Prominent atheist blogger butchered

Prominent atheist blogger butchered

Unidentified assailants with machetes yesterday hacked to death Avijit Roy, pictured above during a visit to Paris in 2012.

According to this report, Roy’s writings showed him to be a fierce critic of Islamic fundamentalism and was frequently threatened. On Twitter, Roy called himself a “prominent defender of the free-thought movement” in Bangladesh.

In December, Bangladesh News 24 reported that a man named Shafiur Rhaman Farabi had written a Facebook post that read:

Avijit Roy lives in American and so, it is not possible to kill him right now. He will be murdered when he comes back.

Farabi and other men who made similar threats against Roy were arrested, but it’s unclear if they were freed at the time of the stabbing of the famed writer.

Bangladesh News 24 reported that the killing had been done by two young men, that no arrests have been made, and that:

There is considerable traffic on the Net supporting the murder, with Islamist radicals posting laudatory messages and tweeting extensively.

Local police chief Sirajul Islam said:

He died as he was brought to the hospital. His wife was also seriously wounded. She has lost a finger.

Roy, founder of the Mukto-Mona (Free-mind) blog site, which champions liberal secular writing in the Muslim-majority nation, was in Bangladesh to  attend a book fair.

The couple were returning from the fair on a bicycle rickshaw when two assailants dragged them onto a sidewalk before hacking them with machetes.

Roy, said to be around 40, is the second Bangladeshi blogger murdered in two years and the fourth writer to be attacked since 2004.

Hard-line Islamist groups have long demanded the public execution of atheist bloggers and have sought new laws to combat writing critical of Islam.

Police have launched a probe and recovered the machetes used in the attack but could not confirm whether Islamists were behind the incident.

Roy’s father, Ajoy, said the writer was:

A secular humanist and has written about ten books including his most famous Biswasher Virus (Virus of Faith).

The Center for Inquiry, a US-based charity promoting free thought, said it was “shocked and heartbroken” by the brutal murder. It said in a statement:

Dr Roy was a true ally, a courageous and eloquent defender of reason, science, and free expression, in a country where those values have been under heavy attack.

Roy’s killing also triggered strong condemnation from publishers and fellow writers, who lamented the growing religious conservatism and intolerance in Bangladesh.

Bob Churchill, Director of Communications for the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), said:

This loss is keenly felt by freethinkers and humanists in South Asia and around the world. He was a colleague in humanism and a friend to all who respect human rights, freedom, and the light of reason. Our thoughts are with his family, and his many friends, supporters, and admirers who will be deeply hurt by this senseless crime.

We cannot know the assailants who carried out tonight’s vicious murder. But we do know this: Those who have openly made the most serious and credible threats on Roy’s life have been allowed to do so with impunity and now he is dead. As Roy himself warned, Bangladesh is appeasing the most insidious and violent strains of Islamism, and he new his own life was under threat. That appeasement of theocratic demands and naked threats must end, now.

And Imran H Sarker, head of an association for bloggers in Bangladesh, said:

The attack on Roy and his wife Rafida Ahmed is outrageous. We strongly protest this attack and are deeply concerned about the safety of writers.

Pinaki Bhattacharya, a fellow blogger and a friend of Roy’s, said one of the country’s largest online book retailers was being openly threatened for selling Roy’s books. He wrote on Facebook:

In Bangladesh the easiest target is an atheist. An atheist can be attacked and murdered.


Atheist blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider, above, 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.

Seven students were charged with the murder, as well as an imam from a Dhaka mosque, who was accused of instigating the murder by allegedly preaching that it was legal to kill atheist bloggers who campaigned against Islam.

After Haider’s death, Bangladesh’s hard-line 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 silence 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 percent of the country’s 160 million people.

Hat tip: Antony Niall, BarrieJohn and Angela K.

47 responses to “Prominent atheist blogger butchered”

  1. Marky Mark says:

    WOW!! …religion poisons everything, especially in the hands of psychopaths.

  2. Har Davids says:

    Another PR success for those who claim Islam is a religion of peace.

