In October this year, Faisal, a man in Malappuram district of Kerala who had converted to Islam earlier this year, was given a piece of advice by a local Muslim cleric: Seek protection from the community. Faisal, who was earlier known as Anil Kumar, had then told him, “After embracing Islam, I have entrusted everything to Allah (God). If they want to kill me, let them.” On November 19, Faisal was hacked to death by a gang of unidentified men on his way to the local railway station to pick up his parents-in-law. Police sources had then said that Faisal could have been targeted for embracing Islam.
A report in The News Minute said Faisal’s mother Meenakshi (56) has also now converted to Islam taking the name of Jameela. She told the website that her religious conversion was a way of getting even with Faisal’s killers.
The Indian Express had reported earlier how Faisal, who had converted to Islam earlier this year while he was in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, wanted to convert his mother as well. Faisal belongs to an upper-caste Hindu Nair family. When he came to Kerala in August, he had converted his wife and three children, all below the age of 10. Years ago, his uncle’s family had also taken on the new faith.
“He became a Muslim by choice. No one compelled him. It was his decision. But he was not allowed to live.’’ Faisal’s father Krishnan Nair had then told the Indian Express. Some of their relatives were apparently not happy with the decision to convert to Islam.
In Malappuram, where Muslims constitute 70 per cent of the population, Faisal’s death is the second case of a convert to Islam being killed. In 1998, Ayyappan, a part-time temple priest, had been hacked to death, allegedly by workers of the RSS, after he converted to Islam and took on the name Yasir.