And feel themselves subdued

Taslima shares a long string of excerpts from the Koran and the Hadith that mandate the kind of thing the murderers did to Avijit Roy.

The Islamic killers used big sharp knives to kill Dr. Avijit Roy, the well known progressive blogger. ISIS terrorists use sharp knives to behead people. They like knives because Muhammad liked knives to kill nonbelievers. Islamist leaders convince fellow Islamists to kill nonbelievers for the sake of Islam. Allah Himself advise people to kill. There are many Islamic organizations in Bangladesh working to indoctrinate young people with Islam. The leaders of those organizations insist people to believe in the Quran, the words of Allah and the Hadith, the words of Muhammad. Governments and almost all established organizations encourage people to believe in Allah the God and Muhammad the messenger.

If you are a Muslim, you have to believe in the Quran and Hadith. And if you believe in the Quran and Hadith, you have to agree with Allah that atheists should be brutally killed. These are the texts that inspire Islamists to kill Avijit Roy, the freethinker. These are the texts that inspire ISIS, Boko Haram, Al Shabaab etc. to kill nonbelievers and non-Muslims.

[Read more…]

Maajid Nawaz takes this moment to salute Gita Sahgal

Remember this? From five years ago? Gita Sahgal told the Sunday Times about her disagreement with Amnesty International over their support for CAGE? And they fired her as a result?

A SENIOR official at Amnesty International has accused the charity of putting the human rights of Al-Qaeda terror suspects above those of their victims.

Gita Sahgal, head of the gender unit at Amnesty’s international secretariat, believes that collaborating with Moazzam Begg, a former British inmate at Guantanamo Bay, “fundamentally damages” the organisation’s reputation.

In an email sent to Amnesty’s top bosses, she suggests the charity has mistakenly allied itself with Begg and his “jihadi” group, Cageprisoners, out of fear of being branded racist and Islamophobic. [Read more…]

Very expertly and with ferocity

Three suspects were arrested in Bangladesh on Saturday but it’s not clear if they were arrested specifically on suspicion of involvement in the murder of Avijit Roy or for Islamism in general.

Three suspected Islamists were on Saturday arrested in Bangladesh in a pre-dawn raid, as authorities intensified a crackdown on extremists following the brutal killing of American blogger Avijit Roy in the capital.

Acting on a tip-off, elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) conducted a pre-dawn raid at a five-storey building in the northeastern port city of Chittagong and arrested three suspected militants. [Read more…]

Using religion in the attempt to resist freethinking

I’m looking to see how much news coverage the murder of Avijit Roy is getting outside Bangladesh. A Google News search turns up items at Fox News’s blog, the Daily Mail, CNN’s blog, and a few more…so it’s not as much as it should be.

The New York Times reported Friday, with some details I hadn’t seen before.

A Bangladeshi-American blogger known for his antipathy to religion was hacked to death on the street in this capital city by two assailants wielding machetes, the police said on Friday.

[Read more…]

Free thinking in Bangladesh is become a great danger

The Times of India reports on the funeral of Avijit Roy today.

Bangladeshis in huge numbers paid tributes to slain American blogger Avijit Roy on Sunday as they criticized the government for its failure to ensure safety to the writer, known for his critique of religious extremism.

People from all walks of life, including Roy’s friends, relatives, well-wishers, teachers and students, gathered at the Dhaka University premises with flowers to pay their respect to the slain writer, who was on a visit to his native city in mid-February to attend a book fair. [Read more…]

A re-trial for apostasy

The Independent talked to Ensaf Haidar and gives us more details on yesterday’s terrible news:

Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger whose punishment of 1,000 lashes has prompted international condemnation, may now face the death penalty.

Mr Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, told The Independent in a series of messages that judges in Saudi Arabia’s criminal court want him to undergo a re-trial for apostasy. If found guilty, he would face a death sentence.

She said the “dangerous information” had come from “official sources” inside the conservative kingdom…

In 2013, a judge threw out the charge of apostasy against the 31-year-old blogger after he assured the court that he was a Muslim. The evidence against him had included the fact that he pressed the “Like” button on a Facebook page for Arab Christians.

