The Making of a Religious Grooming 'Love' Jihad Killer #366

The ghastly crime by Aaftab Poonawala on Shraddha has brought the larger crimes of Grooming 'Love' Jihad into the open. What causes them? How are such psychopaths created?

The Making of a Religious Grooming 'Love' Jihad Killer #366
“Of pain you could wish only one thing: that it should stop. Nothing in the world was so bad as physical pain. In the face of pain there are no heroes.” ― George Orwell, 1984

He opened the fridge door and her face was staring at him emotionless.  

Freezing.  Still.  Staring.

The disembodied are looking for their body after death terminates the link to the body.

She was too.  

Even when she was being strewn in Mehrauli's forest.  Part by part.  

When she parted ways from her home and hearth, a part of her was already dismembered.  It was the tearing away of someone from one's roots.

Those who had given her birth were not important anymore.  That relationship was left behind and terminated.

Died a death.  

All for the yearning for someone she could call her own and spend her life with.

All she got were pieces.

Her own.

Strewn abandoned across an unknown city. Methodically.

He had beaten her and been violent with her before.  For the past two years at least.  But she stuck with him.  Emotionally blackmailed.


The emotional blackmail was being done not just by Aaftab but by his parents as well.  They were part of the crime that their son was unleashing on her - extreme domestic violence.

Source: "'Aaftab Tried To Choke Her To Death In 2020': Shraddha's Friend Narrates Entire History"/ Republic World

It is almost as if the parents and the family found domestic violence and hitting the wife normal.

It's a crime so ghastly and of such unbelievable cruelty that we need some sane way to understand it and its genesis.  

Let us do that.

Starting from its basics.

Normalization of Domestic Violence in Muslim Society?

In one survey of 500 Arab women (98% of whom were Muslims), in the Dearborn, Michigan area, 18 to 20% of women had experience abuse.  (Source: "A Perspective on Domestic Violence in the Muslim Community" by Salma Elkadi Abugideiri / Faith Trust Institute)

In another survey shared on VAWnet (a project of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence), it was found that Muslim communities face more abuse and violence than the larger American community.

Source: Ending Domestic Violence in Muslim Families / Sharifa Alkhateeb

Ms. Alkhateeb surmises that the "authoritarian family structure predisposes many Muslims in America to be abused."  Violence and abuse of wives and children is accomplished when the husband is convinced that what he is doing is instructed by or wanted by Allah.  That gives him a seal of approval from their god.

This may be in line with what Surah -l-nisaa- says in verse 4:34.  Even though these days many sanitized versions are being shared, here are the most authoritative translations.

Source: Corpus Quran

For women who have converted from other religions, it becomes worse.  Because they are taunted by not being able to understand Islam properly if they complain.  So, they carry the tag of being "bad Muslims" and they need to prove otherwise.  So they keep being patient.

Ms. Alkhateeb's survey notwithstanding, one expert believes that the 18% statistic may be too low.  Here is the extract from an Islamic site.

However, Dr. Robert Dickson Crane, the former head of the Legal Office at the American Muslim Council wrote as far back as 2011 that, “The figure of 18% for domestic abuse among Muslims seems very low, so it may reflect overly strict standards for identifying it. Presumably the definition requires assault (which does not even require physical contact), as well as battery, which does. But does it require a pattern of hitting? My estimate is that the percentage of Muslim men who have hit their wives at least once in their lives is closer to 90%.” (Source: Domestic Violence in Muslim Community - The Statistics)

What is most egregious is that the violent abuse faced by women in Muslim communities is considered acceptable.  It is a normal part of family life.

(Source: Domestic Violence in Muslim Community - The Statistics)

So as we saw (specifically from his parents' reaction) when Aaaftab may have hit Shraddha, that may have been acceptable to his family.  The calls from his Mom and Dad to Shraddha and their insistence on her staying back may have been shaped by such a cultural acceptance of domestic violence which would have been found unacceptable in normal homes of a middle-class society.

Another aspect of spousal violence within the Muslim community is the prevalence and acceptance of polygamy.  Some studies have found a direct link between polygamy and domestic violence as well.

Source: Rahaman et al 

And, it is not just the domestic violence that is high given the cultural impact of the Islamist theological understanding.  Other religious practices make things more amenable to worse crimes.

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What is even more critical is to analyze the practice of open slaughtering of animals during the Eid-Ul-Azha.

Not in slaughterhouses, but in regular homes.

In front of the kids where young boys are pushed to watch and even participate in the slaughter rituals.

These days many people in societies like Pakistan have started talking about the impact of slaughtering animals on kids and even grown up people.


Why is this so important?

