I’ve written a few posts about the horrors in Bangladesh. Now, a group of atheist organizations are going to at least make their voices heard.
An international coalition of atheist and humanist organizations, led by the Center for Inquiry, the International Humanist and Ethical Union, and American Atheists will protest the arrest and persecution of atheist bloggers and other dissenters in Bangladesh with demonstrations in New York, Washington, London, Ottawa, and other cities around the world on Thursday, April 25.
Bangladesh has recently been at the center of a human rights crisis as authorities have detained several prominent atheist bloggers for “hurting religious sentiments,” followed by the arrest of a newspaper editor who printed quotations from the targeted bloggers, and two more young people for making “derogatory remarks” about Islam on Facebook. Tens of thousands of people have rallied in the country’s capital to demand more arrests, tougher blasphemy laws, and have threatened violence if their demands are not met by April 25.
With these unprecedented demonstrations, secularists around the world will express their solidarity with those jailed for speaking their minds about religion. Protesters will draw global attention to the plight of those persecuted for exercising their rights to freedom of belief and expression, and attempt to spur the international community to take action and compel the government of Bangladesh to change course.
And if religious people sensitive to injustice want to participate, they’re more than welcome. We don’t call it “secular justice” we just call it justice. In that sense, perhaps we can ditch “interfaith” and their members-only club in favor of better words like “charity” which elevate the cause above what gets the credit for it.