Avijit Roy, a Bangladesh-born US citizen, was hacked to death by unknown assailants on a crowded pavement in Bangladesh’s capital. The assailants attacked his rickshaw and pulled him off into a side street.
He and his wife were approaching a tea stall when a group of men attacked them with meat cleavers according to one onlooker.
His wife was seriously injured in the attack.
Islamic extremists had already threatened Roy with execution for his writing and work in championing liberal secular values.
The Muslim nation had recently passed laws to accommodate the extremists views after they organised massive anti-blasphamy rallies. It could have emboldened the Islamic Extremists to take further actions against Blasphemers which to them are fair game for a Killing, according to their ideology.
Mr. Roy might be wrong in his views according to the Islamists, but he was alive just as much as the terrorists. What gives them the Right?
Pinaki Bhattacharya, a fellow blogger and friend of Roy, claimed one of the country’s largest online book retailers was being openly threatened for selling Roy’s books.
“In Bangladesh the easiest target is an atheist. An atheist can be attacked and murdered,” he wrote on Facebook.
Atheist blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider was hacked to death in 2013 by members of a little known Islamist militant group, triggering nationwide protests by tens of thousands of secular activists.
After Haider’s death, Bangladesh’s hardline Islamist groups started to protest against other campaigning bloggers, calling a series of nationwide strikes to demand their execution, accusing them of blasphemy.
The secular government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reacted by arresting some atheist bloggers.
The government also blocked about a dozen websites and blogs to stem the furore over blasphemy, as well as stepping up security for the bloggers.
Bangladesh is the world’s fourth-largest Muslim majority nation with Muslims making up some 90 per cent of the country’s 160 million people.
A tribunal has recently handed down a series of verdicts against leading Islamists and others for crimes committed during the war of independence from Pakistan in 1971.
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