For that, we need to understand the impact of desensitization of the human mind to pain and grief when one is exposed to the slaughter and/or torture of animals at a young age.  Or actually at any age.  Slaughtering of animals changes something fundamental in human beings.

Let us explore.

What do most serial killers and mass gun shooters have in common?

Animal torture and slaughtering.

Here is something from National Coalition On Violence Against Animals (NCOVAA)

Source: NCOVAA

Violent crimes, domestic violence, and manslaughter are some of the things with very strong links to animal torture and slaughter at a young age.

According to a 2015 study by the Humane Society, 71% of domestic violence victims say their abuser also targeted their pet.  Staggeringly 45% of school shooters had histories of alleged animal cruelty, and 21% of serial murderers admitted to childhood animal abuse, Discover Weekly reported earlier this year.  Researchers at Northeastern University and the Massachusetts SPCA, found that people who abuse animals are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against humans, according to PETA. (Source: "Serial killers who started on animals – the red flags that show murderous traits" / Daily Star)

Many studies are reiterating the same link - Serial Killers and Animal Cruelty.

Malcolm Plant, the author of a peer-reviewed paper on the subject, Making the Link, says that put together, Romania’s street dog culling, violence rates and the study’s findings demonstrate a clear point: witnessing brutality to animals desensitises young people and makes them prone to aggression for life. “It’s highly likely that an animal abuser will also be abusing humans. We found not only have most animal abusers been exposed to violence and abuse, but that this has resulted in reduced empathy and a normalisation of aggression,” he says.  “So there is a high likelihood that this violence will be enacted against spouse, children and within society against people and property.” (Source: "The link is established between serial killers and animal cruelty"/Independent)

When you slaughter the animal by bleeding it slowly or by hitting it on its head and other brutal ways in your own home, you are reconstructing the torturous ways that serial killers employ to inflict torture in their own run-up to larger crimes.

Does the slaughter of animals lead to higher crime rates in society?  Let us investigate.

Bring Slaughterhouse Home - and the PTSD and desensitization with it

In fact, this link is now being called the "Sinclair Effect".  Those who work in slaughterhouses suffer unimaginable damage to their psyche.  And that leads to:

  • higher total overall arrest rates
  • higher arrests for violent crimes
  • higher arrests for rape
  • higher arrests for sex offenses.

These crimes amongst the slaughterhouse employees was measured compared to those in other industries.

Source: Slaughterhouses and Increased Crime Rate

Here is the complete study for your perusal.

This impact on emotional well-being and its relationship with crime rates is direct.

Source: PTSD in the Slaughterhouse / Texas Observer

What needs to be seen here is that slaughtering an animal even when you feel like caring for it - puts you in a situation where emotional and psychological dissonance is the direct result.

And this dissonance causes Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for those who slaughter animals for their work.  

You see, these people are killing not because they have any animosity for the animal or in defense.  But because "they have to" even when they "don't want to."

After some time, the distance between "Don't want to" and "Have to" is bridged by a level of psychopathic desensitization.

This desensitization is what starts defining their entire being from there on.  

Now watch this video of how kids develop love and relationship with the animals reared in their home during the Ramazan period for slaughter at Eid.  See how they are crying and emotionally distraught at the very thought of their animal being killed.


This is their reaction when their hearts are pure and they have a sense of oneness.  But in these societies, by slaughtering the animal in public, this sensitive nature is exactly what their parents and their society seek to kill.  For, that is a liability and even unIslamic in their eyes.

The desensitization - forced one - that is being created in the new Muslim generation because of the open slaughtering of animals is a real threat to society.  

The trauma that accompanies slaughterhouse workers is brought home.

The crimes of desensitization that define the populations where abattoirs are located are now spread across the land because this ritual becomes a test of one's religious piety!

This brings us to another part of the discussion that is centered around the crime that Aaftab Poonawalla has committed - Love Jihad or more correctly Grooming Jihad.

Grooming Jihad - Its origin and 'evolution'

Grooming is not a new term.

It has many different versions.  Love Bombing is one.

Love bombing is a process of grooming in which a predator uses flattery, praise and the promise of a supreme alliance to fulfill their own agendas. By love bombing their victims, abusers are able to persuade their targets to fulfill their requests and desires. Love bombing is not only a tool used by covert manipulators to exploit their victims, it is also used in cults to ensure loyalty to the cult leader. In fact, there is much overlap between the behavior of cults and the abuse cycle of an abuser and his or her victim.  While anyone can be the victim of love bombing, it has an especially powerful effect on children of narcissistic parents, because they have already been subconsciously programmed to seek approval, engage in people-pleasing habits and look for external validation as a way to survive their psychologically turbulent childhoods. (Source: Psychcentral)

Love Bombing is one of the ways of grooming.

