Another Atheist Blogger Murdered in Bangladesh

Ugh. Another atheist blogger has been murdered in Bangladesh, where only a few weeks ago Avijit Roy was hacked to death and his wife badly injured in an attack by fundamentalist Muslims. Washiqur Rahman was killed in a nearly identical attack to the one on Roy.

Washiqur Rahman’s Facebook banner declares “#IamAvijit”, after the leading secular and humanist blogger, Avijit Roy, who was murdered a month ago in Bangladesh.

This morning Washiqur Rahman himself was killed in similar circumstances: a machete attack by assailants on the streets of Dhaka. The brutal attack took place close to Rahman’s home. Police have reportedly taken two men into custody who were detained at the scene.

Bob Churchill, Director of Communications at the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) comments: “We are deeply saddened that yet another rationalist voice has been so brutally silenced in this vile backlash against atheist bloggers. Our thoughts are with Washiqur’s family and we stand in solidarity with the many individual thinkers and writers from Bangladesh who exercise their right to discuss religion — Islam in particular — frankly and critically. This is a human right, freedom of expression, and it should be respected and protected in Bangladesh, as it should be respected and protected everywhere.”

Asif Mohiuddin, who was also the victim of a machete attack in 2013, but survived and now lives abroad, described Washiqur on his Facebook page as a “humanist” and a true wit. He told the IHEU: “He was a good friend. We spent hours over tea discussing blogs a few years ago. He had a great sense of humor, his satires were amazing. I named him the George Carlin of Bangladesh! Personally he was very polite, a nice human being. He wanted with all his heart, a true secular country, where everyone can practice their freedom.”

I’d really like to see a major organization start a project to build a pipeline to get as many of these people who are willing to go out of these countries where they are at the mercy of such barbarians. I know of so many atheists in the Middle East and other places who live in hiding because of this. It would take a lot of money because we would need to not only get them out but help them financially and because we would need experts in immigration law to help make it all work. But it’s worth it. How many more must we lose before we make this happen?

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  • Nogbert

    The pipeline is a great idea. Apart from the immediate humanitarian value it would be good propaganda. Yes the extremists might count it as a win but hopefully the general population will be moved to attempt reform.

    As a meta comment I’d like to point out that this does not appear to be a matter of any great concern to the general readership here. Just going by the paucity of comments compared to those in adjacent dispatches.

  • JustaTech

    Nogbert,

    Often there are very few comments on posts like this because it’s not the right place for the most common types of comments. There’s nothing to mock here, nothing for MO’B to satirize, no place for the standard set of inter-commenter arguments. And from what I’ve seen here, people don’t tend to comment “Yes, you’re right” or “I agree” unless they have more to say.

    Yes, I agree with Ed. I also think that a lot of the bloggers and other atheists at risk will choose not to go because they want to fix their country, even at great personal risk.

  • leni

    I swear I left a comment here yesterday. I would happily contribute money to that cause. Ed, you could seriously get that started.

  • leni

    @Justatech, I thought that same thing, but even if they choose to stay, we can still help with money for legal aid, security and and plan B’s.