Targetted because I am an atheist

Intolerance of the Muslim Kind

Rafeeque, a self-avowed atheist and left sympathiser from Thaliparamba in Kerala’s Kannur district says he was targeted by fundamentalists and his video production studio burned down at 2.30 a.m. on December 26, 2015 to scare him and stifle his independent views on various aspects to do within Islam.
Rafeeque owns the Obcura studio in Thaliparmba in Kannur and is or was the administrator of a Whats APP group called “What is Islam?” On this group he has attempted to have many discussions on the practice of purdah and polygamy.

Speaking to Combatonline, he said that he began to feel the threat and intimidation from self-proclaimed defenders of the faith who are also political activists when his comments on the Hijab (covering eyes and face of women) were widely shared within the Muslim community in Kerala and also in the Gulf countries. “Many persons openly advocated the boycotting of my studio by the Muslim community,” said Rafeeque who added that a few days back he received direct threats from the internet.

Examples of Threats

The threats on Whats App and Social Media were vicious and on predictable lines. “Rafeeque is only expressing these views to get attention and claps from Muslim-haters” reads one. Another reads, “Rafeeque Pulimparamba", who is running this Obcura Video Studio “carrying our prostituting activities against Islam so  boycott him and do not hire his services for video shooting of marriages and other occasions.”
Rafeeque said soon after, he began to feel the heat from orthodox elements in the community. He said his comments were widely shared in the Muslim community in Kerala and even Gulf countries. “Many advocated boycotting my studio and asked community members not to give me any work. A few days ago, I received threatening calls over the internet,” said Rafeeque.

He also said that while he cannot pin down any particular organisation as many Muslim outfits have conservative and rabid elements who can engineer such attacks. However the cost to Rafeeque has been a total damage of Rs 2 lakhs. Local persons from all communities, including a majority of Muslims have come together to contribute Rs 1 lakh rupees that has been handed over to him to make up for the damage. Inexplicably, however, no FIR has yet been registered by the local police.
Question remains however,  will those guilty of arson, threats and intimidation, be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted?



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