The Freethinkers is a vibrant Facebook group run by atheists catering to users speaking malayalam language in India’s Kerala state. It’s open to all and is a space for vigorous debates on varying topics like religion, politics and atheism. It has a huge membership and was mass reported and closed several times but came back with a vengeance.
Now an anonymous Jihadi malayalam blogger has directly threatened the admins of the group with violence.
Blogger depicts all kind of criticism towards Islam as an insult to the Prophet and religion. Freethinkers group is listed as the prime enemy of them in Kerala. Blogger calls for the murder of people behind the rational group, as part of Jihad. The list includes E A Jabbar, a popular veteran rationalist activist from Kerala. Blogger advises all Muslims to act against the rationalists, in a provocative way and reminds about the after-death benefits awaiting Jihadis who kill non-believers.
The Freethinkers of Kerala are not willing to be silenced by religious fundamentalists.
‘We stood our ground when religious extremists brutally mowed down secular and rationalist bloggers in Bangladesh. We didn’t flinch when Govind Pansare ,Narendra Dabolkar and MM Kalburgi were killed by the Hindu extremists. We will step up this resistance against religious fundamentalism and all its atrocities, and will fight for a scientifically enlightened India. As long as free thinking exist, our group will too’, Majish Chacko, an administrator of the Freethinker online group told Narada News.
‘We trust the criminal justice system of India will bring the perpetrators of hate, to justice’ Arham Muhammed, another administrator of the group said.
I am sure rationalists of Kerala will not be cowed down by such threats. Still it’s a stark reminder of danger in criticising religion. Any criticism means defamation and blasphemy. They know only to silence not to engage.