Indian girl embraces Islam, weds boyfriend in Abu Dhabi, denies terror charge
1st October 2019
The Indian woman, who left India and went to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has said that she has gone from India not to join the UAE terrorist group but for her love. The 19-year-old girl went to Abu Dhabi and converted to Islam and changed her name from Ciyani Beni to Ayesha. The guardian of the woman Siyani Beni had lodged a missing report in Delhi stating that her daughter had been kidnapped. Beni’s college colleagues said in an application to the Chief Justice of India, “An Indian citizen has been kidnapped by forces wreaking havoc around the world.” At the same time, the woman told Gulf News on Sunday, “This is not true. I have come to Abu Dhabi on my own free will. Nobody forced me. I am an adult citizen of India and can take my decision. ‘ Benny attended college classes on September 18 at 11 am. The same afternoon he took a Go Air flight to Abu Dhabi to marry an Indian man. He had befriended this Indian man on social media about nine months ago. The girl’s parents are originally from Kozhikode in Kerala. Her guardian said she feared her daughter had been misled or abducted. Benny has denied these allegations. The woman issued a statement on Saturday, stating that she had converted to Islam in the court of Abu Dhabi on 24 September on her own will. In a letter addressed to the Home Minister of India, the National Minorities Commission and the Chief Ministers of Kerala and Delhi, he said, “I have adopted this religion and will ensure that I live with this religion with the same faith.” The woman said, “Our constitution provides freedom and freedom of religion to every citizen … I was called by the Indian Embassy and I said that I have come here of my own free will and do not want to go back.” He demanded action against the government for spreading such fake news stating that he had been kidnapped to join the terrorist group.
She has denied that her case is that of ‘love jihad’ – the alleged effort by Muslim men in targeting women belonging to non-Muslim communities for conversion to Islam by feigning love.
“This is not love jihad. I liked Islam and that’s why I am here. I had made the Islamic proclamation of faith while in Delhi, but not in public. But when I landed here, I proclaimed it publicly at an Abu Dhabi court. People might claim this is a case of love jihad because I was a Christian and unexpectedly went missing from home.”
Ciyani, who will turn 20 this November, said the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the police haven’t found anything illegal in her actions to convert to Islam. “The embassy has told me that since I am above 18 years old, I can follow my own will. There are no issues. The police have also assured their full support. Now if I get a job here, I would like to stay. I will never return to Delhi.”
Meanwhile, her parents and brother are in Abu Dhabi and in touch with the embassy officials. “We are closely following the case. She has converted to Islam. We have spoken to her and her lover,” an embassy official said, noting that the matter will be sorted out soon.
An Abu Dhabi-based Indian expat, who is close to Ciyani’s parents, said they are devastated by this “unexpected turn of events”.
“She is a final year student. She was a good student. She last attended class on September 18. She took the evening flight from New Delhi and landed in Abu Dhabi the same night. Her parents, unaware about the act, filed a missing report and an abduction case. There was a massive search operation held by the police, parents, friends, relatives … but all in vain.
“It was only on September 22 that the parents came to know about her being in Abu Dhabi as the police traced her through CCTV cameras. The parents also recovered some prayer books, papers and Arabic scriptures from her room.”
The parents have also taken up the case with authorities in New Delhi. The National Commission for Minorities vice-chairman George Kurian wrote to Indian Home Minister Amit Shah and National Investigation Agency to probe the case.
“The spate of organised religious conversions and using the victims for terror activities by trapping them through love jihad has shown the Christian community is a soft target for Islamic radicals,” he had written.