A radio host has been hospitalized after being cut 15 times by an unidentified criminal, after he criticized the Prophet Mohammed, on air, according to a Russian news agency.
Sergey Aslanyan, 46, was brought to Moscow’s hospital with numerous non-penetrating knife wounds to the chest, neck and arm.
According to the police report, on late Monday evening an unknown man called Aslanyan’s apartment over the building intercom asking him to come outside for a talk.
When the journalist stepped out of the entranceway he was knocked over the head with a heavy object and then attacked with a knife.
Aslanyan claimed that the attacker was shouting, “you are Allah's enemy!” during the attack.
There are conflicting reports as to whether there was one or several attackers.
The journalist is reportedly conscious and in stable condition and his flat is currently being guarded by police.
Investigators say they do not have a primary lead, but hope to identify the perpetrator using porch surveillance camera data, the news agency reported.
While speculations remain, the attack is said to have been the result of Aslanyan’s remarks against the Prophet Mohammed while on the air.
“The Prophet Mohammed, as we know, was not a religious figure. He was a businessman, but after getting considerable financial support built plans as to how to get to the top,” Aslanyan had said. He also asserted that the Prophet “rewrote the Bible” so that “now everyone would know the Prophet Mohammed was not a market shopkeeper, but an outstanding political figure.”
According to Aslanyan, the idea of Islam was a “business project from the very beginning,” and turned out to be successful due to “handsome financing.” He also speculated that the Prophet had some sort of sexual disorder.
While he did later apologize for his remarks, he has nonetheless stirred outrage in the Muslim community and has prompted a widespread angry reaction on the Islamic internet forums.
Muslims from the Republic of Tatarstan, where Islam is the dominant religion, wrote a letter to the Prosecutor General’s office saying, “These insults wound our religious feelings and come into conflict with Russian legislature, because they unleash ethnic discord and interreligious hatred.”
“Islam does not recognize the resort to force – for this there are authorities and courts,” the spokesperson of the Clerical Administration of the Republic of Tatarstan told Izvestia.
The radio host’s colleagues said that despite being a well-known agitator, Aslanyan had always been cautious regarding the comments he made on the air.
Recently, the Muslim community has been in, what seems like, a daily uproar regarding various ‘blasphemous’ being made against Islam and the Prophet Mohammed.
Earlier this week, Saudi Arabians expressed outrage over a McDonald's toy, which, they say, mocks the Prophet.
This week, too, an Egyptian court upheld a three-year sentence against a teenage Christian student for posting a drawing on his Facebook page that allegedly did the same, while prosecutors in Turkey demanded charging an internationally acclaimed Turkish pianist for comments he made on Twitter insulting Islam.