Make no mistake - the entire process starting from that initial introduction to the professing of love, the various gifts etc were perfected techniques for grooming a woman to be brought into the sphere of influence of a religious group and converting her.

The larger strategy of grooming was actually perfected in Christian churches of various denominations.  And continues to even today.  Check this sharing on Reddit by a lady who grew up in the Jehovah's Witness Church.

Source; Reddit

Another commenter in that thread gives the context of grooming and its relationship with evangelism in its correct perspective.

Source; Reddit

Evangelist religions are "faiths" that are based inherently on Grooming others.  

The Oxford Handbook of Religious Conversion also underlines similar practices for growth by conversion employed by the Churches.

Source: The Oxford Handbook of Religious Conversion

Another technique that has been used is called "Flirty Fishing."  Again for the same goal - conversion.  In this variation, however, the female members do the main work.

Source: 'The Family' and Final Harvest / Washington Post

These techniques that were started and perfected by Christian Churches around the world are now being employed by Islamic groups as well.

In India, by some unimaginative group, it was called "Love Jihad".  Probably a take on "Love Bombing" which it really represents.

However, the techniques for Grooming that evangelists have used for centuries are all being used in India as well.

Here are some of the cases that have been reported.  

  1. Shahrukh (already married) posed as a Hindu named Raju to trap a Hindu woman. Sexually exploited for over 5 months. Held her hostage and forced to convert to Islam.  She escaped and Shahrukh arrested on Nov 2, 2022 (Dainik Bhaskar / Opindia)
  2. Sakir Mohammad (father of 9 kids) poses as Rajkumar.  Raped a Hindu woman and made a pornographic video for blackmail to convert to Islam. (Opindia)
  3. Aarif posed as a Hindu named Amit to befriend and promise a job in Railways. Called the lady to a hotel and raped her and recorded a video.  Blackmailed her to convert to Islam and marry him. (Aajtak)
  4. Irshad Ali (married and father of 3) posed as Guddu Chaudhary married a Hindu girl who came to work as his intern.  When she found out, he beat her and pressured her to convert to Islam. (Zee News)
  5. Faizal Ahmad (gym trainer) posed as Athrav Singh, a Hindu. Promised job to a Hindu woman, a yoga teacher. Proposed marriage, made her meet his mother who also posed as Hindu. Raped the girl and recorded videos. They married in Arya Samaj temple. When she came to know, he pressured her to convert to Islam or he would release her videos.  (Opindia)
  6. Akram and a Hindu woman worked in the same nursing home. He lured her into a relationship posing as a divorcee and a non-Muslim.  Raped her, made videos and blackmailed her to convert to Islam. His earlier wife Ruksar and brother Tanveer also helped to keep her as captive and torture her. (NCW Twitter / Opindia)
  7. Ibrahim Khaleel Kattekar met Shanthi Joobi on Facebook.  Shanthi converted to Asiya Joobi Ibrahim Khaleel Kattekar.  She was forced to give money and vehicles to her inlaws, specifically, her brother-in-law Shihab. She was threatened. She approached the media in the end. (Opindia)
  8. Sahil posed as Sachin Sharma while applying chandan paste and wearing kalawa pretending to be Hindu. After winning trust, he had physical relationship. When she came to know, he forced her to consume beef and convert her.  Named her Zoya and the family forced her to provide sex pleasure to a maulvi. When pregnant, they asked her to abort. When they came to know the unborn was a girl - they agreed to keep it so she can be "used in future". (Zee News)

What you see is a remarkable degree of psychopathy being rampant in one group of society.  It is a template that is being followed and perfected in connivance with the entire ecosystem!

These are just some of the cases.  Notice how the modus operandi is the same and how the society of the criminal and even his family supports these egregious crimes

For a more complete list, please check Opindia's Grooming Jihad page. Unfortunately, no English mainstream media channel or outlet even reports on these cases. Most of these cases have been carefully and painstakingly shared based on reports in local media.

Is the data just anecdotal?

Extent of Grooming Jihad and its backers and funding

How many Grooming Jihad or "Love Jihad" cases are happening in India?


The registered cases are just the tip of the iceberg though.  Yet, the ones that are being perpetrated are being done to minors and, if the reports are to be believed, even to minors.

Source: Yogi-led UP government arrested 507 persons in 291 cases of illegal conversions in two years / ANI

These cases are not happening spontaneously.  But they are being backed and funded by established terror organizations and their financing backers from outside India as well.

