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Young Christians being targeted through ‘love and narcotics jihad’: Catholic Bishop in Kerala

The Bishop alluded to former DGP Loknath Behera's statement that Kerala was becoming a recruitment centre for terrorists and that it was home to 'sleeper cells' for such persons.

A prominent Catholic Bishop in Kerala claimed that young men and women, belonging to the Christian community and other non-Muslim faiths, were being lured and targeted through means such as ‘love jihad’ and ‘narcotic jihad’ in the state.

Addressing the laity on the occasion of the Eight day of Lent of Mary earlier this week, Joseph Kallarangatt, Bishop of the Palai diocese of the Syro-Malabar Church, alleged that those who claim that ‘love jihad’ doesn’t exist in Kerala are “blind to reality.” “Such people, be they politicians or those from social and cultural spaces, media may have their own vested interests. But one thing is clear. We are losing our young women. It’s not just love marriages. It’s a war strategy to destroy their lives,” he claimed.

The Bishop, presiding over a diocese that has the largest concentration of Syro-Malabar Catholics in the state, alluded to former DGP Loknath Behera’s statement that Kerala was becoming a recruitment centre for terrorists and that it was home to ‘sleeper cells’ for such persons.

“In a democratic country like ours, since it’s not easy to use weapons to destroy people of other faiths, jihadis are using means which are not easily identifiable. In the view of jihadis, non-Muslims are to be destroyed. When the objective is expansion of their religion and destruction of non-Muslims, the means they use are of different forms. Two of such widely-discussed means today are love jihad and narcotics jihad,” he alleged.

“For objectives such as exploitation, forced religious conversion, making financial gains and employing in terrorist activities, jihadis are trapping women of other faiths through love or other means. As soon as women turn 18, they are being trapped through love, forcibly taken away without the consent of their parents and family members. They are often abandoned after a few years of marriage. Such incidents are rising. Fathima, who got converted and went to Afghanistan, was a Hindu woman named Nimisha. Sonia Sebastian, a Christian, similarly became Ayesha. These are just a few examples. How are Hindu and Christian women like them ending up in terrorist camps is a serious subject to be studied,” he said.

The Bishop went on to claim that schools, colleges, hostels, training institutes and business establishments were being used by ‘jihadis’ to lay traps and lure young women.

He also claimed the existence of ‘narcotics jihad’ through which the lives of youngsters belonging to non-Muslim faiths were being destroyed by getting them attracted to the use and sale of drugs and narcotic substances.

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