“I continue to stick on to my ideologies,” says Rafeeque

Crowdfund to help Kerala Muslim man rebuild studio burnt down for criticising purdah
news Wednesday, December 30, 2015 - 18:40

An online campaign was launched to help Rafeeque Taliparamaba to renovate his burnt studio which was damaged by anti-social elements for his alleged questioning of Islamic traditions in a WhatsApp group comprising friends and acquaintances.

Rafeeque’s continued adherence to his personal views on Islam has won the hearts of many with online contributions pouring in for renovation of his burnt studio.

Rafeeque points out that he had not criticized Islam per se. But he does believe that intolerances within the religion have to be questioned.

Equipment worth Rs 10 lakhs was reportedly lost in the fire set by some unknown persons at his studio located at Taliparamba in Kannur district on Sunday.

“The studio was my only means of livelihood. So a group of well-wishers launched the campaign to collect money for its renovation. Hopefully I can soon get back to my normal life,” said Rafeeque to The News Minute.

A few days ago, Rafeeque had allegedly questioned a few Islamic traditions in a WhatsApp group called ‘What is Islam'.

This had subsequently created a huge furore within the group with members supporting as well as condemning him.

A few openly threatened Rafeeque and exhorted others to boycott him.

A Facebook screenshot of a comment by Rafeeque in which he criticizes the purdah was also used against him. Rafeeque says that the screenshot reflected just a portion of his actual comment and was used solely to defame him.

In the comment he had reportedly criticized the ideology of viewing the purdah as a symbol of women’s purity.

“I shared my thoughts against religious intolerance through some voice messages in the WhatsApp Group. Some people later started sharing a portion of my message in which I criticize the covering of faces with purdah on Facebook,” he said.

Rafeeque who is a professional photographer was then threatened and trolled through social media with a few fellow-Muslims even accusing him of having staged the whole show for instant fame as well as to claim insurance.

He said that most of his fellow-believers seemed to have turned against him. “I had just shared my concerns. I have nothing against the purdah. It’s just that I don’t understand the need to cover faces.”

“Rafeeque added that all conservative beliefs should change with the times and that education was the only solution.

None of the religious organisations he observed have condemned the attack on his studio.

 

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