On Sunday, May 1, police from Kollam, Kerala, India, filed a police report for the attempted murder of a 24-year-old who a group of men attacked.
According to police reports, Askar Ali, a resident of Malappuram, was in Kollam that Sunday to speak at a conference.
Ali completed a 12-year Hudawi religious program from a well-known religious institution and was invited to speak by Essense Global. This organization promotes "scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform in society."
Hudawi program is an advanced Islamic religious study offered by a well-established religious academy in Malappuram.
According to Ali's statement to the police, a group of men prevented him from speaking at the conference. "They took me to Kollam beach, where I was manhandled," he explained.
"They destroyed my mobile phone and tore my clothes. They forcibly took me to a vehicle and tried to lock me inside," Ali added.
Residents in the area alerted the police, who responded and saved Ali.
Essence Global confirmed that Ali was able to deliver his speech at the conference while police stayed to secure the venue. Ali shared his experience studying Islam, including alleged sexual harassment, and how his journey led him to "the path of humanism."
Arif Hussain Theruvath, an Ex-Muslim in India, tweeted a picture of Ali speaking at the Essence Global conference. Theruvath also disclosed that Ali's attackers included his brother.
He was #attacked today and tried to abduct by his #brother &co for becoming an #exmuslim just before his speech at #Essense venue. Askar was an Islamic scholar who lost faith after completing the islamic course - #Hudavi pic.twitter.com/H1Db75ZIC9
— Arif Hussain Theruvath (@arifhussaintm) May 1, 2022
"Askar was an Islamic scholar who lost faith after completing the Islamic course," Theruvath added.
Harris Sultan, an activist, an Ex-Muslim, and author of the book The Curse of God - Why I left Islam, said Ali's brother, "who hasn't studied Islam tells him he doesn't understand Islam."
Islamic scholar leaves Islam after studying Islam but his brother who hasn't studied Islam tells him he doesn't understand Islam.
— Harris Sultan (@TheHarrisSultan) May 2, 2022
A day before the attempted murder, Ali's family reported to the police claiming that he was missing. On May 2, the police escorted Ali to the Malappuram magistrate's court, where he expressed his desire to live away from his family.
Ali's denouncing of Islam was not received well by his family, local news reported.
"Ali did not want to go with his family, and the court allowed him to live as per his wish." police said.
"He has not sought any protection," they added.