No one changes their religion in order to get married: Saif Ali Khan speaks about 'love jihad'

Published: April 24, 2015
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PHOTO: THE HINDU

PHOTO: THE HINDU

PHOTO: THE HINDU

Saif Ali Khan spoke up about love jihad, his daughter Sara’s entry into Bollywood and the Indian government’s move towards “ban politics” in an interview with NDTV on Thursday.

Defending his marriage to Kareena Kapoor Khan, the actor said that they had got married under the Special Marriage Act. Speaking on the subject of love jihad, the alleged practice of Muslim men marrying non-Muslim women in order to convert them to Islam, Saif stated, “No one converts and even if they did, why should it be a problem really? God knows who somewhere gets offended and starts a chain reaction,” he said.

In January 2015, Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s (VHP) women’s wing, Durga Vahini used a morphed picture of Saif Ali Khan’s wife, actress Kareena Kapoor Khan, showing half her face covered with a burqa. The caption underneath read “conversion of nationality through religious conversion”. The picture gave rise to speculation on whether Kareena Kapoor Khan, a Hindu, had converted to Islam to marry Saif, a Muslim.

The actress had chosen to remain silent on the subject. However, Saif had vocally criticized the campaign, labelling it unfair targeting. Saif Ali Khan’s mother, actress Sharmila Tagore, a former Hindu, had converted to Islam on her marriage to Saif’s Muslim father, former Indian cricketer Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi. Saif himself had been earlier married to actress Amrita Singh, a Sikh who had converted to Islam. The marriage ended in 2004. Kareena Kapoor Khan chose not to change her religion.

Saif and Kareena on their wedding day

A similar controversy had arisen in January 2015, when the Hindu Mahasabha had challenged actors Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Saif Ali Khan to convert to Hinduism if they “really love their wives”. All three actors are married to Hindu women, none of whom has converted to Islam.

Love jihad was not the only topic the actor had to discuss in his NDTV interview. Referring to the current ‘ban politics’ in India, the actor said the government has been great for the Indian economy but added, “They have a task ahead in dealing with certain sections, who seem to be taking the role of moral guardians. That’s what I wait to see.”

Talking about his daughter Sara’s plans to enter the industry, Saif stated, “Yes, she wants to join films, but currently she is at Columbia and doing very well and I want her to focus on her studies.”

Sara Ali Khan poses for a magazine cover

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Reader Comments (10)

  • S rehman
    Apr 25, 2015 - 2:24AM

    Yes they do but then what would you know you are just Muslim in the name …Recommend

  • Aamir-Toronto
    Apr 25, 2015 - 7:24AM

    If you don’t know the reason of converting to Islam before marriage then please don’t opine because you are misleading others !!!!! Recommend

  • oBSERVER
    Apr 25, 2015 - 10:06AM

    Is this a news? This appears to be the Mumbai addition of tribune. Just waste of space.Recommend

  • Professor
    Apr 25, 2015 - 7:02PM

    Any religion that lets you be the best you can is a good religion. This fixation with religion is a bane of this region! There is no such thing as a superior or inferior religion.Recommend

  • Gulfam
    Apr 25, 2015 - 7:54PM

    Believing in religious teachings is not extremism. It’s fact that either you believe or not. There may not be a situation where you believe in selected principles of a religion that suit your lifestyle and ignore other because they just don’t fit into your existing life.Recommend

  • Ray
    Apr 26, 2015 - 3:03AM

    Religion is not what it is supposed to be…who cares which religion one follows. Rich has one religion and poor another…Stephen King Says “Religion is like Insurance always promising but never delivering”.
    Pray in C singer says how many lives have been lost but with no intervention from the almighty either he must be doing important by not intervening to kill innocents.Recommend

  • Apr 26, 2015 - 3:09AM

    “Love Jihad” is an absurd concoction by deranged Hindu fanatics who try to paint every phenomenon associated with the Muslim community as an attack on the Hindu community,
    In reality religious Muslims, who might intend to carry out a jihad against Hindus would not consider wooing and seduction of Hindu females in order to eventually convert them to Islam to be a valid means of Jihad. Indian Muslim men who enter into relationships with Hindu females are definitely committing a sin and are necessarily impious rather than being Mujahidin in the cause of Islam as claimed by the Hindutva lunatics.Recommend

  • Raza
    Apr 26, 2015 - 4:54AM

    Religion is a legacy of bronze age and less it affects our lives the better. Dogmatic nonsense has destroyed many lives specially in our subcontinent.Recommend

  • kulwant singh
    Apr 26, 2015 - 7:31AM

    @Raza: The day a conman met a clever man the religion was born, the religion has actually destroyed the humanity since ages, most of the wars fought due to religion and even to day what is happening in ME is the result of religion. Had there been no religion the world have been peacefull.Recommend

  • Feroz
    Apr 26, 2015 - 12:24PM

    Saif Ali Khan is living in a cuccoon. He must restrict his views to filmi matters.Recommend

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