Earlier in February, blogger and intellectual Avijit Roy was hacked to death in Dhaka. He was killed by religious extremists who could not tolerate Avijit’s probing questions about their religion from an atheistic point of view. On March 30th, another blogger Washiqur Rahman was murdered for similar reasons. This is the third such murder of progressive bloggers in Bangladesh in the past two years.
You can read my earlier article here to get a full picture about the religio-political atmosphere in Bangladesh which has led to the raise of religious extremism and the cause of these murders.
Washiqur Rahman was an young man of just 27 years old when he was brutally murdered, just meters away from his home. Inspired by teachings of Bengali intellectuals, he took to writing against the raising religious fundamentalism in his country. Working as an IT manager in an travel agency, he had a comfortable life. But he cared too much about his country to stay silent and so willed to risk his life by speaking his mind. Inspite of the many threats that he faced, he continued his progressive writings which ultimately costed his life.
He was killed by three students belonging to a religious school in Dhaka, who were caught red handed by the police. After they got apprehended, they said that they do not even know what a blog is, and why Washiqur deserved to die. They just followed what their religious leader said, who taught them that it was their ‘religious duty’ to kill Washiqur. This exemplifies the biggest danger that blind faith of any kind poses for humanity. This is the reason why we need courageous people like Avijit and Washiqur to subject religious faiths to the rigorous test of rationality. When a rationalist loses an argument, he changes his opinion because they are a matter of mind. But when a believer loses an argument, he attacks & kills because his views are a matter of heart and emotion.
You can read more about the writings of this brave secularist in this CNN article(his writings are mostly in Bengali which I do not speak).
Washiqur’s facebook page‘s cover photo still says #IamAvijit, I wonder who would be the next Bangladeshi blogger who is bold enough to put up #IamWashiqur and continue the fight.