March 31, 1989 |
The shy, bespectacled leader of Sunni Muslims in three countries, Abdullah Ahdal was no fanatic. Indeed, he demonstrated his moderate beliefs in his private life. He often wore Western suits and met regularly with Western diplomats. He even sent his children to Roman Catholic schools rather than to one of the several Islamic academies here. That moderation may have been the death of him, Belgian authorities said Thursday.
March 30, 1989 |
The leader of Muslims in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg and his aide were shot and killed Wednesday, five weeks after the imam had distanced himself from Iran's death sentence for Salman Rushdie, author of the controversial novel, "The Satanic Verses." Imam Abdullah Ahdal, 36, a Saudi Arabian known as a moderate, and Salim Behir, a 40-year-old Tunisian who headed the Brussels mosque's social services and library, were shot at close range in the imam's office in the mosque, police said.