Terror Organizations back Grooming 'Love' Jihad

The Indian security agencies have found a direct link between the terrorist organizations Popular Front of India (PFI) and SIMI and Love Jihad cases.  

The Love Jihad cases have a fixed pattern and the modus operandi that the perpetrators use shows very clearly that they are being trained.  And this requires funding.  Which is where the organizations like PFI and SIMI come in.

The Juhi Colony’s Shalini Yadav “Love Jihad” case threw Kanpur in the spotlight, with it emerging as the epi-centre for cases of “Love Jihad”. The fixed pattern and the modus operandi of the perpetrators point to the fact that these youths are being trained to lure and brainwash Hindu girls by a particular syndicate, who have been operating with financial and logistical support form various Islamic organisations.  Following several such cases reported from different parts of the state, the Uttar Pradesh police have constituted a special investigating team (SIT) to probe allegations of ‘Love Jihad’ and forced conversion. The SIT, which have now come across at least 9 such cases of recent past, has now decided to broaden the scope of its investigation and probe the alleged role of the banned radical organisations like Popular Front of India (PFI) and SIMI behind the funding of the ongoing ‘Love Jihad’ racket in Kanpur. (Source: "SIT to probe the alleged role of banned radical organisations like PFI and SIMI behind the funding of the ongoing ‘Love Jihad racket’ in Kanpur"/Opindia)

It is not just the Grooming or Love Jihad cases in Uttar Pradesh that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) but also in Kerala.

Source: Popular Front of India: Why raids are being conducted at their offices across country / Times of India

No wonder the mainstream Indian media, which has repeatedly sided with the terror Islamist organizations is averse to even reporting such incidents.

Now, let us look at this crime against women by the Islamist groups and organizations unleashed on the ground via radical Muslims in a larger global context.

Is there such a thing as Muslim groups and gangs targeting non-Muslim girls and women?


Grooming Gangs in UK and Europe have targeted women in the last many years in thousands.

Grooming Gangs of UK and Europe

She was 13 years when she was moved to a care home run by Bradford social services because “her parents were unable to look after her”.

Fiona Goddard and another teenage girl met a 27-year-old man, Basharat Khaliq who was 27.  He took them to a petrol station and bought them a bottle of Vodka.

At around the same time, they also met two brothers - Saeed and Naveed Akthar.

The two girls would be taken to Saeed’s home and “used for sex” by the men who came to that property.

Saeed would send Fiona out to get meet dealers to get the drugs but without money.  She would get those drugs for sex.  Saeed was using her as a prostitute.

In 2014, when the Rotherham Grooming Gang story came out where hundreds of young girls had been abused by the Muslim gangs there, she approached BBC to say that she and other girls had gone through the same abuse in Bradford as well.

Judge Hall told the courtroom the day he announced the judgment. (Source of the story: Bradford grooming: Nine jailed for abusing girls/BBC)

No major city in England and Wales seems to have been spared this problem of grooming by older men acting together or alone.

The line-up of the criminals sentenced in some of the Grooming Gang cases are below.

Source: Bradford grooming: Nine jailed for abusing girls/BBC
Source: The Oxford child sex abuse verdict highlights a cultural problem, but not a specifically Muslim one / The Independent
Source: Huddersfield grooming: How the West Yorkshire gang operated / BBC

Even the judge, Judge Marson, called the actions of the ringleader "inhuman."

The Huddersfield ringleader was Amere Singh Dhaliwal, a married father who attacked and abused 11 of the 15 girls.  

Interestingly, many accounts from the community suggest that the ringleader Dhaliwal was not a Sikh anymore.  (Read this Reddit thread)

Is this a Muslim problem?  Specifically the Pakistani Muslims?

How predominantly Pakistani Muslims run Grooming Gangs

Quilliam Foundation, a think-tank shared a report which claimed that 84% of the Grooming Gangs were Asian (a euphemism for Muslims, predominantly Pakistani).  

The report was co-authored by Haras Rafiq, who is from Rochdale.  This is the place where 19 British-Pakistani men were jailed between 2012 and 2015 for having abused 47 girls.

A think tank has claimed that 84 per cent of people convicted of child grooming-gang offences since 2005 were Asian.  In a new study, Quilliam says its researchers discovered differences in the way paedophiles from different backgrounds operated.  It said white offenders often acted alone, while child abusers from Asian backgrounds were more likely to work in so-called grooming gangs. (Source: British-Pakistani researchers say 84% of grooming gang members are Asian: 'It's very important we talk about it'/The Independent)

And this report from Quilliam was the target of criticism from the moment it came out.  The Guardian, for example, shared this report saying that the Grooming Gangs were "not a Muslim problem."  And they cited a UK Home Office report.

