Another secular blogger hacked to death in Bangladesh

I don’t know what to do about this except to tell public secularists (or critics of Islam) living in Bangladesh (especially Dhaka) to get the hell out of there. This is at least the fourth case I remember, but Wikipedia, in its article on “Attacks on secularists in Bangladesh” lists at least nine victims as well as several more (e.g., Taslima Nasreen) who have been targeted.

In  this case the victim, first hacked up with machetes and then shot (his brains were said to have splattered the sidewalk), was 28-year-old Nazimuddin Samad, said to have criticized Islamism on his Facebook page. And he also promoted evolution! As the Guardian reports:

“At least four assailants hacked Nazimuddin Samad’s head with a machete on Wednesday night. As he fell down, one of them shot him with a pistol from close range. He died on the spot,” deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan police Syed Nurul Islam told AFP.

“It is a case of targeted killing. But no group has claimed responsibility,” Islam said, adding police were investigating whether Samad was murdered for his writing.

The Dhaka Tribune said the assailants shouted Allahu Akbar (God is greatest) as they attacked Samad on a busy road near Dhaka’s Jagannath University, where he was a law student.

Samad was known to have been critical of state religion in the Bangladeshi constitution. In the first two lines detailing his religious views on Facebook, he stated: “Evolution is a scientific truth. Religion and race are invention of the savage and uncivil people.”

Here’s part of his “about me” statment on his Facebook page, mostly in Bangla but with some English:

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 9.16.53 AM

Imagine getting killed for saying stuff like that! A bit more from the Guardian:

Imran Sarker, who leads Bangladesh’s largest online secular activist group and is the head of the Bangladesh Bloggers Association, said Samad had joined nationwide protests in 2013 against top Islamist leaders accused of committing war crimes during the country’s war of independence.

“He was a secular online activist and a loud voice against any social injustice. He was against Islamic fundamentalism,” said Sarker.

[Mustakur] Rahman said he had warned Samad about his social media posts that were critical of Islamism and religion: “Whatever he posted, I would see as fun. But people are taking it seriously and taking revenge. As a friend I warned him about the posts, I don’t want anyone to die early. But he said he can’t change his opinion against any religion.

This is probably not the last killing by any means; there’s reportedly a hit list of 84 Bangladeshi bloggers, though its authenticity isn’t guaranteed. But several on it have been killed, and the rest surely know the danger they’re in. Nevertheless, some keep on writing. Really brave peopl.

Here’s Samad’s photo from his Facebook page:

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And really, are Islamic apologists going to blame this one (and the others) on the West? That’s not credible, for public secularism is more or less a capital crime in some Islamic countries.

19 Comments

  1. Anne-Marie Cournoyer
    Posted April 7, 2016 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Quel courage!!! Et quel dommage…

  2. Cindy
    Posted April 7, 2016 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Just read about this an hour ago. Very sad. But these Bangladeshi atheist bloggers are not nearly as oppressed as the angry outrage bloggers who need patreon dollars because someone commitred *violence* by daring to disagree with them.

    Just checked out a video yesterday where reporter Lauren Southern teased students at a liberal college in Canada by *putting on a sombrero*. These crybabies accused her of actual violence.

    This is what Dear Muslima is all about. Get some perspective!!

  3. Sastra
    Posted April 7, 2016 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Given what he’s written, I can imagine that Islamic apologists might tut-tut appropriately over the violence but focus then on Samad’s characterization of religion as the product of a “savage” people and past. That’s a dog whistle no-no right there. Those who are eager to equate criticism of religion with violence will victim-blame.

    If Samad’s attack had happened in the United States I suspect plenty of people would be wondering why an atheist would object to being killed since without God we’re only evolved meat and it’s “survival of the fittest.” Accompanied by condemnation of violence, but only because God is real after all and besides the atheist might theoretically have converted.

