Atheist in Bangladesh

Islamists murder atheists and freethinkers in Bangladesh

The problems for the non-religious community in Bangladesh for blogging continue into the present. The issue has been reported on since at least 2015. As noted in an old but not outdated article by Daylight Atheism, it reported on the problems ongoing in Bangladesh in 2015. There have been recent reports on the ways in which Bangladeshi activists, freethinkers, and humanists continue to be killed simply for exercising one or all of the following rights: freedom of expression or speech, freedom of (ir)religion), freedom of belief, and freedom of conscience.

In particular, the report pointed to the continuing murder of the atheists and freethinkers within the country at the hands of political Islam, or Islamist, followers: those who want to impose theocracy with use of violence, sometimes, fatal, and other means.

One person who died was Shahzahan Bachchu. He was assassinated earlier in June. Now, the Bangladesh government is doing nothing to protect the non-religious activist community against the outright murder of them, including people who have some leverage for providing a platform for voices, e.g. the publisher Bachchu.

The article stated, “Since Bangladesh’s government can’t or won’t protect its citizens, the only recourse I see for secularists is to leave the country. Thankfully, the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) is making this possible, there and elsewhere, through its Protect Humanists at Risk crowdfunding campaign.”

IHEU is an important and bright light in the work to expose theocratic overreach and abuse of citizens around the world. The campaign by IHEU is intended to provide support for the humanists at risk of violence.

Also, it is intended to help with advocacy and political campaigns for those who are at risk of governmental persecution. This can include blasphemy or apostasy laws. This is all included in a comprehensive research report entitled “Freedom of Thought Report.”

Bob Churchill and others are the brains behind this huge research project. The crowdsourced funding campaign is aiming to raise $26,000. In 12 countries, the penalty for a belief – in violation of the freedom to believe – or more an affirmation of atheism, is death.

This is based on so-called apostasy laws.

“In many more countries, ‘blasphemy’ laws are used to stop humanists promoting human rights, including women’s rights, LGBTI rights and non-religious rights, when they are accused of ‘insulting religion,’” the report explained. “In recent years, freethinkers have been attacked in countries including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Maldives and India. Humanists have been threatened with prosecution or violence in countries including Malaysia, Egypt, Afghanistan and Iran.”

Ref: Atheist Republic

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