A man was stabbed to death outside a Canadian university residence by a Muslim acquaintance after an argument about Islam and Arabs reportedly got out of hand.
A rooming house outside of Toronto, Canada’s York University was the site of a fatal stabbing in the early hours of Tuesday morning, which witnesses say was caused by a religious argument about Islam. 28-year-old Alp Efe was rushed to hospital after being stabbed multiple times and was pronounced dead upon arrival at the facility. The man accused of his murder, 31-year-old Alijan Arif Khan was arrested later that day by police and charged with second-degree murder Canadian broadcaster CTV reports.
The motivation for the attack is reported by witness and neighbour Fatah Sandhu was an argument about Islam that escalated out of hand. “Some guy has been trying to say that Muslims are bad. The other guy is trying to say you guys are bad,” Mr. Sandhu said and added, “…And last night for some reason, it just got out of hand.”
Sandhu says the argument was over religion. pic.twitter.com/p7mCkx1hDW
— Azzura Lalani (@AzzuraLalani) September 13, 2016
Megan Griffith, another witness told Canadian media, “I heard them still out there at like 11 something and I heard one guy say, ‘Oh no, it’s because you’re Arabic,’ and the other guy was like, ‘No, it was not, it was your people,” before the fatal incident occurred.
An unnamed witness who lives in the area claimed that the pair of men often would debate and argue on a range of issues. He said that the arguments would start of reasonable, but the two men would drink heavily and the arguments would become ever more heated. the neighbour said the pair engaged in this sort of behaviour up to fours times a week.
A further witness described the moment of the attack claiming that the pair had initially parted ways only for Mr. Khan to return, he said, “And then, after that moment, he said it got quiet, like everyone was chilling, like everything calmed down and that’s when the guy ended up swinging and stabbing the other man.”
Police have charged Khan with second-degree murder and say that Mr. Efe is the 50th homicide victim in Toronto this year.
Murders committed for “insulting Islam” in Western countries are becoming more common. In the UK earlier this year a shopkeeper named Asad Shah, himself a minority Ahmadi Muslim, was killed by a 32-year-old Sunni Muslim for “disrespecting the prophet.”
In Muslim countries the situation can be even more perilous for anyone suspected of insulting Islam. In Nigeria a mob beheaded a woman in a public market for “blasphemy against Islam.” Muslim majority countries like Saudi Arabia even use the state to officially execute anyone who is found guilty of insulting the religion.