Several atheist bloggers from Bangladesh are facing both blasphemy prosecutions and angry mobs of Muslim totalitarians who want to kill them. One of them, Asif Mohiuddin, is out on bail and in hiding, but he’s been exchanging email with Hemant Mehta and Austin Dacey. He told Hemant:
… I don’t have any job right now, and can’t go out of home. Even some religious people threw me out of the area where I was living. I don’t have any place to live also. But I’ll fight till the end for my freedom of speech, my freedom of believing and not believing and criticizing religious dogmas and fundamentalism. Even if I die, some other will take my place and he will keep fighting.
Someone have to sacrifice something for revolution or big changes.
“It is not very safe to go outside of home nowadays as my name is on the hit list of some fundamentalist groups,” Asif told me. “Our prime minister said that they will arrange some police protection for the bloggers and activists of the Shahbag movement; my name was on that list also. But no one contacted me about it.”
The Shahbag movement (named for a political center in the Bangladeshi capital) brought to new intensity longstanding calls for the prosecution of the perpetrators of atrocities committed during the 1971 war for independence of what was then East Pakistan, many of whom went on to become leaders in religious parties such as Jamaat, bent on sabotaging the country’s strides towards secular democracy.
Sometimes it’s easy to take for granted the freedom and relative security we have in America and most of the Western world. But these people are showing extraordinary courage when their lives are at stake, something most of us will, thankfully, never have to face.