24-year-old Kerala man assaulted by his family for renouncing Islam

According to Askar, when the first attempt to stop him in Malappuram failed, the group that allegedly assaulted him followed him to Kollam.
Askar Ali
Askar Ali
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A 24-year-old man was assaulted by a group, allegedly for renouncing Islam, on May 1, Sunday, near Kollam beach. The victim, Askar Ali hails from Malappuram district, and was a student at an Islamic center doing Hudawi program for 12 years. After he left the center he decided to renounce his religion. He had gone to Kollam to deliver a talk at an event organised by Essence Global, a rationalist group.

“Some of my relatives and some local people had tried their best to stop me from going to Kollam. First, they filed a missing person's complaint at our local police station in Malappuram, so the police called me to appear at the station. But when police contacted me, I informed them that I would come to the station after the talk,” Askar told TNM.

According to Askar, when the first attempt to stop him failed, the group followed him to Kollam.

“I was staying at a hotel when two of my relatives approached me saying they needed to discuss some family matters. They told me they came by train to Kollam.We went to the beach in an auto rickshaw where many men were waiting for me in an Innova. They tried to forcibly take me in the vehicle and physically assaulted me badly. I cried out loudly following which people gathered, and police also arrived, so I was saved,” he alleged.

A case was registered in Kollam East police station with regard to the incident, but no arrests have happened yet.

Askar said that he presented his experience at the conference in Kollam. “I explained how Islam is a politics now. I hinted at the sexual, physical and mental abuses one goes through at such residential centers. Children join such centers at the age of 8 or 10. They are so brainwashed that they will not be able to report any kind of abuse they face. Even if they disclose it at home, the religious families don't believe them,” Askar said.

It was hard for Askar to take this decision and speak out, he said. “This was the first time I gave a talk, I will do more,” he said, requesting not to write more about his place of stay or future plans. “They will follow me,” he added.

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