Wednesday 7th of March 2007
Panthic Weekly News Bureau
London, UK - The Metropolitan Police have now recognised the systematic and planned racially motivated hate crimes against Sikh and Hindu college and university students by extremist Muslims who groom, blackmail and force hundreds of vulnerable teenage girls to convert to Islam. The hate crimes against Sikhs and Hindus is historically linked. Extremist Muslims justify their disturbingly predatory behaviour with the Quran saying: "No compulsion is prescribed in religion" (Quran: II, 256-257). Sikh history bears witness of extremist Muslims forcefully taking women, aggressive conversions and penalties of death and barbaric tortures against those who resisted the aggressive religious zeal of Islam.
Sir Ian Blair, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, announced that the police are working with universities to clamp down on the practice of 'Aggressive Conversion' that has seen girls beaten up and forced to abandon university courses. The most at risk are vulnerable Sikh or Hindu girls who are subjected to intimidation, threats of being dishonoured and beatings by Muslim men who take them out for dates and bombard them with flattery before beginning a crusade of 'terrorism' until they convert to Islam.
Many befriend their victims then threaten to tell their families that they are in a sexual relationship with a Muslim. Some teenagers are drugged, sometimes by Muslim female accomplices and then photographed by abuser(s) in compromising positions, which leads to campaign of blackmail and further sexual and emotional abuse through mental manipulation. Muslims have advertised to pay £5,000 for every person converted to Islam in parts of the country.
Last November, Bill Rammell, Higher Education minister, claimed university campuses had become focal points for Islamic extremism. Police are aware of the problem. Sir Ian Blair recently attended a Hindu conference where the issue was raised. But police are powerless to act unless incidents are reported. This rarely happens because the stigma of a child converting to Islam often silences Sikh and Hindu parents. Community elders say that the practice is widespread but their estimates vary from 100 annual incidents nationwide to 120 in the past few months in the South East alone.
Ranjeet Singh, of the British Organisation of Sikh Students, said: "There are cases of aggressive techniques, of drugging and of rape, of the man taking photos and blackmailing the girls into converting. They know that by dishonouring the girls, they will make their families disown them. In the past few months there have been about 120 cases in Luton and the South East. It's a problem that has been going on for a while, but a lot of people are reluctant to come forward and there's not much being done." He added, "Some girls are very innocent and vulnerable when they go to university. Then these men befriend them. We know of some whose lives have been ruined."
One member of the Sikh community who has been actively involved in dealing with hundreds of cases of hate crimes targeting Sikhs, in particular young girls, by Muslim men said: "This is very much taboo. These issues have been going on for many years and come to the boil at university. I deal with many very serious cases. There are horrific examples of abuse and blackmail, with men saying they're going to tell the girl's parents. Then they're pretty much trapped. We call it "groomed conversions". Some of the girls go through with it because they feel they have no choice." He added, "The men start a relationship with them, with the agenda of conversion down the line. Sometimes they take a picture of her in a compromising position. It's so easy with camera phones. An 18-year-old girl ends up in a situation that she can't control." He said that the extremists were exploiting the Sikh community's tendency to treat conversion as a grave dishonour, adding: "That's a cultural mindset we need to tackle. It's the worst thing you could face - worse than bankruptcy or losing your job."
For over a decade the Sikh community has been this serious issue and the safety of young girls and students with the Metropolitan Police. However, little was done to reassure the Sikh community that they were safe from hate crimes by extremist Muslims in colleges, universities and cities where there is a large Muslim presence. A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman confirmed that officers had attended a Hindu security conference last month and that they are aware of the concerning issue, however require further research of specific incidents reported to the police. She said, "We would encourage anyone who has been targeted in this way to seek help." However, shame, intimidation and fear of violence by the abusers prevents many young and vulnerable victims from coming forward to their families or the police.