Sajjad Nomani: The man behind the bogus claim of ‘Bhagwa love trap’

Sajjad Nomani: The man behind the bogus claim of 'Bhagwa love trap'


In recent times, a new menace of Islamist mobs attacking Hindu-Muslim couples has come to light. Multiple videos have surfaced on social media where these extremists are seen harassing, abusing, molesting and physically assaulting Hindu men and Muslim women under the garb of combating ‘Bhagwa Love Trap.’

It is based on a baseless theory about Hindu outfits, supposedly training Hindu youth to lure, and entrap Muslim women and turn them into non-Muslims. While Islamists are not new to making outrageous claims without evidence, a member of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has been at the helm of this dangerous affair.

Sajjad Nomani, a prominent Islamic scholar and cleric, has been at the forefront of the misleading campaign. His speeches and provocative remarks have added enough fuel to the fire of Islamism so much so that they have now translated into real-life incidents of attacks.

Speeches that amplified the ‘Bhagwa love trap’ allegation

In one of his videos, he was heard saying, “8 lakh Muslim women have turned infidel and left Islam after meeting their Hindu partners. RSS has created a team of Hindu youths who are trained in Islamic teachings and Urdu…They are then instructed to lure Muslim women into a love trap.”

Sajjad Nomani claimed that such Hindu men are then rewarded with ₹2.5 lakhs, a house and a job, which is supposedly serving as an ‘incentive’ for the Hindu community at a time of high unemployment.

“Several Hindu youths are fixated on this mission but we are sleeping…Billions of funds have been allocated to take away our Faith,” he alleged. The AIMPLB member urged his fanatic followers to ‘wake up from their deep slumber and take action’.

Sajjad Nomani then used his conspiracy theory to discourage girl child education. “We send our daughters to schools and colleges but we do not know if they are learning science and maths or vulgarity and apostasy there,” he further claimed.

The Islamic cleric called upon the parents and brothers of Muslim girls to ‘follow them’ and see when they take out their burqa and put it inside their purses. “Our Faith is being robbed…How will we show our face to the Prophet on the day of Judgment?” he continued to peddle hysteria.

After fear-mongering about the ‘Bhagwa love trap’, he said, “My job was to make you aware. I did my part and now leave the fate of your children in the hands of Allah.”

In one video, Sajjad Nomani was seen discussing the marriages between Hindu-Muslim couples, without conversion, under the Special Marriage Act.

“The court displays the name of the couple on the board and gives a month for anyone to raise objections…After compiling the cases, I found that more than 8 lakh Muslim women have turned into infidels and left Islam with their Hindu partners,” he brazened it out.

“Only Allah knows when we will wake up from our slumber…Only He knows when we will stop imagining ourselves as the governor (wali) of Islam by reading Namaz on Fridays…” the cleric made his appeal.

While quoting the Quran, he said, “Subah ko aadmi Momin hoga aur shaam tak Kafir ban jayega…Shaam ko Momin hoga aur subah tak kafir ho jayega (He will be a practising Muslim until evening and then turn apostate by night or be a Muslim from evening to night and then Kafir by morning).”

Sajjad Nomani claimed that Muslims might also sell their Faith in exchange for quick money. “I do not know why are we so unaware… Is this a curse from Allah on us? Many of us send our daughters to schools, universities and colleges… And we do not take note of what they are learning there.”

“As per my estimates, at least 5000 girls have run away with Hindus, married them and changed their religion to Hinduism. And these are the children of those people, who are considered ‘religious’ in their neighbourhoods,” he was heard claiming in another video.

“You have not indoctrinated them enough or taught them about Faith…You have instead sent them to schools and colleges, gave them mobile phones and allowed them to make friends,” he lamented.

Sajjad Nomani remarked, “On the other hand, there is a concerted effort to entrap as many Muslim girls as possible, destroy their Faith, have ‘fun’ with them and then discard them. This is their plan to destroy the lives of such girls.”

He claimed. “These girls are dumb…Their parents are ignorant and did not bother to inform them about such a conspiracy… I have been told that the organisation (hinting at the RSS) trains Hindu men for 2 months to be able to entrap such girls.”

“And by talking ‘smooth’, they can lure these girls into their trap. We are not doing anything about it…It is disheartening to see that you are not bothered that a daughter of this community ran away with a kafir (a derogatory term used for non-Muslims),” he continued with his provocation.

The cleric claimed, “You are going about your normal lives…And our Faith is being systematically destroyed. This is our last chance.” He lamented that Muslims in India today are somehow not concerned about ‘Ummah’ and are busy with their everyday lives.

Opindia found several videos wherein Sajjad Nomani was heard reiterating the conspiracy theory of Hindu men supposedly entrapping Muslim women and converting them to Hinduism.

