It is disappointing to see the ‘a few’ among Hindus and Muslims are misled about their own religions. Neither of the religions is for violence and both the faiths believe in Vasudhaiva Kutumbukum as a part of Hindu belief, and the Muslim belief is no different, they believe and the entire world is from one couple – we are all one large family with our differences. None of us are alike, each one of us is endowed with our own thumbprint, eye print, taste buds, religion bud, cloth bud and of course, DNA.
What is needed is education. There is no compulsion in religion says Islam, free will is the way forward. No one is responsible for other’s act; we pay for our karma either afterlife (Islam, Christianity) or thru reincarnation (Hinduism and Buddhism). I hope we live our lives and let others live theirs. I hope to respond to this particular incident through an article in support of interfaith marriage and in support of Shehla Rasheed.
Those of you who are Muslims, an article "Can a Muslim woman marry a non-Muslim man" will be out in a few days explaining the freedom God has offered to women. If your promise to think and not react, I will email you the link. MikeGhouse@aol.com
Center for Pluralism | World Muslim Congress
Shehla Rashid has deactivated her Facebook account - NOT HER PAGE WHICH IS STILL ACTIVE - and the reasons are distressing and angering.
She wrote a post appealing to fellow Muslims to recognize that Muslim opposition to inter faith relationships by their daughters - as witnessed in the Ankit Saxena case - weakened the moral ground for opposition to the Sangh hate campaign against inter faith relationships that they brand 'love jehad'. She was visited with hateful rape threats by some Muslim men who misrepresented and distorted what she was saying. They claim she is 'egging on Muslim women to marry Hindu men'. This is plain silly - as a feminist Shehla would never presume to tell Muslim women or any women whom they should love and marry! The whole point is that we must respect the right of women and men and persons - of any community - to choose their faith, their ideas, their relationships and partners and stop treating women as the property of communities.
What's also alarming is the attempt by the opportunist and right wing Sanghis to try and use this episode to rationalize and legitimize their own Islamophobic campaign to brand the Muslim community as uniquely 'backward and patriarchal'. That's bullshit. Every community has its fundamentalists. In India, what makes the khap /Sangh /anti Dalit brand of patriarchy more dangerous is that it has state backing - courts and police support Hindu upper caste patriarchy and cooperate with it, this isn't the case with Muslims and Dalits.