‘If my son was killed for being an atheist, I’ll become one too’
Those words were reportedly spoken by R Hameed, the Muslim father of H Farook, 31, above, an atheist who was murdered in India ten days ago, allegedly by members of a Muslim radical group,
Speaking to The Indian Express, 54-year-old Hameed said:
If the police version is true, that he was murdered by a radical Muslim group, then they killed my son using wrong interpretations of the Quran. The Quran is one holy book that insists on and allows the right of dissent since the time of the Prophet. If they killed him for being an atheist, I have decided to join his organisation and do what he did.
Hameed described his son, a father of two, as his:
Best friend. Even when he refused to attend the wedding of a close relative to avoid taking part in the religious rituals, I did not insist.
Hameed, however, admitted that he was concerned about his son’s “assertive” atheism.
He was very assertive. He wouldn’t attend family functions as he would have had to pray there. I did not know that he was part of a movement for a long period. But my wife used to tell me to leave him alone as he never imposed his views on others, even his wife Rasheeda. He respected others.
Farook, a member of the Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam (DVK), was Hameed’s elder son and used to run a scrap business in Ukkadam, near Coimbatore. On March 16, the 31-year-old was hacked to death, 15 days after he posted a photo of one of his children holding a placard with the handwritten slogan “Kadavul illai, Kadavul illai, Kadavul illai (No God, No God, No God)”.
In an earlier report, Hameed, told a reporter:
I am a Muslim. I knew my son was an atheist. But he didn’t hate anyone. I believe that atheists too have a right to live in this world.
Friends fondly remembered him someone who stood against all forms of religious fundamentalism.
In a Facebook post on March 13, Farook said:
I am an enemy of god, enemy of religion and enemy of caste. But I am not an enemy of humans who believe in humanity.
According to Coimbatore police, six people have been arrested in the case, all daily-wage labourers, including the main accused Saddam Hussein, Abdul Munaf and Jaffer Ali, who were known to Farook. Police said all of them have confessed to their role in the murder.