    Of course, I can imagine and speculate pretty freely about things that I’ve not heard said by hypothetical people I disagree with. As it is, this is sad and terrifying and brutal and I also think it quite likely the ghostly Islamic Apologists of the Regressive Left probably think the same thing.

    • TJR
      Posted April 7, 2016 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      Unfortunately the acronym is GIARLs, otherwise that’s a very nice descriptor.

    • Gamall
      Posted April 7, 2016 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      Ghostly or ghastly ?

      • Sastra
        Posted April 7, 2016 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        “Ghostly,” I think. Some people see them quite clearly all around, some people glimpse them from the corner of the eye and say it was just the cat.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted April 7, 2016 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      … without God we’re only evolved meat …

      Vive the ascent of the flesh!

      If horrific events like this don’t shock the GIARLs out of their moral stupor, perhaps nothing will.

  4. GBJames
    Posted April 7, 2016 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    sub

  5. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted April 7, 2016 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Imagine getting killed for saying stuff like that!

    You’re going to be getting hopes up for a number of the lunatic fringes of the western world.
    Poor people, not being allowed to think differently from their neighbours without getting killed for it.

  6. rickflick
    Posted April 7, 2016 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    I’m sure there is a strong secular aspect in Bangladesh which should give hope. They’ve been a democracy since 1991. It would seem the nation is becoming more Islamist every week. I fear that with the frequent killing of outspoken bloggers, the secular part of the society will perhaps shrivel away leaving the country to their very own theocratic “dark ages”.

    • Posted April 7, 2016 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Seems to be the natural development of a Muslim-majority country.

    • Gordon
      Posted April 7, 2016 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      I used to visit Bangladesh reasonably often about 15-20 years ago at which time it was still a relatively peaceful place and certainly this type of violence seemed not to be apparent. Even the more obvious Muslim style of dress was not particularly apparent – to the extent that I was actually warned by one of my hosts that his wife wore a more traditional head covering. The country seems to have seriously regressed over recent years and as is noted this seems to reflect the increasing influence of the more radical versions of Islam that have been creeping in – often I suspect externally influenced but also drawn into the weird political alliances of the country.

      • rickflick
        Posted April 7, 2016 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

        The external influence might be the Saudi Wahhabis.

  7. Heather Hastie
    Posted April 7, 2016 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    When Bangladesh was established it was as a secular state with a secular constitution. Since then, Islam has been made the state religion as a sop to the Islamists. They talked about changing that recently, but chose to retain Islam as the official religion.

    The mention of war crimes is significant in this. An Islamist leader was convicted of particularly bloody war crimes and there were widespread calls for him to receive the death penalty, which he did.

    Atheist bloggers were a tiny minority of those calling for the death penalty, but outlawed Islamist groups blamed them for the death of their leader. There were protests, especially in Dhaka, calling for the death penalty for atheist bloggers. These protests turned violent.

    As a further sop to the Islamists, who the government is scared of, some atheist bloggers were arrested. They were later released when things quietened down.

    While there had previously been sporadic attacks and one murder (2004 iirc) the recent spate of machete murders of atheist bloggers by Islamist extremists started with Avajit Roy in February 2015.

    An Islamist group in Bangladesh has published a list of names and addresses of atheist bloggers on the Internet and called for their deaths for the glory of Allah. I found it when I was researching one of the posts I did about the atheist murders in Bangladesh. (Go to http://www.heatherhastie.com and do a search on Bangladesh if you’re interested.)

    The authorities have done little to stop this and there have been few arrests.

  8. darrelle
    Posted April 7, 2016 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    This is very depressing.

  9. Posted April 7, 2016 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    I’ll never set foot in Bangladesh.

  10. Mike
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    • Posted April 8, 2016 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      I’ve always said that in every age and amongst every people there are people who are to varying degrees free thinkers and skeptics. Examples are important, since there are fools (or worse) who think that such attitudes are “white” or “male” or whatever, when of course they are the friend of the oppressed regardless of her colour.

      (Prejudice is a product, in part, of ignorance.)


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