can anyone fill me in on the state of play of joint Hindu/Sikh/Muslim opposition to racism? Has Islamophobia maybe taken any of the heat off other communities?

  59. P — on 28th February, 2007 at 1:17 pm  

    Edward when it comes to white racism, Hindus/Sikhs/Muslims are and always will be strongly and jointly opposed to that. Its contradictory, on one hand muslims and sikh/hindus fighting but when it comes to racism I know with certainty these differences are put aside and its then lets fight racism to the hilt. Make no mistake about that.
    White racism or any racism of any kind is unacceptable.
    This debate between Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims has been going on for hundreds of years and is based on years of history between communities, fighting between India and Pakistan and in India itself.
    When it comes to anyone manipulating this debate to bring racism into the mix they’re on a road to nowhere.
    I think most Hindus and Sikhs are intelligent enough to know when any person says “I don’t mind Sikhs and Hindus, its the Muslims I have a problem with.” that that person’s bigoted and racist.
    Any person making that statement has a problem with colour, with Asian people full stop.
    But I do think Edward’s comment is useful because it makes us realise certain sections of society in Britain would manipulate this situation to suit their own ends.

  60. Sunny — on 28th February, 2007 at 1:35 pm  

    would manipulate this situation to suit their own ends.

    Well there’s enough fascists within the Asian communities, of all religions, totry and manipulate people too. Just look at how much froth daily is generating on this topic. Comical.

  61. bananabrain — on 28th February, 2007 at 3:15 pm  

    There’s a disturbing trend in white racism. Those who would have been easily identifiable as out-and-out racists in the past are now at liberty to say: “I don’t mind Sikhs and Hindus…it’s the Muslims I have a problem with. And, of course, that’s not racist – its fair comment on religious ideas.

    edward,

    what you’ve just outlined is precisely the equivalent of much of the current distinction between anti-zionism (ie legitimate political discussion, fair comment) and anti-semitism (tush and fie, disgusting isn’t it). suffice it to say we still know who really appears to be meant and it has far more to do with the speaker than the addressee.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  62. Refresh — on 1st March, 2007 at 9:38 am  

    Sonia

    “of course forcible conversions have happened and not in such pleasant ways that can be ‘covered up’ – there was plenty of evidence that girls were being raped in egypt and forcibly converted.”

    And the evidence is?

    Sex out of wedlock is a sin, but rape isn’t?

    This is getting really stupid.

  63. Arif — on 1st March, 2007 at 12:55 pm  

    Bananabrain #61. Your observation is very useful for me. Considering the analogy has changed my perception and I feel I understand much better your (and Charwoman’s and Katy’s) attitude towards IJV.

    If an IMV was set up by Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Zalmay Khalilzad, I would feel very different to one set up by Tariq Ramadan and Yasmin Alibhai Brown, even though the principles professed might be identical. I would not believe their interpretation of those principles would have anything in common with mine.

    Anyway, back to the original story, I was thinking what the reaction would be if there as a letter telling families to defend their Sikh and Hindu menfolk from being preyed upon by Muslimah seductresses. I’d assume it would be laughed away in a swift swaggering backlash along the lines of “we don’t need defending from their loose women”. I don’t know what other people think, but this does seem a patronising letter to me from that perspective.

    But another element is that women can be more vulnerable in relationships if the surrounding culture supports men setting the rules for women in a relationship, while making it ridiculous for women to do so for men. In that context, the letter and the reaction to it is more understandable. It is okay for our men to set the rules for women, because they will be our rules. Other men will set different rules and so we must protect women from those alien rules.

    It is the underlying assumption of what a relationship between women and men consists of that needs to be challenged before the letter can be seen as the patronising trash it would so clearly be in less patriarchal cultures.

  64. Jagdeep — on 1st March, 2007 at 1:21 pm  

    This is an urban myth. The idea that Sikh or Hindu girls are so stupid that they are going to be converted to Islam forcibly by salivating uglies on campus is risible.

    Sikhs especially have auto-immunisation to this kind of rhetoric because of our history — a history that was marked, sadly, by abductions, violence and forcible conversion to Islam of both women and men (including jihads launched against Sikhs and the martyrdom of Sikh children and abduction of Hindu and Sikh women from Punjab to Afghanistan throughout history)

    As such, it is easy to transpose those historical themes to contemporary British society when extremists lock horns and people have to deal with modern faultlines and tensions that exist amongst Asians in Britain. It becomes a default paradigm for how we view each other. I would not be surprised if a Sikh or Hindu girl converted to an extremist form of Islam at some campus in the past, much the same as socially marginalized or mentally deficient people are attracted to extremist Islam of all creeds (black, white, Jewish) and as part of their process of proving the purity of their new faith denigrate their former life. This is characteristic of conversion to extremist Islam – the Jew becomes an anti-semite, the Christian curses Christ, the Afro-Carribean detests the culture he was born into. The campus uglies would have jumped on this as part of their ‘dawah’ and through Chinese whispers it got transformed into brigands and descendants of Ghaznavi pillaging the campus for kaafir girls. For organized Hindu or Sikh identity politicians, the historical resonances were manna from heaven. It has its roots in the demented nature of extremist Islamic politics on University campuses in the 1990’s; something that people were in denial about until recently.

