Former JNUSU vice-president Shehla Rashid had to deactivate her Facebook profile after receiving multiple rape threats and hate messages for speaking up in support of interfaith marriages and the right of Muslim women to choose their partners.
Referring to the recent murder of Ankit Saxena in the national capital by his Muslim girlfriend’s family, student activist Shehla Rashid Shora published a Facebook post asking if the Muslim community would allow their daughters or sisters to marry a non-Muslim man of her choice.
Demanding an answer from her own community, she said if Muslim girls are not allowed to marry a non-Muslim of her choice, then they “lose the moral authority to fight the ruckus created by RSS” over the so-called “love-jihad”.
Drawing a comparison with the Hadiya case, she said, while the outrage over the denial to let an adult Muslim woman choose her life partner was justified, the same right should be given to all Muslim girls, irrespective of who they love.
When we insist that Hadiya be treated as an adult, as an individual who has Constitutional rights, let’s please uphold the same standard for all adult Muslim women – regardless of who they love.Shehla in her Facebook post.
She further went on to say that it is the Constitution, and not Islamic/Hindu law, that gives both Hadiya and all other Muslim women to choose their partner.
Special Marriage Act allows interfaith couples to register a marriage without conversion, she said adding that while Muslims as a community insist on Constitutional rights, they should also respect the rights given by the Constitution to an individual.
Slamming the so-called “love-jihad” brigade, Shehla said, “If we do not make room for love, we deserve to be ruled by hatred.”
Soon after her post on Facebook, rape threats, hate messages and regressive trolls were hurled at Rashid, alleging her of trying to spew hatred among people.
She deactivated her Facebook profile (not her page) following the trolls but activist Kavitha Krishnan said she stands in solidarity with Shehla. In her post, Kavita also slammed the "opportunist and right wing Sanghis” who were trying to “use this episode to rationalise and legitimise their own Islamophobic campaign to brand the Muslim community as uniquely 'backward and patriarchal'.”
When contacted by The Quint, Shehla Rashid refused to comment on the incident.