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Fearing harassment from hardliners, Muslim lawyer family converts to Hinduism

By Chennabasaveshwar

A Muslim lawyer in Bihar's Begusarai district has reportedly converted to Hinduism along with his two sons, citing harassment by hardline Muslim neighbors, reports said.

According to reports, Mohammed Anwar, 46, alleged that his family was being forced to follow the Sharia law by Muslim hardliners and so he, along with his sons, Mohammed Amir, 11, and Mohammed Shabir, 9, decided to embrace Hinduism on Tuesday.

Fearing harassment from hardliners, Muslim lawyer family converts to Hinduism

Now they have new names. The lawyer's name has been changed to Anand Bharti, and his sons have been named as Aman Bharti and Suman Bharti. Wife, Shabnam, would convert later, said Anand Bharti, reports Indian Express.

"I am a liberal. I used to visit temples and mosques both, but hardliners in my community objected to it," Anand told. "I was threatened for participating in events organised by Hindus."

He claimed that he then contacted members of the Bajrang Dal who told him about Hinduism. "I was convinced that Hinduism was not a religion but a way of life. So, I decided to follow their advice," he said. Rejecting reports of any pressure, Begusarai Superintendent of Police Ranjeet Mishra said that Anwar aka Anand had taken the step of his own accord.

He alleged that a family by name Syed, which thinks itself as a guardians of Islam, has been harassing him for last seven months.

Anand says "I consider myself a humanist. I have given donation for construction of temples... Such things would irritate Muslim neighbors, who often asked why I do not eat beef and put my sons in a madrasa.''

Finally, he decided to convert after about 40 Muslims allegedly threatened him with consequences if he did not follow "basic norms of Islam" on July 2. He said he was not influenced or wooed to convert. A local Bajrang Dal unit is protecting Anand's family after he announced that he would "renounce Islam".

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