  65. Edward the Bonobo — on 1st March, 2007 at 4:28 pm  

    Doesn’t the whole story set the needle on the bullshit detector twitching?

    I’m not sure what we’re meant to understand by ‘forced conversion’. When someone is forced to do something – eg to hand over money; to take their clothes of – it is pretty clear from the outcome that some coercion has taken place.

    So what does the outcome of a forced conversion look like? Are young women reporting “Oh no! I’ve been turned into a muslim!” And during the conversion itself, how do they convince their aggressors that they’re not simply pretending?

    Poke at most urban myths and they begin to look a bit…unlikely. Apply those critical faculties, guys! As they say on Children’s cable TV, “Get media smart!”

  66. Salauddeen — on 5th March, 2007 at 6:33 pm  

    An excerpt from an account of attempted conversion: SUFFERING IN SILENCE

    A few months passed on, and one day, Wasif hit me with a new and even more shocking bombshell. He told me I had to convert to his religion. I was about to die of shock. Convert??? Why??? I would never do this. He brought me some religious books, with titles like “How to be a true Muslim” and so on, and said “You best start reading them.” I refused to take them and told him to leave me alone and that being friends with him was the biggest mistake I had ever made. He became really aggressive and forceful. I was very scared and wondered how long this would go on and what I had done to deserve this. I thought to myself “How can this guy who seemed so down to earth and normal have turned out to be a religious fanatic and a psycho?”

    Soon after, he threatened that he would go to my family and show them pictures of him and me together – sexually. I thought to myself “How can he do this, we haven’t been together in any other way apart from at Uni”. But something came to mind. He was very talented with graphics, including manipulating photographs. I had seen some really good pictures of him with celebrities, that all looked so real, even though they weren’t. I couldn’t put it past him that he could use the same techniques to make pictures of him and me. Now I was totally scared. What if he carried out his threat? What would my family think of me? What would everybody thing of me? Surely they would think it was somehow my fault.

    Wasif then started asking me to pay him off. “Oh my God – pay him off?” All I did was tell him I didn’t want a relationship, are you meant to pay guys off who you don’t want to be with? How was I supposed to pay him off? I had a student loan myself and was frequently in overdraft. Surely if I was rich I wouldn’t have had to have a student loan or be in overdraft.

    Finally I ended up telling my sister, after nearly two years of going through hell. She told my parents. I was in tears while she was telling them. “I’ve really let them down”, I thought to myself.

  67. marmalade — on 16th March, 2007 at 2:10 pm  

    Boy meets girl, boy likes girl, girl no like boy, boy gets p***** off, boy (legally) promotes his religion, girl refuses to convert, boy threatens girl, girl becomes terrified of boy’s Photoshop skills.

    Girl should have told boy to f*** off and go play with his Adobe. Better, girl should have reported boy to uni authorities and got him disciplined or expelled for sexual harassment (which is the only issue here – all unis deal with it).

    Even better, the boy should be personally arrested by Sir Ian Blair, publicly named and shamed, taken to the forecourt of the University of Oxford Street, pelted ruthlessly with rotting vegetarian Hindu fare, have old dal from Hare Krisha soup kitchens poured over his genitals, and then bundled off to Guantanamo, via a torture stopover in Egypt (Uzbekistan, if the weather is nicer.)

    This is about RSS Hindutva men and women wanting to control Hindu women, their choices and their exposure to different ideas (at uni!) NHSF has been running the same campaigns since the 1990s when I was at uni(always and forever with UJS). I bet NHSF of HFB is even now trying to find a credible victim or plumped up stats of forced conversions – watch this space.

    This is what leads to the kind of vicious communal violence that happened in Slough and other parts of west London and Birmingham – take blokes from two religions or ethnic groups, add woman from one of the groups, add a sexual rumour (especially one that draws attention to the shrivelling willy size or floppiness of men from one of the groups), grab a comfy chair, a pint of Worthingtons, sit back and watch (rewind, play, rewind play, rewind, play…) Well done, Sir Ian.

  68. jp — on 19th March, 2007 at 7:36 am  

    The media has a part to play in this, grossly exaggerating the importance of this issue in the conference.

    Take this summary for example. The emphases are very different.

    It’s easy to criticise from a distance, but considering these issues in light of media reports alone is unlikely to give a fair view.

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