Kerala Muslims Have Woken Up To the Menace
1. The Muslim youth are badly affected by drug addiction.
2. Narcotics are freely available in ice-cream parlours and juice corners in Kerala.
3. Muslim community of Pudukkad have decided to ostracise drug addicts.
4. Drug addiction is fast spreading among Muslims.
By New Age Islam Staff Writer
29 August 2022
The spread of narcotics and drug addiction is on the rise in the country and the Muslim community has also been affected by the availability of drugs. In recent years, the narcotics trade has seen a steep rise in the country. Seizures of big haul of narcotics from different parts of the country in recent months indicate that the narcotics trade has reached alarming proportions affecting the youth.
Recently, the Pudukkad Muslim community in the Thrissur district of Kerala had to take a drastic step of warning its members of ostracisation if they are found to be drug addicts. Those found guilty will not be able to participate in community programmes. Even their marriages will not be solemnised because it needs a certificate from the mosque committee.
Such a strict action on drug addiction demonstrates the severity of the problem. It is surprising that the Muslim community of Kerala is financially well off. Drug addiction is generally found among Muslim communities where there is poverty, unemployment and illiteracy. But the widespread practice of taking narcotics by the Muslims of Kerala raises some questions. The practice of consumption of narcotics among the Muslims is so widespread that in September 2021, a bishop, Joseph Kallarangatt had accused Keralite Muslims of waging 'Narcotics jihad' to convert non -Muslims particularly Christians into Islam. According to a newspaper report, he had said:
"The narcotic jihad is the activity of spoiling the life of non-Muslims, particularly youths, by making them addicted to drugs. Various types of drugs are being used in ice-cream parlours, hotels and juice corners run by hard-core Jihadis. They are using various types of drugs as a weapon to spoil non-Muslims.”
Though the Kerala Chief Minister had criticised the bishop for his unfounded remarks and even other bishops had warned him against being carried away by the propaganda spread by Hindutva forces, the report mentions that narcotics was freely available in ice-cream parlours, hotels and juice corners. This is only a failure of the law enforcing agencies and the government. How can narcotics be available in ice cream parlours and juice corners located in the streets?
The situation though not as grave as in Kerala in other parts of the country, is not much different either. In West Bengal, where a sizeable Muslim population exists, the menace of drug trade and drug addiction is on the rise in Muslim neighbourhoods. Drug suppliers including Muslims are often arrested by the police. Recently a Brazilian drug supplier was caught by the customs at the Kolkata airport and 450 grams of cocaine was seized from him.
It is a matter of concern that the evil of drug addiction has gripped the Muslim community of the country and the Muslims are falling prey to this menace along with the youth of other communities despite the fact that wine and other intoxicants are forbidden in the Quran and Hadith. The Muslims worldwide are known as a community which adheres to its religious values strictly. The Kerala Muslims have woken up when the vice surpassed all limits and the life and career of the Muslim youth came under threat. The Muslims of other states have still not realised the danger of drug addiction among the Muslim youth.
The reason behind the spread of drug addiction is the absence of reform movements in the community. Though there are a number of Islamic organisations claiming to be working for religious and moral reform among the Muslims, basic problems of drug addiction, consumption of wine, gambling etc are not attended by them. They are more preoccupied with sectarian issues. Fiery speeches from pulpits and in Meelad do not serve any purpose. An intensive campaign with de-addiction programme can help curb the problem. It needs a co-ordinated effort with the police and local intelligentsia. But ironically, the issue of drug addiction or availability of drugs in Muslim neighbourhoods is never taken seriously or collectively. It is left upon the local administration.
But the issue of drug addiction is not merely a legal problem but is related to the moral and religious commandments of the Muslim society. The local representatives of the municipalities do not take up the issue of drugs and narcotics because they think that this is not their responsibility but the responsibility of the police.
To curb the menace of drug addiction among the Muslims, the Ulema should take up the issue seriously and chalk out a long term plan to rid the Muslim society of the menace of drug addiction and wine consumption. The Muslim youth should be sensitised about the ill effects of drugs and wine and other psychotropic substances. De-addiction centres should be set up in such neighbourhoods and drug suppliers should be identified and reported to the police.
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