Niloy Neel’s death follows three such murders earlier this year. On February 26, machete-wielding religious fundamentalists hacked US-Bangladeshi blogger Avijit Roy to death. He was promoting his book “The Virus of Faith” in Dhaka.
The slain bloggers’ names have featured on a “hit list” of 84 people that has been allegedly circulating in the internet since 2013. [Source]
I would urge the British Government to offer fast track asylum to the remaining secular bloggers on the hit list, and their families, should they wish. Too many have been butchered as it is, with the Bangladesh government seemingly unable to stop these brutal deaths by islamic fundamentalists. The total number on the list killed must be in double figures now.
Imran H Sarker, leader of a secular group that campaigns for capital punishment for war criminals, involving the country’s independence war in 1971, said Chowdhury [Neel was his blogger name] was an active member of his group “Gana Jagaran Manch”. The platform is vocal for banning Banladesh’s largest Islamist party, Jamaat-e-Islami, which had campaigned against Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan in 1971.
In his Facebook post, Chowdhury criticized radical Islam. [Source]
It is politics. It is religion. It is extremism. It is murder. And the Bangladeshi government must be held to account for their failure to safeguard their citizens, as must the extremists that butcher to leave their mark. For when writers are put to death, no thought is safe to be uttered for fear of the assassin that will come forth to bring silence.
On a related note, blogger Bonya Ahmed gave the Voltaire lecture this year for the British Humanist Association. Her husband blogger Avijit Roy was murdered in February.
It was titled “Fighting machetes with pens”
I agree with actor and presenter Robert Llewellyn, who left a comment recently about the video:
When I can be bothered to say ‘Oh, I s’pose I’m a bit of an atheist’ the most likely response is indifference. Maybe, here on G+ or Twitter, I’ll be told that I need to experience God’s love or some half hearted attempt at convincing me I’m missing out on something. It’s not that likely I’ll be leaving a book fair and be hacked to death by a bunch of brain-dead morons who’ve been told since day one they must obey some bearded old twat in a Madrassa. That’s what happened to a humanist called Avijit Roy and his wife Bonya Ahmed who delivers this lecture. He was killed, she suffered very severe injuries. This is really worth watching as a chilling reminder of how bad religion can go. I’m not saying anyone who believes is likely to do this, obviously the opposite is true, 99.9% of any religion would find an attack like this utterly abhorrent, but…. This brutal murder is to do with the fear some men have that their religious power is waning, which, thank goodness I believe it is.
As we mourn the death of another blogger, it is worth remembering that they fear what we have to say.
Because people are starting to listen, all over the world.
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog
Facebook: John Sargeant