IF murder allegations made by the family members of the slain Sheikh Nurul Islam Faruqi prove to be true then there is a cause for worry. The allegation clearly points finger at those who oppose Faruqi's religious views. And never a crime so gruesome was committed in recent times for possessing different religious views.
Faruqi , an Islamic scholar was renowned for playing the host of an Islamic TV show. Many may have differed with some of his opinions and viewpoints, but which of his opinions or remarks became so intensely repulsive that he had to be killed? This murder mystery must be convincingly solved. Disagreement must never be attuned to be.
Does his murder signal that we are becoming increasingly intolerant about those who oppose our religious opinions? Whatever the answer may be the countrywide showdowns of violent demonstrations by Faruqi's followers and supporters may trigger more violent outcomes, if the killers are not hunted down quickly.
Since Faruqi was a media personality and TV channels continue to air a number of Islamic shows I will attempt to express a close observation. An important source of inter and intra-religious conflict is the binary thinking existing among the many faith groups. And from the various TV channels followed I would say that it's the teaching of the principle of extreme particularism that has divided the viewers of our country. The belief that one's own view possesses all of the truths may have made Faruqi both popular and also unpopular.However, the end result has been recorded in a mounting fear and contempt towards other faith groups.
It's both sad and terrifying to see that differences manifest into violent acts.
Our Islamic shows must express forcefully that Islam teaches and promotes pluralism that different beliefs and practices are equally valid, when interpreted within their own schools of thought.
The reported ideological clash between Faruqi's Ahle Sunnat and Hefajat never appeared as blatant as after Faruqi's death.
We call all parties to show tolerance up till the police investigations reveal the actual motive behind the murder. Violence and terror on this count are unwarranted.
His murder marks an ominous signal for various reasons.
The writer is Current Affairs Analyst, The Daily Star