CSI Bishop, Imam call for peace

‘Isolate anti-social elements and jointly fight against social evils’

Amidst the raging debate set off by Bishop of Pala (Syro-Malabar Church) Mar Joseph Kallarangattu with his sermon on ‘jihad by way of love and narcotics’, the Central Kerala diocese of the Church of South India (CSI) and Kerala Muslim Youth Federation (KMYF) on Wednesday made a unanimous call for peace.

Addressing mediapersons in Kottayam, CSI Bishop Malayil Sabu Koshi Cheriyan and KMYF State president and Imam of Juma Masjid, Thazhathangadi, Shamsuddeen Mannani Ilavupalam called upon the people to single out anti-social elements irrespective of their religion and jointly fight against social evils. They, meanwhile, stayed away from any direct reference to ‘narcotic jihad’, holding that it was up to the government to inquire such issues.

At the same time, they demanded that the people, while responding to social evils, should not hurt the sentiments of society. “It is critical that all social evils be opposed and that public opinion be formed against them. But the attribution of communal angle to social obsolescence is not at all good for society. It is illogical to blame a religion for the wrongdoings of a few individuals in that religion. There is no justification for attributing anti-social behaviour to a religion because the name of the person engaged in anti-social activities is associated with that particular religion or they justify their wrongdoing in the name of religion,” they said.

They said communalisation of social evils would cause a diversion from the real goal of action and communal polarisation. “The basic tenet of any religion is against hatred, enmity and all communal interests,” they added.

Meanwhile, the police on Tuesday evening convened a peace meeting of various religious leaders, including representatives of the Catholic Church and the Muslim organisations, in view of the recurring protests in Pala.

The meeting, convened by Shaju Jose, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Pala, flayed attempts by some sections to break the communal harmony through social media propaganda. The community organisations clarified that they had no role in the various protests marches held at Pala over the last few days.

Muhammad Nadeer Moulavi, chairman of the Imam Ekopana Samiti, Fr.George Varghese Njarakkunnel, Director of the Catholic Congress, were among those who attended the meeting.

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