Kerala

Samastha deplores govt. stand on ‘narcotic jihad’

Father Boby Jose Kattikadu, Faisal Azhari, M.K. Sanoo, Swami Asparshananda, Fr. Vincent Kundukulam, and Muhammed Onampilly Faizy at a Saahodarya Sangamam organised by the Unity Forum in Kochi on Saurday.   | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

The purported balancing act on the part of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] and the party-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government on the controversy over 'narcotic jihad' remark by Pala Bishop Mar Joseph Kallarangatt has not apparently gone down well with a section of the Muslim community.

Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulema has assailed the LDF government over the visit of the Minister of Cooperation and Registration V.N. Vasavan to the Bishop’s House at Pala to meet Mar Kallarangatt on Friday.

The Minister’s visit was to give clean chit to the bishop who made the controversial remark and is ‘shameful and deplorable,’ an article published on Saturday in Suprabhatham daily, the mouthpiece of the Samastha, said. The article seeks to know whether the Minister's visit to "sing Hallelujah to the controversial preacher of hatred at Pala" is part of the official stand of the LDF government.

Samastha is an influential Sunni scholarly body which is traditionally close to the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), a coalition partner in the Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF), unlike its rival faction, the All India Sunni Jamiyyathul Ulama led by Kanthapuram A.P. Aboobacker Musliyar, who had a cosy relationship with the LDF leadership.

The bishop courted controversy when he said in his address to the laity on September 8 that jihadists are trapping women of other religions through ‘love’ and ‘narcotic’ jihad to convert them and use them for terror activities. Though the Chief Minister's initial response was that religious leaders with the power to influence people should not make divisive statements, he later said that while the term 'narcotic jihad' was not proper, the bishop had every right to highlight the dangers faced by his community. Echoing that subtle shift, the CPI(M) acting State secretary A. Vijayaraghavan on Friday said that the term 'narcotic jihad' was not used by the bishop with any sinister motive.

Row over handbook

The article published in Suprabhatham takes exception to the content in the handbook issued by the Thamarassery diocese for the laity that is allegedly hurtful to the Muslim community. It has accused that the handbook is presenting baseless allegation that the Muslim community is encouraging conversion of Christian girls to Islam.

The controversial sections in the handbook have been withdrawn following a meeting of an envoy of Muslim leaders led by IUML leader M.K. Muneer with the Thamarassery Bishop Mar Remigiose Inchananiyil on Friday.


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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 1:48:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/samastha-deplores-govt-stand-on-narcotic-jihad/article36535763.ece

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