‘Narcotic Jihad’: Key players keep off harmony meet in Kerala

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A forum of prominent religious leaders here on Monday, called by Syro-Malankara Catholic Church head Cardinal Mar Baselios Cleemis, stressed the need for creating local forums to foster communal harmony. 
The meet was convened in a bid to end the 'narcotic jihad' row triggered by a remark by Pala bishop Mar Joseph Kallarangatt but representatives of Syro Malabar church and Samastha Kerala Jem Iyyathul Ulama didn't turn up. 
"We need a peaceful co-existence. The meeting discussed this and everyone was unanimous about the need for maintaining vigil in not hurting each other. We are not a force to implement a decision but we are here to discuss how peace can be brought in," Cleemis said after the meeting. 

Just preliminary discussion: MYL

Muslim Youth League president Sayyid Munavvar Ali Shihab Thangal said it was just a preliminary discussion. “We did not discuss controversial statements made by any religious heads. The objective of the discussion was how to maintain mutual respect, trust and love between us. We should be able to sustain brotherhood without causing enmity,” he said. 
Asked about the absence of some sections in the meet, Cleemis said: "It is not the time to find out who all did not attend the meeting. It was just a first step to maintain peace and harmony. The forum was here to discuss how we can bring everyone together." 
Munavvar Ali said they felt peace and brotherhood should be maintained at the grassroots. "For this, we think having local-level forums would be of great help so that more frequent discussions can be held there," he said. 
Cleemis said the meeting was not called to discuss any controversial statement. "If any statement that came from us has hurt any sentiment, I am here to give an apology," he said, when asked if the meeting discussed the remarks of Pala bishop. 
However, he said narcotics should be treated purely as narcotics. "I strongly believe that everyone should show restraint while making public statements," he said. 

Cleemis also said the meeting was not convened at the behest of the state government. "We have not communicated to the government about this meeting. However, we will welcome an all-party meet convened by the government to discuss the issues," he said. 

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/thiruvananthapuram/narcotic-jihad-key-players-keep-off-harmony-meet-in-kerala/articleshow/86385619.cms


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