As I explain in Islam Unveiled, this is not infrequently the kind of reception that awaits Muslims who dare to stand up for reform of the religion.
Why? Because Islam is perfect, as Allah tells Muhammad: “This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion” (Qur’an 5:3).
Jihadists say to moderates: “You would change what is perfect? Do you know more than Allah?” And of course they see such presumption as a manifestation of unbelief and apostasy, making the moderate liable to a death sentence.
Also, the Qur’an warns Muslims against those who would keep the other observances of Islam but dare to remove fighting from it:
Hast thou not seen those unto whom it was said: Withhold your hands, establish worship and pay the poordue, but when fighting was prescribed for them behold! a party of them fear mankind even as their fear of Allah or with greater fear, and say: Our Lord! Why hast Thou ordained fighting for us? If only Thou wouldst give us respite yet a while! Say (unto them, O Muhammad): The comfort of this world is scant; the Hereafter will be better for him who wardeth off (evil); and ye will not be wronged the down upon a date-stone. (4:77)
Nonetheless, it is at least a good sign that the murder sparked protests. From ExpressIndia, with thanks to Twostellas:
Danwakote (rajouri), December 27: Piqued over the peace prayers at the local Jamia Masjid in non-descript hamlet of Danwakote in Rajouri district, militants last night abducted and slit the throat of the Imam of the mosque, sparking off a huge protest demonstration in the area.
Sources said today morning, hundreds of villagers from Danwakote and its adjoining areas came out on the streets to protest the killing of Moulvi Mohammad Bashir, the head priest of the Jamia Masjid mosque.
This is for the first time in the area that a religious preacher has been killed by militants.
According to villagers, at 8:30 pm last night, some unidentified gunmen barged into the house of Bashir and abducted him and another villager Khalil Ahmad at gunpoint.
After taking them a kilometer away, militants released Ahmad, but slit throat of Bashir, whose body was spotted by villagers.
Demanding visit of human rights organisation to the area, protesters said, “The killing of Imam has exposed the militants” claim of carrying out jehad and their so-called sympathy with Muslims of the area.”