And now they kill an engineer, a husband, a father of three. These guys claim some special connection to their religion? They must be called "religious fundamentalists"? Give me a break. In some circles, that phrase is almost respectable you know. The association with religion, the going back to the book. "Strict maintenance of ancient or fundamental doctrines" is one definition of "fundamentalism".
So tell me how beheading a 41-year-old man qualifies. Tell me how devastating a wife and kids is a fundamental doctrine.
No, let's call these fellows what they are: vandalising (remember Bamiyan) murderous thugs.
These are the guys who killed Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, Sanjoy Ghose in Assam, Ken Saro-Wiwa in Nigeria, Ehsan Jaffrey in Ahmedabad, Rupin Katyal on IC-814, Darshan Kaur's husband Ram Singh in Delhi, my friend Autar Kaw's father in Kashmir, go down the tragic list. Murderous thugs all. Nothing religious about any of them; and if religion is not involved, nothing that we should respect in their assorted causes or reasons or goals.
I find very little to attract me in religion anyway. At times like this, even less. Fundamentalists of any kind nauseate me. Yet even so, I think it's time to stop blaming this kind of thuggery on "religious fundamentalism." That only gives thugs a cloak, a fig leaf. (You persuade at least some credulous sorts if you claim to be "protecting the faith").
Thuggery is what thugs do, that's it, and that's how we must call it. No more fig leaf.