  3. barriejohn says:

    It speaks volumes that anyone who is able to think for himself is considered so dangerous by these people.

  4. Newspaniard says:

    I was reading an item on ritual slaughter of animals in the NSS Newsletter this morning:

    I particularly cringed at this statement:
    Diane Abbott said that her “local Muslim community” was concerned that the debate was not “really about animal welfare” and was “some sort of covert attack on them and their way of life.” She said she was not at the debate to speak about “the technicalities or detail of the issue, but about how it is seen by communities.” She called on MPs to “avoid a narrative that makes it sound as if one is trying to say that communities of faith are backward or mediaeval, or unnecessarily cruel to animals.”

    What planet does Abbott live on? Maybe her seat depends on foreign savages to vote for her. She really needs to read items like this one when she defends the barbarians she does.

  5. paul says:

    All the more reason not to buy a single drop of oil from them.
    Get independent.

  6. EJ says:

    I am not so prominent, yet my life is in no less danger because of that.

    Is anyone going to do anything to prevent such a thing from happening to me? No.

    Will you all chuckle when that ‘polite troll’ is murdered by crazy jesus fucks?
    Go ahead. You don’t like the words I write, so I guess you’d be on the side of the murderers, if only in ‘spirit’.

    Did I insult everyone enough yet? Shall I goad you into loathing me even more?
    Will your pompousity continue to blind you to the blood, to the murderous insanity, to the causus belli, simply because your tea is cold again?

    How cozy. I feel so warm and fuzzy right now I could wipe out billions of people with nary a qualm, for I understand death and know that war is real, that insanity is real, and that ideologies are not and that they have zero fucking worth and deserve zero fucking respect.

    Am I trying to make this about me? No. This article is about people just like me and you, who know what is real and what is not.

    The war is between the sane and the insane, the rational and the irrational, the disillusioned and the delusional, and we are on the right side of history and they will never be, not even in a trillion fucking years.

    When I call for action, it is just me. A single voice.
    Are you someone who requires a consensus before you will act?
    Will you require proper documentation and recording of all relevant data before you will deign to discuss it in a committee, there to kill it with apathy and cowardice?

    These guys are dead. They sought death.
    Death is nothing. It doesn’t exist as a thing.
    Sure, nobody wants to experience the horror, the terror, of being a victim of a violent attack, but unless you do something to prevent such things from arising, you have no excuse for failing your one job as a fellow human being, for failing your responsibility to all people who just want to live without crazy fucks being a constant threat.

    Children are helpless. They need protection.
    They don’t know how to protect themselves.
    They don’t know what is in store for them in this world.
    They don’t have any way of avoiding being born to people like these psychotic murderers.
    Those murderers probably have children.
    You know that is evil, to allow this to continue, right?


    You know it is wrong to allow children to be born to sadistic, twisted, psycho-fucks, right?

    Hello? Is anyone there?
    No one is helping.
    No one is defending the children.
    We all talk but those who could do something never seem to quite manage to do much.

    Connect those dots. I am drawing you a picture.
    It is death and madness for all children throughout the world, to be randomly born, when there is no guarantee of safety, of compassion, of sanity we can give them.

    Whatever you may think of me. Remember that I was once a child. I have cause to be angry on my own behalf, but I am more angry and outraged at what has always been done.
    Destroy tradition. Destroy the madness that rips the children apart. Do what you can, for I know your limitations, I know what is going on, and if you don’t, then may the eyes of every child you see haunt you to fucking death.

  7. Broga says:

    The have only one recourse to protecting their bizarre and incredible beliefs: murder.

  8. gedediah says:

    Police “… could not confirm whether Islamists were behind the incident”.


  9. Stuart H. says:

    Newspaniard – getting slightly off topic, but I wouldn’t take Abbott’s anti-racist credentials too seriously, and I speak as an anti-fascist trying hard to define what does or doesn’t constitute Islamophobia or Islamofascism. Back in the early 1990’s I was involved with groups trying to preserve traditional traveller sites around the UK, back in the days when some of them still actually travelled and still lived in caravans. There was one in Abbott’s constituency, and as I recall from talking to gypsies there she was the leading light in efforts to get it closed and handed over to construction companies for redevelopment. Never been able to like the woman since.