The news that the charge may now be re-examined will come as a bitter blow to Mr Badawi’s family and supporters, who had hoped that the international pressure over his case would prompt Saudi Arabia to reduce his sentence.

I haven’t got enough swear words to express my feelings.

The country of one million clerics

Remarks by Ensaf Haidar accepting the 2015 Courage award from the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy:

Any environment repugnant to mankind soon turns into sheer hell.

Saudi Arabia, the country of one million clerics, is the only country that prevents women from driving.

It is the only country that oppresses freedoms in the name of religion.

It rules in the name of Islamic Sharia, which clearly prescribes death to anyone who leaves the religion.

Ladies and gentlemen, my husband Raif Badawi was imprisoned merely for expressing his opinion.

His adopting liberalism was reason enough for the Saudi Inquisition courts to consider him a criminal, worthy of 10 years in prison, and 1,000 barbaric lashes.

The Islamic Inquisition courts, which disappeared when Islamic fascism was eradicated, have now returned during the era of the interfaith dialogue sponsor.

The Saudi King spends hundreds of millions of dollars to improve Saudi Arabia’s image abroad.

Ladies and gentlemen, Raif Badawi won the Humanity Award from PEN Canada last October. Less than a month later, he won the Reporters Without Borders Netizen Award.

In January, he won the Aikenhead Award from the Scottish Secular Society. I was extremely happy to learn that Raif won your distinguished organization’s award, for your tireless protection of human rights.

I tell you, in all honesty, that I am still astounded to this moment over the prize awarded to my husband Raif.

This prize bears a clear message to the Saudi regime, namely that the continued incarceration of Raif is a shame on it, especially considering its war on terror and against the terror group known as the Islamic State.

I would like to thank each of you individually, and wish I could be with you on this wonderful day. My only consolation is that Dr. Elham Manea, who is loved by both myself and Raif, will receive the prize on behalf of Raif.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you from the bottom of our heart.

Here she is:

That Criminal Court in Jeddah

Ensaf Haidar has bad news:

Very Urgent:

An official source told me that Raif Badawi may be facing death penalty for apostasy again

Free Raif Badawi posted some details:

URGENT – RAIF BADAWI MAYBE FACING DEATH PENALITY FOR APOSTASY AGAIN.
This told a official source Raifs Wife Ensaf on Saturday 01-03-2015 and she shared this message right now on Twitter.
What happened:
The Criminal Court in Jeddah where Raif faces his retrial is controlled by Hardliners who still intend to murdered him. [Read more…]

Beware the Wheat

Yesterday the CBC documentary show The Fifth Estate was about a medical doctor who wrote a best-seller about zomg wheat is poison stop eating it right this second and you will live forever.

Millions of people are joining the anti-wheat revolution.

Kellogg’s, the world’s largest cereal maker, has seen its biggest drop in sales since the 1970s. Food companies are selling off their struggling bread divisions. It’s all because best-selling health evangelists say that wheat is causing everything from fat bellies to schizophrenia. But do they have science on their side? Mark Kelley takes a hard look at what’s driving a movement that is dramatically changing the way we eat.

[Read more…]

A dangerous activity

Deeyah Khan underlines the importance of free expression.

When I organised World Woman I was keen to emphasise the need for freedom of expression for activists and artists, to identify that those who are most likely to be silenced by the religious right most often share the culture of those who wish to silence them: that this is not a conflict of the enlightened West versus the obscurantist East, but against extremist ideologies that threaten all our shared liberties.

Definitely. We have extremist theocrats in “the West” and there are many loyal free expressionists in “the East.”

[T]here is something very wrong with a world in which being an artist, activist, a feminist, a politician, a lawyer or a trade unionist can be considered a dangerous activity. We need more courageous individuals who will defy the structures of power, whether political, economic or intimate; but we also need it to be safe for people to feel their power and to be able to express their ideas and imagine without fear. Self-expression should not be a challenge that demands extraordinary talent but should be a right accessible to all. [Read more…]