Saturday, February 28, 2015

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Machetes For Mohammed

  • Bangladesh has become a safe haven for Islamists where they can do whatever they like ... They can kill people with no qualms whatsoever. Avijit Roy has been killed the way other free-thinking writers were killed in Bangladesh. No free thinker is safe in Bangladesh - Taslima Nasreen,
 
A blogger hacked to death by religious fascists in Bangladesh is horrific but not surprising. For an uncomfortably large amount of people the machete, if the AK 47 is not available, is the next most appropriate way of spreading the word of Mohammed.

 
Avijit Roy was an engineer with a doctorate in biomedical engineering. "He was a thinker, he was a man of great knowledge, he was a scientist, he was an engineer" - one of his friends said of him.

He valued science and rejected religious explanations of our existence. The type of perspective he had can be gleaned from extracts in a letter he sent to the International Journal of Cardiology in protest at religious rubbish trying to pose as science.

A scientific journal should not depend on imaginary fairy-tales or a 'God in gaps' to provide for our explanations or needs. Science proposes explanations about the natural world and then puts those hypothesis for repeated testing using experiments, observations and a creative and diverse array of other methods and strategies. The paper like 'The heart and cardiovascular system in the Qur'an and Hadeeth' , on the other hand, discourage skepticism or critical examination of cherished precepts. It is simply laughable that a reputable science journal of twentieth century would publish such a poorly argued paper - 'The heart and cardiovascular system in the Qur'an and Hadeeth'! I sincerely believe, if you publish the article in your journal, you will loose all the credibility. I hope that your consciousness will return and your editorial board will realize that this paper is not worthy at all for publication.

An American citizen who hailed from Bangladesh and who returned every February to attend the book fair, Roy had just left such an event when he and his wife were set upon by religious thugs.  He died while she was seriously injured. It is no consolation that the assailants did not burn the books. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki called it "a shocking act of violence" that was "horrific in its brutality and cowardice." It was for sure but hardly any more so than dropping drone bombs on wedding parties.  
 
Religious fascists had been threatening him for some time.  Roy saw religious extremism as a "highly contagious virus". When his book Virus of Faith was released in 2014:
The death threats started flowing to my e-mail inbox on a regular basis. I suddenly found myself a target of militant Islamists and terrorists ... A well-known extremist... openly issued death threats to me through his numerous Facebook entries ... In one widely circulated status, he writes, 'Avijit Roy lives in America and so, it is not possible to kill him right now. But he will be murdered when he comes back'.

Roy, an atheist, in a country where "the easiest target is an atheist. An atheist can be attacked and murdered" set up the blog  Mukto-mona (Free Mind) in 2000 "to champion secular and humanist writing in Muslim-majority Bangladesh ". It, according to the Center for Inquiry, had made the case for " reason, science, and free expression, in a country where those values have been under heavy attack.” That could as easily be the US given the degree of religious hooliganism, undermining of science and the persistent erosion of freedom of expression in America which the Center has to battle against constantly. It is not just adherents of Islam that do this type of thing.
 
Bangladesh is not the worst offender in the world but according to Reporters Without Borders out of 180 countries it came a lowly 146th last year in rankings for nations that permit freedom of speech. No surprise that the killing was not the first in a country where back in 2000  murderous mullahs were desperate to hang Taslima Nasreeen for  ... writing a book.  Roy had written in 2013 that 'of course, attacks against atheist and secular-minded writers are hardly a new phenomenon in Bangladesh.'
 
Theocratic fascists are not people who are offended by cartoons depicting their prophet. They are enraged by the refusal of others to submit to their totalitarian impulse. Roy called the Charlie Hebdo attack spot-on with his observation that it was "a tragic atrocity committed by soldiers of the so-called religion of peace." Yet we will continue to have the odious mind set that sees in a refusal to be deferential to despotic desires the primary cause for attacks like that which left a daring advocate of free thinking hacked to death on a Dhaka street.

I think therefore I die.

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