Thiruvananthapuram: Father Joseph Puthenpurackal, counsellor of the Capuchin Congregation in Kerala, has landed himself in a controversy for delivering a ‘inflammatory’ speech on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
In the video of his address, which he delivered during a community meeting 15 days ago, Puthenpurackal can be heard saying, “Talking about the amended citizenship act, what the Centre has done is wrong, but the we cannot always trust Muslims. In places like Bombay (Mumbai), we are able to survive because of the Shiva Sena, otherwise the Muslims would destroy us there. I have seen their actions when I was there.”
“Muslims are bigger religious fanatics than Hindus. What the central government has done to them (by implementing the CAA) is injustice, but they are no saints either. Those who kill us more in Iraq, Syria are all Muslims. We must also take that into account, we should also look at that aspect. Around the world Muslims are the ones who kill us more,” he added.
Soon after the controversial video went viral, the priest apologised for his remarks, stating he did not intent to hurt anyone and was not talking about Indian Muslims but those in countries like Syria, and Iraq, where Christians are attacked.
“I fully respect the Muslim community. I apologise for the comments…I did not mean to hurt anyone. It was said in a different context. I was not talking about the Muslims in India, I was talking about how Christians are being attacked in countries like Iraq and Syria,” he told CNN-News18.
The priest is known for giving speeches on Christianity and religious faith, for his witty remarks and humorous stories on social media, and has appeared on several TV shows.
In the video, Puthenpurackal can also be heard saying people were threatened and forcefully converted to Islam when Tipu Sultan and his soldiers reached Malabar. "Don’t think people there embraced Islam. Hindus and Christians were forcibly converted 515 years ago," he said.