Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said that Mar Joseph Kallarangatt, the bishop of Pala, was not aiming to create enmity between communities when he delivered controversial sermon claiming that Muslims are waging a “narcotics jihad” against people of other faiths. According to The Hindu, Vijayan said that “the bishop delivered the speech from the pulpit to believers. He had not made a public statement. Hence, the government believed there was no legal ground for any case against the prelate.”
Even if we set aside the strange understanding of public and private that the Kerala chief minister wants us to accept, some context is necessary before we move ahead. During a sermon in a church in Kuravilangad on September 8, Bishop Kallarangatt had said that there had been an increase of instances of “love jihad” and “narcotics jihad” in the state.
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“Love jihad” is a conspiracy theory which claims that Muslim men are waging a campaign to court women of other communities with the aim of getting them to covert to Islam.
The bishop said that “narcotic jihad” or “drug jihad” was a method adopted by “jihadis” to convert the youth of other religions into drug addicts. He did not stop there.