A Kerala Catholic bishop triggered a controversy on Thursday (September 9) when he said that Christian and Hindu girls were largely falling prey to ‘love and narcotic jihad’ in Kerala. The priest said that since ‘arms cannot be used’ in a democracy, extremists were using such methods to destroy the youth of other religions.
“As part of the love jihad, non-Muslim girls, especially those belonging to the Christian community, are largely being converted, and being exploited and misused for destructive activities like terrorism,” said Pala Bishop Mar Joseph Kallarangatt, of Syro Malabar Church. He was addressing devotees during a church celebration at Kuruvilangad in this district.
“Two such means are love jihad and narcotic jihad. As jihadis know that it is not easy to destroy people belonging to other religions using weapons in a democratic country like ours, they attempt other such means to achieve their target,” Kallarangatt alleged, while addressing devotees during a celebration at the church at Kuruvilangad in Kottayam.
Quoting the recent statements of former Kerala Director General of Police (DGP) Loknath Behera, the Bishop said that Kerala had turned out to be a recruiting centre of terrorists and a sleeper cell of extremist groups was operational in Kerala.
Kallarangatt alleged that jihadis were ‘trained in trapping and brainwashing girls belonging to other religions’ and said that it was Christian and Hindu girls from the state who had been converted and sent to the terrorist camps in Afghanistan recently. “The matter should be examined seriously how they had been converted and reached the terrorist camps abroad,” he added.
“Nowadays, Christian girls are largely becoming victims of such traps…We need to recognise that jihadis, with extreme mindset, have laid the trap in schools, colleges, hostels, commercial establishments and other such public places and institutions with an aim to lure the girls at a tender age,” Kallarangatt said.
The Catholic priest also said that those who were trying to establish that ‘love and narcotic jihad’ does not exist in the state, are ‘just shutting their eyes to reality’. “The politicians, socio-cultural leaders and journalists, who try to deny the fact, may have their own vested interests to do so,” he added.
Recently, a Hindustan Times report said that 14 Keralites were among the Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) that claimed responsibility of the suicide bombing in Kabul Airport on August 26, which killed 175 people. One out of the 14 Keralites had contacted his home, while the remaining 13 were still at large in Kabul with the ISKP terrorist group.
(With inputs from agencies)