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?