Interfaith Solidarity Counters Catholic Priest Booked for Anti-Muslim Remarks in Kerala

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Representatives of the two communities held a meeting where it was decided that the two sides would work together for mutual respect.

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI – Police in Kerala’s Kannur district filed a case against a Catholic priest for allegedly making uncharitable comments against Muslims and Islam. Following this, Christian community leaders came together in solidarity with their Muslim brethren and joined in condemning the errant priest.

Ulikkal police in Manikkadavu near Iritty booked Fr Antony Tharakkadavil of the Kunnoth Seminary under Section 153 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), following a complaint that he passed on some offensive remarks against halal food (the food permissible in Islam) and blasphemed Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) during the course of a speech at St Thomas Church.

Denouncing the priest’s misdemeanor, a Muslim organisation launched a counteroffensive against him with the accusation of his involvement in the conversion of Muslim girls through allurement. They warned that his activities could disturb communal harmony in the state.

Following his offensive remarks against Muslims, the Christian leaders and the Archdiocese of Thalassery distanced themselves from Tharakkadavil saying they won’t support his remarks which, they confessed, are prejudicial to interfaith relations and social harmony.

“The remarks against Muslim beliefs in a speech made during the Manikkadavu church festival do not reflect the stand of the Catholic Church or the Thalassery Archdiocese. We do not support ideas which are against communal harmony,” said Father Thomas Thenguballil of the Archdiocese, according to a report in The Times of India.

Sensing that the unsavory development is unduly causing schism between them, representatives of the two communities held an interfaith meeting where it was decided that the two sides would work together for mutual respect and camaraderie for social harmony and ensure that such indiscretion is not repeated in future.

Sunni Yuvajana Sangam (SYS), the organisation that complained the police against the offence, was represented by its district president Syed Safwan Thangal while Father Thomas Thenguballil led the Chritian side at a meeting convened to resolve the issue.

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