Shehla Rashid – in support of Interfaith Marriages

Dr. Mike Ghouse   March 3, 2018   Comments Off on Shehla Rashid – in support of Interfaith Marriages

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.

Dr. Mike Ghouse
Center for Pluralism | World Muslim Congress
Washington, DC

Shehla Rashid, former JNUSU vice-president.(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/ Shehla Rashid)

Shehla Rashid Speaks Up for Interfaith Love, Receives Rape Threats


Former JNUSU vice-president Shehla Rashid had to deactivate her Facebook profile after receiving multiple rape threats and hate messages for speaking up in support of interfaith marriages and the right of Muslim women to choose their partners.

Referring to the recent murder of Ankit Saxena in the national capital by his Muslim girlfriend’s family, student activist Shehla Rashid Shora published a Facebook post asking if the Muslim community would allow their daughters or sisters to marry a non-Muslim man of her choice.

Demanding an answer from her own community, she said if Muslim girls are not allowed to marry a non-Muslim of her choice, then they “lose the moral authority to fight the ruckus created by RSS” over the so-called “love-jihad”.

Drawing a comparison with the Hadiya case, she said, while the outrage over the denial to let an adult Muslim woman choose her life partner was justified, the same right should be given to all Muslim girls, irrespective of who they love.

Also Read: Ankit Saxena’s Awaara Boys: Don’t Spread Hate In Our Friend’s Name

When we insist that Hadiya be treated as an adult, as an individual who has Constitutional rights, let’s please uphold the same standard for all adult Muslim women – regardless of who they love

Shehla in her Facebook post.

She further went on to say that it is the Constitution, and not Islamic/Hindu law, that gives both Hadiya and all other Muslim women to choose their partner.

Special Marriage Act allows interfaith couples to register a marriage without conversion, she said adding that while Muslims as a community insist on Constitutional rights, they should also respect the rights given by the Constitution to an individual.

Slamming the so-called “love-jihad” brigade, Shehla said, “If we do not make room for love, we deserve to be ruled by hatred.”

Soon after her post on Facebook, rape threats, hate messages and regressive trolls were hurled at Rashid, alleging her of trying to spew hatred among people.

Kavita Krishnan Writes in solidarity with Shehla

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.
Solidarity Shehla.

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