Thursday, March 08, 2007

Forced Conversions in Britain?

Over the last couple of weeks there have been reports that Muslim radicals in universities are using aggressive techniques to "force" Hindu and Sikh girls to convert to Islam. The Hindu Forum of Britain has made the Met aware of the problem. The police insist that they have not received any details or allegations of specific cases.

The Muslim Council of Britain has today called for any evidence to be submitted to the police. There is no outright rebuttal of the allegations but the statement makes clear that the MCB is saying "put up or shut up". However, Ramesh Kallidai, secretary-general of the Hindu Forum of Britain, has said that those affected will not go to the police because of shame and fear.

While the MCB's anxiety is understandable, they are not helping by putting pressure on victims (if they exist) especially when they ask that the evidence be publicised as well as just given to the police.

An interesting point is the wording of this paragraph:

If these reports prove to be true the MCB would unreservedly condemn the practice of forced conversion as it goes against a fundamental tenet of our religion - there is no compulsion in matters of faith.
Why will the MCB only condemn the practice if the allegations are true? Surely, they should be condemning the practice anyway. A cynic might suggest that the MCB doesn't really find forced conversions condemnable but will have to condemn it if it is proven that the practice happens in Britain.

The MCB finishes off with the tried and tested "victimhood" claim:
In the absence of any hard evidence of forced conversions though, many British Muslims will suspect that this is an underhand attempt to smear them.
Finally, readers should note that last September a man was sent to prison for very similar things to what are now being claimed. He sent abusive text messages to a student and tricked her into sleeping with him. He threatened to kidnap her and force her to convert to Islam.

This may have been an isolated incident, and there may never have been intent to actually force a conversion. Nevertheless, it is a real case in which the tactics that the Hindu and Sikh community are complaining about were employed.

UPDATE: Forced conversion to Islam has definitely taken place in Britain. Last September we also mentioned a gang called "The Muslim Boys" who carried out forced conversions. (Jihad Watch has a similar report from last January)