Religion of peace strikes again: Muslim militants murder another atheist blogger in Bangladesh’s capital city of Dhaka.
Machete-wielding assailants hacked to death atheist blogger Washikur Rahman near his home on Monday morning.
The brutal assassination is the second such attack in the mainly Muslim country of Bangladesh in less than two months. Last month American atheist blogger Avijit Roy, a U.S. citizen of Bangladeshi origin, was also attacked and murdered by machete wielding Muslim militants in Dhaka.
Rahman was attacked by young religious students on a busy street in the center of Dhaka on Monday morning, a police official said.
Police official Humayan Kabir told Reuters:
Police on duty near the spot caught two attackers red-handed with three machetes as they were fleeing the scene after the incident.
The Daily Mail reports the two suspects in custody are aged about 20 and are both students of madrassas or Islamic schools.
Bob Churchill, Director of Communications at the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) comments on the tragedy:
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.
Bangladesh is the world’s fourth-largest Muslim majority nation, with Muslims making up some 90 percent of the country’s 160 million people. Hardline Islamist groups have long demanded the public killing of atheist bloggers and sought new laws to deal with writing critical of Islam.
In 2013, over 100,00 Muslims rioted in Bangladesh chanting “Atheists must be hanged,” and demanding the death penalty for the crime of blasphemy.