A new Home Office report admits grooming gangs are not a ‘Muslim problem’ | Ella Cockbain and Waqas Tufail
The study finds no credible evidence for a far-right stereotype that has spread widely in the media, say crime academics Ella Cockbain and Waqas Tufail

The UK Home Office report shared the data from different sources in an attempt to counter Quilliam's work.  Now, what is extremely interesting is that the Home Office report deliberately avoids any mention of religion or categorization of data by religion.  Or even ethnicity.  For example, in a shameful attempt to cloak the identities of the ethnic Pakistanis, the report insists on referring to them as "Asians."

These were some of the conclusions shared by the Home Office.

The  National Crime Agency’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command (CEOP) identifies two types of group-based child abuse: Type 1 and Type 2.  Type 1 form Grooming Gangs to target children based on a certain vulnerability.  Type 2 form pedophile rings and abuse due to a specific sexual interest in kids.

Illustration based on The National Crime Agency’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command (CEOP) research published in 2013 (Source: British-Pakistani researchers say 84% of grooming gang members are Asian: 'It's very important we talk about it'/The Independent)

Some in the UK have pointed at the attempt by the media and government to obfuscate the ethnicity and religion question by using the general but useless term "Asian" when the specificity of the perpetrators points to Pakistani Muslims.

Sarah Champion, MP for Rotherham, recalled that social workers trying to report a crime were sent on race relations courses and threatened with disciplinary action ‘if they didn’t remove the fact they were identifying the person as a Pakistani male’.  Tom Crowther QC, who chaired the Telford inquiry, blames this on ‘nervousness about race’. It must be catching, because his own report into grooming gangs displays a similar timidity. Perpetrators are men of ‘southern Asian heritage’. Eight countries make up south Asia. How many Sri Lankans, Bhutanese or Indians live in Rotherham, Oldham or Huddersfield – let alone prey on 14-year-old girls? Gang rape, said one young victim, was a normal part of growing up in Rotherham. And that is not the fault of the Bhutanese.  So does euphemism and timidity indicate that all this is not quite as historic as the authorities would have us believe? The clue is in data collection. As recently as December 2019, the police force at the centre of the Rotherham grooming scandal was still not routinely recording the ethnicity of child sexual abuse suspects, according to the Times. In a town where hundreds of young girls were abused by men from one ethnic group, the police omitted suspect ethnicity in 67 per cent of the cases. (Source: "Why we must accept ethnicity matters in child grooming cases" / The Spectator)

Others who have worked in Pakistan and Afghanistan have found a direct correlation between the mindset that defines these Grooming Gangs (predominantly of Pakistani origin men)  in the UK / Europe, and the crimes against Non-Muslims (specifically Hindus, Sikhs, and Christians) in those countries.

Source: It’s a slur to label these grooming gangs “Asian” – they’re Pakistani and Muslim/ Conservative Home

And, this is important to understand.

Lessons from Grooming Gang crimes

The handling of Grooming Gangs in the UK and Europe is far from ideal.  Political correctness and racial crime fear have put restrictions on law enforcement agencies in prosecuting these gangs.

But they have gotten one thing right.

They have prosecuted the cases holistically.  Brought the entire gang into the cases together for prosecution and investigation.

Unfortunately in India, the cases of "love Jihad" or really Grooming Jihad are assessed individually.  

The funding, the linkages, and the relationship between different sets of individuals involved in Grooming 'Love' Jihad via mosques or terror organizations, or local Islamist groups have been ignored.

These crimes need to be prosecuted collectively with an eye to identifying the "eye of the storm".  The funding and logistics backers need to be identified and all the cases should be reviewed holistically for comprehensive action.

Viewing all those cases - thanks for intrepid journalism by Opindia - individually is not enough.  It obfuscates the real extent and nature of these crimes.  Crimes against women!

We need a law enforcement policy that looks at every case in a larger Funding & Backing -> Logistical Support -> Religious Instructions triad.


Here are the documentation and links that I saved as part of my research for an article.  Many of these links I may have shared in my article and many I would have used in understanding the topics at hand.  Beyond this newsletter, I tend to collate all my research even in the future into these sub-pages.  So bookmark them for future reference.  Please feel free to dive in and use it for your own analysis.

Notion – The all-in-one workspace for your notes, tasks, wikis, and databases.
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Video Corner: The Network of Trees

Trees are not just individual growths that are in competition with other organic growths on the land.  

But what if the forest is not a competitive landscape but a cooperative interconnected network?

What if trees know the pain and the challenges being faced by other trees and they are able to recalibrate their responses based on that?  Watch this wonderfully insightful video.

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