Wife of Slain Atheist Avijit Roy: “Is Bangladesh Going to Be the Next Pakistan or Afghanistan?”

Back in February, author Dr. Avijit Roy (below) and his wife Rafida Bonya Ahmed were returning home from a book fair in Dhaka, Bangladesh where they were promoting Roy’s latest work when two assailants came after them with cleavers and “hacked them mercilessly.”

Roy died shortly afterwards. Ahmed soon issued a public statement in which she claimed “the local police stood close by and did not act” while they were being attacked. We learned this month that Asim Umar, the leader of the Indian branch of Al Qaeda, has claimed responsibility for the attack.

In a lengthy interview with Reuters published yesterday, Ahmed lamented the tepid response from Bangladeshi officials:

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Why Getting Rid of Church/State Separation Could Be Great for Atheists

Ryan T. Cragun, an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Tampa, has written before about how atheists are better at dying than the religious. He also attempted to calculate how much money religious tax exemptions cost us (His estimate: $71,000,000,000/year).

His latest book offers a guide to how we can finally defeat faith — or the power it has, anyway.

It’s called How to Defeat Religion in 10 Easy Steps: A Toolkit for Secular Activists (Pitchstone Publishing, 2015):

In the excerpt below, Cragun explains why we must stop subsidizing religion and instead deregulate it:

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Landmark Study Shows Remarkable Growth of Non-Religious Americans

The last time the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released a comprehensive study of the religious demographics in the United States was 2007. We know a lot has changed since then. Atheists becoming more vocal, another batch of young people being raised with the Internet (where religious doubts thrive), and the acceptance of LGBT Americans (with the corresponding anti-gay religious bigotry) have all led people away from faith.

Today, the 2014 Religious Landscape Study was released, based on interviews with more than 35,000 people, and it brings with it a lot of wonderful data showing how quickly people are shedding their faith.

Here are the highlights:

The percentage of Americans with no religious affiliation is higher than ever before, at 22.8%, up from 16.1% in 2007:



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Once Again, an Atheist Blogger Has Been Hacked to Death in Bangladesh

For the third time since the beginning of the year, an atheist writer has been killed in Bangladesh.

Following Dr. Avijit Roy in February and Washiqur Rahman in March, a group of anonymous attackers killed blogger Ananta Bijoy Das yesterday (or late last night, U.S. time) as he walked to work:



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Friendly Atheist Podcast Episode 54: Jennifer Michael Hecht, Author of Doubt: A History

Our latest podcast guest is Jennifer Michael Hecht, author of Doubt: A History.

Her latest book is called Stay: A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It.

At the American Atheists 2015 convention in Memphis, Tennessee, Jessica spoke with Jennifer about how thoughts of suicide differ between atheists and religious people, how more people in history have been atheists than believers, and whether it’s possible to discern what certain historical figures thought about God.

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