Kerala Church says 'Love Jihad is real', claims Christian women being lured into IS trap

Denying the charges, the Popular Front of India (PFI), an Islamic outfit, questioned the "timing" of the statement
Last Updated : 15 January 2020, 12:33 IST

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A forum of Catholic bishops in Kerala has accused that scores of Christian women in Kerala are being lured by the IS through 'Love Jihad' and accused the police of not taking effective actions against it.

The synod of Syro-Malabar Church headed by Cardinal George Alencherry made the statement, which invited swift reaction from Muslim outfits like the Popular Front of India accusing that such statements would affect the ongoing joint resistance against CAA.

The Syro-Malabar Church's statement pointed out that out of the 21 people from Kerala recruited to IS a couple of years back, almost half were converted from the Christian community. "It is a reality that 'Love Jihad' is happening in Kerala in a planned manner targeting Christian girls. Christian girls are killed in the name of Love Jihad", said the statement.

The Synod has termed the killing of Christians in Nigeria on Christmas day as "shocking". It is a matter of concern that Love Jihad is gaining grounds in Kerala putting in danger its social peace and communal harmony, the Synod said.

It also alleged that the police are not considering the matter seriously and no effective steps to curb Love Jihad are being taken. Parents and children need to be sensitised about the dangers of Love Jihad, said the statement. The Synod, however, said it was not assessing the 'Love Jihad' as an issue affecting the friendship between religions and urged the government to treat it as one related to law and order and not as a religious matter.

The PFI denied the allegations pointing that there were earlier police reports stating that there was no Love Jihad in Kerala. PFI demanded the synod to withdraw the statement citing that it would affect the joint stirs against CAA. On the other side, The Viswa Hindu Parishad (VHP) welcomed the Church's statement and called for a united fight against 'Love Jihad' in Kerala Society. An official of the Kerala State Women's Commission refused to comment, considering the sensitivity involved in the matter.

Kerala had witnessed a major allegation of Love Jihad when a youth from the Muslim community married a girl from the Hindu community, who got converted to Islam. But the Supreme Court had ordered the case in favour of the couple Shefin Jahan and Hadiya, denying the allegations of Love Jihad.

(With inputs from PTI)

Published 15 January 2020, 11:39 IST

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