Thiruvananthapuram: At a time when communal prejudices seem to be returning with a vengeance, Kerala has shown a heartening case of communal harmony. Christians of the state opened doors of their Bishop’s house for their Muslim brothers for the valedictory session of the 90th anniversary of Samastha Kerala Jam’iyyathul Ulama, held at Alappuzha beach on Sunday.
The functionaries of Alappuzha Bishop House, head quarters of Roman Catholic Diocese of Alleppey, opened their halls for Muslims in order to help the perform their Maghrib and Isha prayers. Besides, their Muslims brothers were allowed to use the toilets and other facilities of the Bishop house.
“People in huge crowd began to throng to the beach from Sunday afternoon. They were helpless to find a place to perform their prayers. We opened our doors for our brothers as it occurred several times in our history,” Father Febi, secretary of Bishop House told Twocircles.net.
The functionaries were happy to see their Muslim brothers walking to the headquarters in queue. The discipline they kept till to the final moment, according to Febi, drew the respect of the local people. “The entire crowd, reportedly, numbered around 5 lakh, they acted well. Even after we opened our doors, everyone was separately seeking our permission to enter inside and take ablution from our water tank,” Father Febi added.
The incident was brought to limelight through a Facebook post by Samastha Kerala Sunni Students Federation (SKSSF), the student’s outfit of Samastha. The state general secretary Sathar Panthalloor, in his post, expressed gratitude to the Christian brothers.
“No communication was held between the organisers and the functionaries of Bishop House. They timely responded to the needs of their Muslim brothers,” Sathar told Twocircles. Febi went on to say that they could have given more arrangements if such communication was held.
However, the activists of Samastha decided to express their gratitude to the samaritans by giving a memento in order to keep this tradition intact. “Our state leaders were much happy and told us to give our Christian brothers what they deserve for their favour,” SKSSF local leader Hashim Neerkunnam.
On Tuesday evening, a small felicitation function was held at the Bishop House, in which local leaders of Samastha handed over a memento to Alappuzha Bishop Stephen Athipozhiyil in the presence of Alappuzha MP K C Venugopal. Venugopal handed over the memento to Bishop. Samastha leaders. C Mohammed Al Qasimi and Usman Saqafi along with P A Shihabudheen Musliyar, Faisal Shamsudheen and Noushad Panthrandil attended the function.