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New Delhi: A Catholic bishop from Kerala has said that there is organised “narcotic jihad” in operation in the state targeting non-Muslims, drawing flak from several quarters, the Indian Express has reported.
Addressing a religious congregation at Marth Mariam Pilgrim Church at Kuravilangad in Kottayam district on Wednesday, September 8, Palai diocese bishop Joseph Kallarangatt said there are two kinds of jihad – “love jihad and narcotic jihad”. Kallarangatt’s views are indicative of growing Islamophobia among a section of Christians in the state.
“The narcotic jihad is the activity of spoiling the life of non-Muslims, particularly youths, by making them addicted to drugs,” the bishop said. “Various types of drugs are being used in ice-cream parlours, hotels and juice corners run by hardcore jihadis. They are using various types of drugs as a weapon to spoil non-Muslims.”
He said the rise in rave parties and police busting them have brought to the fore how drugs are being consumed by youths in such events.
“The rave parties, which promote the use of narcotics, and the drugs being seized from such events have presented this fact before us. We see a lot of people among us who lost their jobs or abandoned studies after they became drug addicts,’’ said the bishop.
Stating that youth in Kerala is facing an unprecedented crisis, he identified “love jihad” and “narcotic jihad” as the “most important issues”.
“In a democratic country like ours, jihadis have realised that they cannot destroy other communities by using arms. The jihadis are using other weapons which cannot be identified easily by others,” he explained.
According to him, jihadis are out there to “annihilate non-Muslims”. “In the perspective of jihadis, non-Muslims have to be annihilated. When the agenda is spreading religion and eradication of non-Muslims, the ways for attaining that agenda get manifested in different manners. The love jihad and narcotic jihad are two such ways,” he added.
Various Muslim organisations launched protests against the bishop’s remarks. Sathar Panthaloor, general secretary of Samastha Kerala Sunni Students Federation, demanded evidence from the bishop for his claims and added that such a view from a bishop is unexpected.
Suneer Moulavi, Popular Front of India Kottayam district president, saw the bishop’s claims as those aimed at communal polarisation.