Farooq was an Iron scrap dealer living in the South Indian city of Coimbatore. He was an outspoken ex Muslim atheist who regularly used to criticise all religions including Islam on Facebook and Whatsapp. He was an active member of an outfit called Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhakam, a break away group of Dravidar Kazhakam.
Not able to answer his criticisms, Islamists decided to punish him as per their holy book.
Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment, Quran 5 : 33
A telephone call lured him out of his house on Friday night. He was waylaid by a group of men on motorcycles and hacked to death.
Farooq was murdered after he had left his Bilal Estate house in South Ukkadam at around 11 pm after receiving a phone call.
He was on his scooter and was nearing Ukkadam Bypass Road when four people on motorcycles intercepted him. He tried to flee but couldn’t escape.
Hearing the commotion, residents of the area rushed out of their homes after which the assailants fled.
Locals found Farooq’s body lying on the road. His body bore multiple stabs and cuts inflicted by the assailants.
Coimbatore Deputy Commissioner of Police S Sravanan reached the spot with police and began investigations.
According to DCP Saravanan, Farooq was the admin of a WhatsApp group of people with rationalistic views who regularly debunk religion and religious claims.
That vocal opposition to religion might be a possible motive for murder, DCP was quoted as saying.
Atheist Farooq had posted rationalistic messages on his Facebook page which attracted criticism by members of the Muslim community, who called him an apostate.
For me this killing is more terrifying as it is much closer to home. Also unlike Bangladesh or Pakistan this is not a Muslim majority country.
But this killing underline the importance of work done by atheists and humanists in debunking and exposing religion as a cruel inhuman cult. Unless more and more people join the fight and defeat these fundoos and their ideology with reason, such killings will continue.