A local communist named Prabhath from a Hindu communist family in Kannur recently married Sahala, a Muslim girl, under the Special Marriage Act (SMA) that doesn’t require either spouse to convert if they belong to different religions. The same Muslim political parties and religious bodies which deny the existence of grooming jihad, are up in arms this time around and accused that “Islam is under threat from atheists and irreligious groups”.
Congress-ally Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), the self-ordained protectors of Islam in Kerala, are using this genuine interfaith marriage as as their propaganda tool and called the incident a “threat for the Muslim community”. IUML’s ex-MLA KM Shaji referred to the marriage while speaking at the Waqf ‘protection’ rally that Islamists had organized at Kozhikode in December last year.
Shaji is now the treasurer of the Muslim League parliamentary party and was disqualified as an MLA by the High Court of Kerala in November 2018 after evidence emerged where he was seen communalizing the 2016 assembly election. Though he later got a stay order from the Supreme Court, he lost to a CPM candidate in 2021. He is now embroiled in corruption charges and the Enforcement Directorate is probing his accounts. His party now says that such marriages are part of a “communist conspiracy to destroy Islam”.
Another IUML leader, Abdurahiman Kallayi, speaking at the same Waqf protection rally, had taken a dig at CM Pinarayi Vijayan’s son-in-law and PWD minister P A Muhammad Riyas, without naming him, by saying that the former Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) leader was a newly-wed man now. He went on to add, “Who is his wife. Is this marriage? it is prostitution. One should have the courage to say that,” he said referring to the marriage of Riyas and Veena (Vijayan’s daughter). A video from the rally also showed some IUML cadres raising casteist slogans against CM Vijayan.
Recently, PM Salam, the IUML state general secretary called the marriage between Sahala and Prabhath an example of how a Muslim ‘loses her faith in Islam’ when she enters the ‘communist fold’. Salam accused Sahala of exiting not just from the IUML but also from Islam and warned his followers that such ‘situations’ should not happen in their families. He was whipping up communal passions while speaking at Kasaragod where radical Islam has become deep-rooted.
Another Islamic cleric and IUML leader Bahauddeen Muhammed Nadwi said that communists are trying to create an irreligious society by promoting ‘live-in relationships and interfaith marriages.’ Reacting to Sahala’s marriage, Nadwi said that the communists have a history of spreading atheism, wherever they have ruled. Nadwi has international connections and has radicalized not just the madrassa education system but also the state board syllabus and higher studies in Kerala. Incidentally, he is the director of Council for Islamic Propagation.
Knowing very well that Islamists form an important vote bank, CPM Kannur district secretary MV Jayarajan tried to placate them by saying that the marriage is a personal matter between the two individuals and that his party had nothing to do with it.
IUML’s Islamist misogyny is well known. The party had recently punished its women student’s wing state committee by disbanding them for raising a complaint against male student leaders who called them “infertile feminists” and compared them to prostitutes.
IUML is the successor of Jinnah’s Muslim League, but its influence today is limited to Kerala. It masks its Islamist ideology under the label of ‘secularism’ and is a part of the Congress-led UDF alliance in Kerala. But it has had dalliances with the Communists as well. As part of the ‘secular toolkit’, IUML brands Hindus as ‘communal’ for protesting brainwashing, grooming, conversion, and ‘marriage’ of 18-19 year-old Hindu girls under Sharia law.
Sahala has came out with a video on social media where she condemned the IUML leaders. She said that she had married Prabhathunder the Special Marriage Act after a one-month prior notice. Interestingly, she added that IUML cadre had seized her parent’s mobile phone and she is unable to even contact them. “The controversy was raked up by local IUML workers”, said Sahala.
If true, these are serious allegations but as usual, political bosses have made sure that the Kerala police remained quiet.