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AR Rahman was not forced to embrace Islam, Sainaba tells Supreme Court

The names of Oscar-winning composer AR Rahman and legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, both non-Muslims who embraced Islam later, got dragged into the sensational Hadiya case or matter pertaining to forced conversions in the Supreme Court (SC).

This happened when fervently denying any involvement in forcible conversions, A S Sainaba, president of the Women’s wing of the Islamic organisation Popular Front of India cited their examples to drive home her point that people tend to embrace Islam on their own. Sainaba’s remarks find place in an affidavit she filed in the Hadiya case in which the NIA has already questioned her.

India Today TV had in November last year shown an elaborate sting operation exposing Sainaba, where she makes candid admissions to alleged forced conversions taking place in Kerala.

“A number of world-renowned intellectuals and personalities from different walks of life have embraced Islam all over the world and nobody can say that they so embraced Islam because of indoctrination, brainwashing, radicalisation, etc. Madhavikutty (a famous Kerala poetess), who embraced Islam at the age of 65 and since changed her name as Kamala Surayya, A R Rahman who embraced Islam along with his family, and Muhammad Ali are only few examples,” Sainaba says in the affidavit filed through advocate Noor Muhammad.

Accusing Hindu outfits of “indulging in conversion”, Sainaba urged SC to order a probe into “rampant” ghar wapsi of those getting into inter-caste/inter-religious marriages through outfits affiliated to Sangh Parivar in Kerala.

“In the name of ghar wapsi, women and men who get into inter-caste/inter-religious marriages are being brought to specially dedicated centres for purpose of forcible conversion of people to Hinduism. These are done by organisations affiliated or having links to as well as fostered and protected by Sangh Parivar,” says her affidavit, demanding a “thorough investigation into all the persons, organisations and forces, who are acting behind the curtain.”

Hadiya, a 24-year-old homeopathy student, was born Hindu and was called Akhila Asokan before she converted to Islam and changed name. On a plea by her father, the Kerala HC had quashed the marriage, upholding his argument that Jahan was a radicalised man, a stooge of the ISIS who was trying to wean away his daughter to Syria under the pretext of marriage.

Jahan then moved the apex court against the HC order. Sainaba denied allegations that she and Markazul Hidaya Sathyasarani Educational and Charitable Trust and educational institution are engaged in conversion activities, brainwashing young women and have links with extremist organisations.

“This institution only imparts education to those who come on their own volition, including those from Muslim community, of knowledge about Islam, irrespective of the seekers caste, creed or religion,” she claims.

Quoting the affidavit of a person who supports her claim of “religious conversion to Hinduism”, she says the documents and other press clippings showing how horrible manner these anti-social and anti-national elements under the leadership of Sangh Parivar are operating in various parts of the country, including in Kerala, spreading falsehood like ‘love jihad’ and using force against persons compelling them to retract from relationship with Muslims. 

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