On June 12, 2022, a youth belonging to a Muslim family in Maharashtra, India, was arrested for making posts on social media where he criticized the Prophet Muhammad, condemned the violence in his name, and called upon citizens of India to reject all religions. Earlier in the day, the 19-year-old engineering student was confronted by a Muslim mob that raided his home and assaulted him.
Who’ll speak for 19-year-old Saad Ansari? I just did. pic.twitter.com/IN1H5WDen3
— Shiv Aroor (@ShivAroor) June 13, 2022
In a series of posts on his Instagram profile, Saad Ashfaq Ansari criticized the Muslim Prophet in response to the ongoing controversy that resulted in protests all over India. He wrote, "A 50-year-old man marrying a 6-9-year-old kid is clear child abuse. And I don't know how you people support this. Will you give your 6-year-old daughter to a 50-year-old man? (think about it).".
He further elaborated on his stance, "I'm not in support of any religion. I fucking hate them all. I'm just scared to live in a world where you and your family can be killed just because you spoke something about a man who died many years ago. Grow up, guys. Ditch the religions which spreads terrorism in the world. And BE A HUMAN BEING. It's just that simple. (I already know how much hate I'll get for posting this & prepared to be misunderstood because you people are still kids)."
In response to his posts, a radical Muslim mob gathered at the student's home on Sunday, June 12. He was beaten and forced to recite the Kalma (Islamic prayers). The police arrived due to the commotion and arrested the student. While Saad may face criminal charges for his actions in the future, he is safer in custody.
Last month Nupur Sharma, a BJP leader, talked about the "obscene" relationship Prophet Muhammad had with Aisha. She criticized the Prophet for wedding Aisha when she was six years old and consummating their marriage when she was nine. She has been suspended from her party and is currently persecuted by radical Islamists.
Saad, in his posts, praised the remarks made by Nupur Sharma, calling her a "brave lady" for stating facts and condemning the violent threats that she was receiving for it.
— Pooja Shali (@PoojaShali) June 14, 2022
On June 13, India Today, a reputed English magazine that championed India's democratic values and right to free speech, picked up the story. The media house openly criticized left-wing journalists and activists for failing to properly report or act on the case where a student was abused for questioning and challenging the religion to which he belonged. Their story coverage resulted in more than 100 people being booked for participating in the mob violence.