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Religious intolerance in Congress' own backyard, studio of Muslim photographer burnt down
The opposition parties in the Parliament, mostly the Communist parties and Congress, have attacked the ruling NDA for alleged rise in intolerance in the country. But, recently an incident of intolerance took place in Congress ruled state Kerala, where the studio of a Muslim photographer was burnt for his remark against purda culture.

Rafeeque, a photographer by profession, saw his studio in Taliparambu in Kerala burning to ashes on Saturday morning, with equipment worth lakhs lost in the fire. All this happened after he allegedly made provocative comments on the use of purdah in a WhatsApp group.

According to Rafeeque, the damage could have been done by some people from the group itself, who have sent him threatening message. He said, "It was not a public forum, but a group of people who knew each other. This was my personal opinion that I shared and I have faced a lot of vitriolic attacks because of it. Now my livelihood has been affected."

Rafeeque who owns the studio Obcura in Taliparamba in Kannur had recently renovated the studio and now he has incurred a loss of Rs 10 lakh as some of his costly equipments and furnitures were burnt to ashes.

The WhatsApp groups where Rafeeque had shared his thoughts was named 'What is Islam', and he himself was the admin of the group. Rafeeque who was a Left sympathiser has said in the group that covering faces in public should be avoided as many people use purdah as cover for immoral activities.

After this message by Rafeeque, some orthodox elements in the community started attacking him on WhatsApp. His comments were even shared in the Muslim community in Kerala and the Gulf countries, and he got threatening emails also.

The matter is under investigation and the police said that this could be the role of a handful of youth rather than an organisation.

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