  10. Broga says:

    @newspaniard: This looks like mission impossible for Ms Abbott:

    ” She called on MPs to “avoid a narrative that makes it sound as if one is trying to say that communities of faith are backward or mediaeval, or unnecessarily cruel to animals.”

    They are all of these things as is evident from their superstition induced behaviour.

  11. AgentCormac says:

    People like Diane Abbott are a disgrace. They will say whatever they think their voters want to hear without a second thought for the implications. Maybe she should go and spend a day in halal slaughterhouse and then see if she is of the same opinion.

    You kind of lost me there.

  12. Brummie says:

    Get to the point in a quarter of the space, then I and others will bother to read your comments. Succinct please!

  13. Laura Roberts says:

    YouTube is playing into this as well. There was a scathing satire of ISIS posted to YouTube a few days ago that targeted only them and not other Muslims (Mohammed was nowhere mentioned). But — of course — YouTube took it down ostensibly because it “violated terms of use”.

  14. kenstor says:

    welcome to the middle ages

  15. Carlin Hicks says:

    What I take away from this isn’t the crude barbarity of the people who killed him, this comes as no surprise to any of the readers here I’m sure. What I take away is rather the bravery of this man to not only have come out as a freethinker in an overwhelmingly and dangerously Muslim state, but moreover to have actively publicised and campaigned for free thought. We – or certainly I – live in far safer circumstances and tend to limit myself to exchanging thoughts with like minded brothers and sisters such as you; this chap knew beyond doubt the risks he ran in not just sticking to his principles but also promulgating them in the hope of enlightening and freeing others. If only the media and wider society venerated people and causes such as these rather than the religious wolves in sheeps’ clothing such as Mother Teresa.

  16. Broga says:

    @EJ: I’m curious to know what you mean. Any chance of stating the meaning in a few short sentences?

  17. barriejohn says:

    Are people still reading EJ’s blatherings? He destroys every thread to which he “contributes”.

  18. Broga says:

    @barriejohn: I don’t read beyond the first few sentences as they are gibberish. I just wonder what he means. Or is his brain so confused he doesn’t know either? We wouldn’t want to dismiss our very own James Joyce, would we?

  19. Trevor Blake says:

    “Hard-line Islamist” translates to ‘traditional Islam as practiced by billions of people for over one thousand years.’ The non-murderous Islam practiced by many today is the corruption of tradition. A good corruption, one I encourage.

    Some day it will be good to read of Islam in plain language and not in code designed to avoid hurting the precious, precious feelings of Muslims and their apologists. Not meaning the FT but the majority press. It is encouraging to read more people speaking plainly of Islam as a source of pain and death and regression in the world. I am not a believer in progress but I know regression when I see it.

  20. 1859 says:

    Hummmm the EJ rant caught my attention too – for about three seconds. Unfortunately I could just see him with a meat cleaver attacking the atheist blogger. The last thing I want to see – or be – is a fanatical atheist – but shit knows what he’s on about.

    As for the murder of Avijit Roy, it is truly heartbreaking, especially as the murderers will in all likeihood, lick his blood from their knives and walk away free men. Sickening.Sometimes I just cannot grasp the extent of the dislocation between the present world in which I live, with its mobile phones, satellite communications, computers, cures for genetic diseases etc. etc., and the world of medieval, religious butchery that is beginning to define the 21st century. If the world does end it won’t be with a whimper, it will be with a call to prayer from some fucking minaret.

  21. Marky Mark says:

    “The last thing I want to see – or be – is a fanatical atheist ”

    IDK… it is becoming apparent that all our lives are in danger for simply being a voice of reason. We definitely must organize for the political spectrum as the religious do…and be prepared to defend others like us.

    Never take a knife to a gunfight!

  22. EJ says:

    Okay, okay.

    I’m sorry I ranted on too long. I was rather upset and all that.

    And it was mostly off-topic, yes, sorry I broke the big rulez.

