Recently I had heard that another person in Bangladesh had been murdered on the basis of atheistic or humanistic beliefs by religiously-motivated fanatics. Nazim Uddin Samad was a law student at Jagganath University in Sadarghat before he was hacked and shot to death by members of Ansar al-Islam, who are actually a branch of al-Qaeda, all because he posted a criticism of Islamic religious fundamentalism on his Facebook. It was yet another senseless act of violence, one that was appallingly familiar to me (two years ago I heard about a guy called Thaba Baba who was killed in the country for much the same reason). Now, when you have such a senseless brutal murder on your hands, you might ask, what does the government do about this? Well guess what? Bangladesh’s Minister of Home Affairs, Asaduzzaman Khan, decided to assert that bloggers should “control their writing” and decided that the government needed to “scrutinize” his writings to see if he wrote anything objectionable about religion.
I actually have a few words for Asaduzzaman Khan: what the fuck are you talking about!? That Nazim wrote anything “objectionable” towards religion is not the point! You should know damn well that Nazim was murdered by people who wanted to impose their fanatical religious beliefs on others through violence, and through that violence induce fear and terror with the obvious purpose of forcing others to observe their beliefs and destroying the right to freedom of speech. The problem isn’t that he offended certain religious beliefs, it’s that an innocent man was killed for expressing his opinions and the government is not only doing fuck all to stop it, but has actively decided that people expressing their opinions is the problem rather than people being killed by goddamned terrorists! In my opinion, that you’re warning bloggers to be wary of “hurting the feelings of religious people” is a sure sign that you don’t want to protect freedom of speech or freedom of belief, that you have no intention of stopping religious extremists from doing the wrong thing. You’re condemning innocent people to die and you don’t even know it, because you don’t treat these terrorists who kill innocent people as criminals, which is the way they should be treated in the fucking first place!
That is disgusting! It’s abominable, and no one should stand for it!
Nazim is far from the only person to be murdered for criticizing Islamic extremism. Two years ago I mentioned in one of my posts a guy called Thaba Baba (aka Ahmed Rajib Haider), who was killed in 2013 by Islamists. But Thaba Baba is not the only one either. Last year, five other secular atheist bloggers were also murdered: Avjit Roy, Faisal Arefin Dipan, Anant Bijoy Das, Washiqur Rahman Babu, and Niloy Chakrabarti were all hacked to death on separate occasions. Some of them, like Arif Noor and Asif Mohiuddin, manage to survive their injuries. Often times, when the bloggers aren’t being attacked and killed by Islamists, they’re receiving death threats from these people. Ananya Azad, for instance, was told that he would be next after nine other bloggers out of a hit list of 84 were murdered. Another blogger, Maruf Rusal, had received several threatening calls from Islamists, some of whom offered to “buy [him] a coffin”. And sometimes, the government of Bangladesh arrested atheist bloggers, including Asif Mohiuddin, for violating Bangladesh’s apparent “blasphemy laws”. Although Mohiuddin was eventually released, let the word be known: Bangladesh’s supposedly secular government arrested bloggers for writing against Islamic extremism, and all instead of punishing whose who want to kill people simply for not believing in their interpretation of Islam. In Bangladesh, the threat of being killed for speaking out as an atheist, secularist, or humanist very is real, and people in Bangladesh are justifiably terrified of such a thing happening to them, while the government does fuck all to stop it.
In fact, before he died, Nazim wrote a criticism of the current ruling government, writing this (originally in Bengali):
The situation of the country, deterioration of law and order in the country, speak that maybe you cannot stay long in power.
Quite obviously Nazim was aware of people being killed for doing nothing more than , and he seems to have observed that the government in Bangladesh, despite its supposed commitment to delivering justice, has done nothing about it. And now, after his death, the government has decided to warn the victims not to speak their minds, instead of warning the terrorist religious fundamentalists that they will face justice for their crimes. And it’s true what Nazim said isn’t it? If religious fundamentalists can kill innocent people and a supposedly secular government hasn’t done much to stop it or even discourage it, then that is a deterioration of law and order, a sign of the takeover of religious extremism, and a sign that the government of Bangladesh is giving up its legitimacy as a government because it won’t defend its own people – a sign that a country is going straight to shit!