Asif is living in Germany now (on a scholarship) and, in an English-language interview with Deutsche Welle, his bravery still comes through loud and clear:
… a few days ago, people posted a Facebook note that I should be killed, that somebody should go to Germany and kill me. They received around 1,200 ‘likes’ and many people shared that post. Yes, they are still looking for me and I am still the number one enemy of Islam in Bangladesh.
I was a believer of the Koran when I was 13 and 14. Then I realized that everything written in the religious books was fake and lies. I don’t believe that there is a person living in the sky, watching over the world. I don’t believe that. I read the Koran and the Hadiths [the traditional stories of Muhammad] and I criticized many of those things that were not compatible with modern society.
Asif says he plans to return to Bangladesh when his scholarship runs out — to finish the work he started years ago, to instill some reason in a country so overrun with blind faith.
That’s courage for you.