    I’m bad. Bad bad bad bad. Bad. well…sort of…

    And isn’t it terrible about those blokes who got murdered?
    Not very shocking, though. Sorry.

    They were children. They died. And I am fucking pissed right off about it.

    There, is that short enough? Too long again? Damn.

  23. Marky Mark says:

    I completely understood what you were saying EJ

  24. Marky Mark says:

    Also…read my post about the Christian photographing people’s licenses plates entering a porn shop in Indiana.
    He had a still camera, I had a video camera…he had a knife, I had a gun.
    What I did not explain was this, mobsters are still around but invest in business like porn shops, my vehicle is a sleek, black sedan with heavily tinted windows, and it happened so fast he did not have time to photo my plate though he could see it.

    Black sedan, Illinois plates, video tapes him than hits the ramp to Chicago…it took all of 5 min., if that!

    I knew exactly what I was doing, and how well he would sleep that night.

    NEVER, bring a knife to a gunfight!!

  25. Marky Mark says:

    I should add, if he had a video camera he would have captured my plate number.

  26. EJ says:

    @Marky Mark
    Thanks. I do worry a lot and with my personal situation I am rather overly sensitive on threatening behaviour done by religious ppl, so thanks for the extra details. I feel much better.

    But you went off topic. Oh, noes! The OT Nazis will now tell us how incoherent you sound or something. ha ha
    But thanks, though. It really did bother me.
    And thanks for the rest, too.

  27. Broga says:

    @EJ: Much better. Good effort. Keeping working on the short sentences, few adjectives and use short paragraphs.

  28. Angela_K says:

    OT but relevant, Press cartoon festival cancelled due to…well you know the rest.

  29. EJ says:

    Me speak words. Fire not work. Fuck you.

  30. Mephisto says:

    Why would we expect anything else from savages? They’d do it in the UK if they thought they could get away with it.

  31. EJ says:

    Correction: Fuck you prick.

    Many words hurt Broga. Broga mad. Broga skull tiny cave.

    (oh, this is too much fun)

    Me speak more. Many fires. Tree fall. Make sound.

    Bird fly. Sky big. Broga now bad smell. Nose angry.


  32. EJ says:

    Okay, I’ll admit I haven’t had much practice with caveman-speak. Perhaps certain people here could give me pointers on that as well. /snark

  33. Mephisto says:

    EJ, if you want to speak in tongues, Catholic Online is the place for you.

  34. EJ says:


    They’d never let me in, for I seek the destruction of the RCC and the imprisonment of every single fucking one of those criminals in the lovely apartments they have in the Hague.

    Just sayin’

  35. Mephisto says:

    EJ, what is this ‘personal situation’ you speak of?

  36. EJ says:

    So you can make more rude suggestions? No thanks.

  37. Mephisto says:

    I asked out of genuine concern and interest. Purposely obtuse + victim complex = no empathy

  38. EJ says:

    Ah, your concern is your own. I was not being purposely obtuse, but I understand how my healthy paranoia might give that impression.
    When you seek empathy, do you always pry into the troubles of strangers? Or are you saying you have no empathy for me simply because I responded as I did?
    For I will tell you, sir, that my paranoia is puh-lenty healthy due to the severe attacks upon my person, the egregious stalking and harassment done to me over decades by, most recently, the members of the church across the street from my house.
    Their campaign of sadistic attempts at torture in this regard have been somewhat successful, causing me to seek emergency treatment on two occasions very recently.
    These severe effects have damaged my brain in ways that I can perceive, for I am always on the lookout for cognitive discrepancies within my own thought processes.
    So, with this small bit of information you might have some empathy only if you can imagine how it could be for someone to go through such an ordeal.
    As to the victim complex, let me assure you that I have been the victim of a great many violent crimes, including many traumatic events due to my own high levels of empathy and sympathy for others, especially children.

    Will that suffice, do you think, or would you like to hear some horrors I have seen or experienced first-hand?

    Or would you rather tell me that I am incoherent or something of that nature? Go ahead. It’s the standard response around here for long posts nobody reads.