Screengrab of Youtube videos where Sajjad Nomani is heard peddling the Bhagwa love trap theory

In another video, Sajjad Nomani was heard saying, “Some people are challenging us, saying they want to take our girls and make them daughters-in-law or turn them into infidels.”

He claimed that Muslim girls are somehow giving up on purdah and modesty, which he later uses to urge parents not to send their daughters to schools and colleges. “Teach women at home…Don’t send them anywhere and find a female teacher…” he added.

The cleric then went on to show his fundamentalist mindset when he said, “I swear on Allah that it is better to keep your daughters uneducated and illiterate instead of sending them to such colleges.”

Social media conspiracy theory translates to real-life attacks

Although he did not coin the term ‘Bhagwa love trap’, Sajjad Nomani was one of the prominent Islamic clerics who ‘mainstreamed’ the bogus claim of Hindu men deliberately entrapping Muslim women to take them away from ‘Deen.’

It also served as a useful tactic for the Islamists to counter 100s of documented cases of impersonation, identity fraud, and forced conversions to Islam (popularly known as Love Jihad).

The conspiracy theory soon took the form of a social media hashtag, which Islamists used to share videos of random hijab-wearing Muslim women and their male Hindu friends/ acquaintances and partners without their consent.

The posts are often accompanied by emotional messages and sought public help in identifying the couples.

Soon after, social media was rife with videos of Islamist mobs ambushing random Hindu-Muslim couples. This would then be followed by heated arguments, physical assault on the Hindu men, and even molestation of the Muslim women.

Multiple videos have now come to light where rabid Islamist mobs are seen openly harassing, abusing, and manhandling inter-faith couples. These videos have been reported from different cities/States of India.

The victims have been targeted on roads, restaurants, eateries, and even hotels. Based on local reports and social media videos, OpIndia has compiled a total of 30 cases where Hindu men and Muslim women were attacked by extremists under the pretext of the ‘Bhagwa love trap.’

The attacks were carried out under the pretext that a sinister plot was underway to convert Muslim women to Hinduism by luring them into a love trap – a conspiracy theory espoused by Sajjad Nomani in multiple videos.

Sending daughters to schools alone is Haram: Sajjad Nomani

In one of his videos, the member of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board announced that sending girls to schools and colleges alone is forbidden (Haram) in Islam.

Sajjad Nomani also declared that those parents who send their daughters to educational institutes alone will be condemned to Hell (Jahannum). He added that Muslim girls should not be left unaccompanied, even if they wear a hijab.

He said that it does not matter even if the daughter is wearing a hijab and going to college, she is not to be left unaccompanied. While encouraging a new form of vigilantism, the cleric said, “If you are a father, a Muslim or a good person, it is Haram to be careless about your daughter.”

The speech by Sajjad Nomani can be seen as an extension of his conspiracy theory about Hindu men entrapping Muslim women. Other than provocating his community to ‘do something’ against such men, he was seen advocating keeping Muslim women restricted to their homes.

Supports Zubair and Owaisi

For someone who has been actively provoking Muslims to ‘take action’ against Hindu men for befriending Muslim women, it came as no surprise when Sajjad Nomani extended his support of Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair.

In a tweet in July last year, he said, “Thank you Ho’ble Judges of Supreme Court of India for passing such a speaking and landmark judgement on Zubair’s bail application.”

In the past, Opindia covered in detail how Alt News has been using its dubious fact-checking methods to shield radical Islamists. These include peddling systematic lies, doxxing, disputing obvious facts, whitewashing deplorable crimes and, of course, collaborating with global left-wing actors.

It was thus obvious that a radical cleric such as Sajjad Nomani would come to the rescue of one of his co-religionists, who has been actively working to further Islamist propaganda.

Besides his support to Mohammed Zubair, Sajjad Nomani also backed AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi in the Uttar Pradesh polls. He had advised Owaisi to form strategic alliances and contest in only those constituencies where victory is certain.

Nomani had warned against the ‘possible division of the Muslim vote’ and heaped praises on the AIMIM chief. His unwavering support of Asaduddin Owaisi is not without any reason.

The Hyderabad-based leader has been a provocateur himself, threatening Hindu activist Kamlesh Tiwari (ultimately leading to his gory killing on accusations of blasphemy), and dog-whistling against ex-BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma.

Loves the Taliban

Sajjad Nomani has been a fan of the brutal Islamist regime of the Taliban in the war-torn country of Afghanistan. After the Talibs managed to capture Kabul, he sent his congratulations from India.

“No one can defeat a community which is ready to die in its pursuit of power. Congratulations to the Taliban! I, as a Muslim from Hind, salute your courage, calibre, religious zeal and determination,” the cleric remarked.

“The whole world has witnessed this historic event. I want to extend my heartfelt greetings and love to the clerics (Ulemas) of Afghanistan and the leaders of Sunni Muslims, Shia Muslims, Hazaras and that of Northern Afghanistan,” he was heard saying.