  39. EJ says:

    Well, I see I have derailed yet another thread.
    My apologies, for I only sought to enhance the impact of the original article in my own trollish way.

    I would like to mention that Bangladesh is a country located in the armpit formed by the Bay of Bengal, has a majority of muslims (approx. 86% – the rest mostly Hindu), and Islam is the state religion.
    Any atheist living in a muslim theocracy with the resources to emigrate should do so and expect nothing less than a violent death if they stay or return from abroad.

    @Barry Duke
    Thanks for tossing out another article. I was getting worried you might have fallen down a fucking hole somewhere.
    Btw, could I impose on you to give me an answer to my email?

  40. Marky Mark says:

    Now, now EJ, these are good people in here…be patient.

    “the egregious stalking and harassment done to me over decades by, most recently, the members of the church across the street from my house.”

    Turn this around on them, have a friend of yours who they do not know stand near the church and take pictures of them leaving on Sunday….than run away. Have another friend do it the next week.

  41. EJ says:

    @Marky Mark
    Yes, I know there are people in here and that I care for you all quite a lot, but I am in the middle of Fuckistan, just me and my family and we’ve all got PTSD from years of stalking and harassment.
    Look, I know you had no clue as to the details or else you wouldn’t have suggested such a thing, including the fact that we are not like them in that we DO NOT FUCKING ATTACK PEOPLE BUT THEY DO IT TO US.
    What? Am I yelling again? I just had to vent, man, nothing personal. We don’t have the resources to fight over a hundred ‘murican taliban psycho-scum.
    They’ve got camera phones, new cars, lots of money and friends and lots of other fucks willing to help them destroy us throughout the whole fucking county.
    The pastor is from NC. That might tell you something.
    They have backed off a bit lately, and the breathing room is still stiifling, for they are fucking everywhere in this shithole of a shithole.

    It is not only impossible to “turn this around on them” for us, it is totally against everything we stand for as a family.
    But I am their special ‘project’, and so I have seen much more than other members of my family who do not drive around with me anymore.
    We are fucking trapped here and no way to escape.
    They know this and gloat about it, talk about it, and are the most disgusting vile people I have ever had to live amongst.
    Oh, I’ve already thought of many things, but when a whole area is against you and you cannot escape, it gets to be a bit over the top and so I ask you all for a little extra tolerance of my anger levels which are based upon a different environment and not some general stereotypical idea of how it is here.
    But thank you for trying. I do appreciate your wanting to help as we get zero help from anyone around here.
    This is one reason I post here. You aren’t like them and I love that. You aren’t even in the same fucking country (well most of you), so there’s that as well.
    My patience isn’t what it used to be, but I will carry on regardless for I have no choice anyway. /rant

  42. 1859 says:

    @ EJ:

    Fuckistan = Pakistan ?

    In medieval Spain the Jews were given a choice – convert or leave. Many converted for their own and their family’s safety. Outwardly they became christians, but they had a phrase they used among themselves: ‘My heart is in my heart’ to denote they were still Jewish. If ,EJ, you are as you say ‘trapped’ perhaps, for your and your family’s safety, you would be wise to do as the Jews did and pretend to go along with all their bull shit? After all they cannot read your thoughts and a smile can hide a multitude of lies. Stay safe.

  43. EJ says:

    Yes, thank you for trying to think of solutions, but this is another case of someone not knowing me or the details very well.
    I am an intensely honest person and the few bits of misdirection I commit are extremely rare.
    I would rather die than go around bullshitting people. That’s not how I am as a person. k?

    This isn’t anything like the Middle Ages, for we have technology and scientific knowledge we never had before, so I couldn’t simply gather up my family and move away.

    You can’t do that sort of thing anymore.
    Moving away will only draw them after us.
    No, they need to be stopped, not appeased or avoided.

    I need you to consider these facts before tossing out some idea that does not take into account our modern technology or the ease with which determined stalkers can follow me around the country or even to other countries.

    Also, I don’t have the resources to drag my family away to safety. And where would be a safe haven in any case?

    There are more details which make resolving this imperative, such as their vicious attacks upon me and my family. Many of them work at area markets, and have tampered with the food I buy.
    My niece nearly died from mercury poisoning. Did these stalkers do it? They work in grocery stores and used their cameras to record my shopping lists as I walked through the store(s) and rushed ahead to either put tampered food in place of good food or were just doing their damndest to make it look like that’s what they were doing.

    These are not sane people. My family suffers from a great many strange maladies that mystify local doctors, yet assuming that this is due to any particular vector would, of course, be premature, so I merely state that they did clearly act in ways that suggest either deception to drive me insane or tampered with our food to make us sick and die. There are only two possible answers here.

    When there are people like this running around with the most vicious looks in their faces and eyes doing these sorts of things, you can’t just pretend to be a fucking christian. That would be massively ridiculous and unrealistic.

    Look, they’ve been following me around for fucking YEARS for fuck’s sake and I did my best to ignore them as long as they were just haunting me to death, engaging in defamatory gossip, and it made them openly mad and frustrated at times. YEARS for fuck’s sake!
    And then last year there was a big change in their tactics, suddenly it was about the food I was buying and I got fucking worried as fuck and still tried to ignore them, hoping this was just another attempt to freak me out.

    Well, then they started sneaking up behind me and doing things where they thought I would not notice, putting things on me, touching my clothes and hair, putting their faces right up to me and trying to whisper shit.
    Then they put hazardous materials in my pockets and I fucking flipped. That was a clear indication that they intended me serious fucking harm.
    I had a severe reaction, stopped eating and sleeping and ended up trying to get help at the local hospital where, guess what, they were waiting for me and taking pictures of me severely malnourished and on the fucking bleeding edge – taking pictures of what they had done to me so they could gloat even more.
    But was that enough? No. One of them shoved into me as I was trying to leave the emergency room hoping, I guess, for a chance to do even more violent harm to me.

    So now you know some more details, but I will stop here as I am starting to shake again in reaction. My jaws clench and only the effort of typing is keeping me in my chair.

    Please revise whatever ideas you had about me to something more realistic so that your suggestions are more likely to make sense in light of my situation.
    I really do appreciate any tiny bit of human contact that is helpful and not malignant, as you might expect.

    If only we had the rule of law here, it wouldn’t have gotten this far or this bad. You should hear the 911 operators if you call them, for their snide and dismissive attitudes are beyond the fucking pale. /rant

  44. barriejohn says:

    Just in case there is anyone still interested in the original story here, one of the alleged murderers (of Avijit Roy) was a Muslim fanatic who had form:

  45. Cali Ron says:

    Thankfully, someone has remembered what the thread was about. Unfortunately, I have little hope that justice will be done when they react like this, “The secular government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reacted by arresting some atheist bloggers.” What would a non-secular government have done? Seems most of Asia is stuck in the dark ages.

    Trying to delve into the “Polite Troll’s” (EJ’s) neurosis should be left for professionals. His needs are not of the nature that well meaning folks on this site can help with. His chaotic, meandering comments are obviously cries for attention and he seems a tortured soul who’s been through some deep shit, but that’s as far as my pop psychology goes. I feel empathy for him, but I’m tired of him sending the treads down the rabbit hole. I hope he’s getting proper treatment for whatever ails him.

  46. EJ says:

    @Cali Ron
    If you cannot refrain from making snide comments, then I guess you just can’t deal with what I’ve got.

    I got some game.

    What have you got?
    Picking at the sores of a poor man surrounded by bullies and mocking me because you’re still mad at me?

    That’s not showing your best side, now is it?

    The whole fucking world is still in the Dark Ages – we NEVER LEFT, or didn’t you get the memo?
    tsk, tsk.
    How long have you been coming here?
    And none of it really sank in very far, did it?

    The USA is not exceptional so don’t go pointing fingers at Asia you clueless git.

  47. EJ says:

    Whew! I sure can rant, can’t I?
    Well, this won’t be for much longer, so there is an EJ-less light at the end of the tunnel, don’t worry…