Peddling hysteria and victimhood

In February 2018, the member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board stirred the hornet’s nest for fear-mongering about the possible ‘genocide’ of Indian Muslims along the lines of Rohingyas in Myanmar during a speech in Hyderabad.

Former UP Shia Waqf Board chief Waseem Rizvi filed a complaint against Sajjad Nomani for his speech, following which the Islamic cleric was booked on charges of sedition and hurting religious feelings.

“Referring to Rohingya Muslims, Nomani said attempts are underway to make the situation of Indian Muslims like that of their Rohingya counterparts. He even said he had proof of arms, ammunition and training being given to all, even in the smallest of villages, to make Indian Muslims suffer,” Rizvi said.

“This speech was widely broadcast by television channels, which had a mass impact,” he added. Sajjad Nomani has however cried foul and rejected the accusations.

Alleged support to Atiq Ahmed

Following the assassination of politician-gangster Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf in Prayagraj city of Uttar Pradesh, a purported video of Sajjad Nomani hailing the duo as ‘martyrs’ had gone viral on social media.

With a teary voice, the Islamic cleric led prayers and sought forgiveness for Atiq Ahmed and his brother. “Allah, give the strongest punishment to those who killed them,” he prayed thrice.

“They first killed the son, then the father and the uncle… I don’t know who else they are planning to eliminate,” he had lamented.

After the video went viral, the All India Muslim Personal Board distanced itself from the alleged remarks of Sajjad Nomani. It claimed that the cleric’s remarks should be considered as his personal comments and should not be attributed to the Board.

Sajjad Nomani supported farmers’ protests

At a time when so-called ‘farmers’ were protesting against the repeal of the farm laws, the Islamic cleric sought to exploit the opportunity to unite several warring factions against the Modi government.

While speaking at the Singhu border, he claimed that the violent demonstrations had brought new hope against ‘injustice’ perpetrated in the country. Sajjad Nomani remarked, “So many organisations have been, for years, trying to create awareness about the injustices in the country, and this movement has brought a new ray of hope from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.”

He added, “Thanks to you and your leadership, who realised that ‘enough is enough’ and decided to raise your voices, we have been reassured that the era of darkness in the country is ending and that justice is not very far away.”

In his desperate attempt to forge an artificial ‘Muslim-Sikh unity’ under the pretext of supporting the farmers’ protests, Sajjad Nomani claimed, “On behalf of the Muslim society, I assure you that we are all standing behind you and support you, and request you to not lose hope and continue this fight.”

“The protest is not just a fight against the three laws, but a fight for freedom. The country that became independent after so much struggle, is being made a slave again, but India is not meant to be a slave,” he brazened it out.

A conspiracy theorist himself, the Islamic cleric went on to claim, “There is a conspiracy to divide this movement, but we should all remain united because India is a country of love and brotherhood.”

Activism against CAA, UCC

In January 2020, Sajjad Nomani declared ‘Bharat Band’ against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR).

It must be mentioned that the Citizenship Amendment Act was passed by the Indian Parliament to fast-track citizenship of religious minorities who fled from the neighbouring Islamic republics of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan and settled in India.

Similarly, the implementation of NRC and NPR is necessary to correctly identify illegal immigrants living in India and posing a threat to the country’s national security.

Given that a majority of such illegal immigrants are Muslims from Bangladesh, who came to India out of economic opportunity, the Islamic cleric (just like a true defender of Ummah) took it upon himself to oppose NRC and NPR.

He also advised the Muslim community to maintain ‘strategic silence’ against Uniform Civil Code (UCC) and wait for other communities to lead the protest.

“UCC is not practically possible. Strong voices of opposition are emerging from the Adivasi community. They have special rights (which will undo with the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code),” he claimed.

Sajjad Nomani alleged, “All privileges of the Adivasis, Lingyats, non-Muslims will be taken away.” He asked his co-religionists to wait and watch so that the matter doesn’t become a Hindu-Muslim affair’ and the pot still keeps boiling.

Conclusion

The conspiracy theory of the ‘Bhagwa love trap’, as disseminated by the likes of Sajjad Nomani, is now endangering the lives of Hindu men who are seen with hijab/burqa-clad women in public spaces.

It must be mentioned that the police have not taken cognisance of all videos, which have surfaced on social media. Only a few incidents have so far made it to local reports and mainstream media.

In the absence of appropriate action by law enforcement authorities, the extremists are only likely to be emboldened. This becomes more alarming when analysed with the fact that the viral videos were shot by the perpetrators and not the victims.

It goes on to show that the Islamists have no fear of law and order despite being well aware that the videos could be used as evidence against them. Despite provoking his co-religionists for such a long time with his baseless claims of 5000 and 8 lakh conversions, no action has been taken against Sajjad Nomani.





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