More Atheist Bloggers Arrested


Here is yet another tragic bit of fascism. The government in Bangladesh has arrested three atheist bloggers for blasphemy and “defaming” Islam, after weeks of demonstrations and riots by Muslim fundamentalists demanding their prosecution. But damn, this bit of framing irritates me:

Bangladesh police have arrested three atheist bloggers for defaming Islam and the prophet Mohammed, police said Tuesday, amid demands from religious fundamentalists for an Internet crackdown.

The arrests of the three, who were paraded in hand-cuffs at a press conference Tuesday, came after pressure from Islamists who have organised a march to the capital to demand the death penalty for atheist bloggers.

“They have hurt religious feelings of the people by writing against different religions and their prophets and founders including the Prophet Mohammed,” deputy commissioner of Dhaka police Molla Nazrul Islam said.

The three could face 10 years in jail if convicted under the country’s cyber laws, which outlaw “defaming” a religion, Islam said…

The debate between militant atheists and fundamentalists has been a popular subject in Bangladesh’s blogosphere and on social media for years, but it took a deadly turn in February when an atheist blogger was murdered.

Uh, no. This isn’t a debate between “militant” atheists and fundamentalists. Those “militant” atheists only expressed an opinion.

Comments

  1. Glenn E Ross says

    Those “militant” atheists only expressed an opinion.

    Expressing an opinion is what makes them militant. Atheists are allowed to be atheists as long as they keep it to themselves. As soon as they speak about it out loud, they are militant.

  2. iangould says

    There’s a much larger context that people are missing here.

    There’ve been riots and protests going on for months with secularists demanding freedom of speech and of religion and Islamists trying to intimidate them.

    As well a the attacks (both physical and legal) on the atheists bloggers there have been attacks on members of the country’s Hindu and Buddhist minorities as well as on shia and members of other smaller Muslim sects as the Islamists seek scapegoats.

    http://www.euronews.com/2013/03/01/bangladesh-deadly-clashes-after-islamist-politician-gets-death-penalty/

  3. says

    First of all, you Athiests never stand up to Muslins. Second of all, you Athiests have it soooo good. I mean, even when you Athiests get arrested for doing the speaking out against the Muslins that I just said you’re not doing, you get your own parade. Take about privilege!

  4. raven says

    If their religion was true, they wouldn’t have to beat up, inprison, and kill people.

    Allah has a lot in common with Yahweh, the xian god. Being imaginary and unable to do anything in the real world without human agents.

    And Moslems have a lot in common with xians. A few centuries ago, being an atheist was a capital offense in the western world.

  5. raven says

    there have been attacks on members of the country’s Hindu and Buddhist minorities as well as on shia and members of other smaller Muslim sects as the Islamists seek scapegoats.

    I’m surprised.

    I thought by now, all the religious minorities would have been killed or driven out of Bangladesh.

    This does look eerily familar. Fundamentalist religions run on hate. They use it for tribal ingroup outgroup identification and as a motivator for the sheep.

    We see it every day with fundie xians in the USA. But they didn’t invent it. It’s very old and all through the bible. The Canaanites got the worst of it.

  6. konrad_arflane says

    The debate between militant atheists and fundamentalists has been a popular subject in Bangladesh’s blogosphere and on social media for years, but it took a deadly turn in February when an atheist blogger was murdered.

    It’s strangely impressive that someone could write that sentence (and somebody else edit it, presumably) without noticing that they put “militant” in front of the faction that *didn’t* murder one of their opponents.

  7. iangould says

    “I thought by now, all the religious minorities would have been killed or driven out of Bangladesh.”

    shocking, isn’t it?

    It’s almost as though Muslims were people.

  8. iangould says

    I’m a little surprised Ed hasn’t covered this story yet so I may as well just park this here:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/05/femen-topless-protest-gloriously-crude

    The short version:Amina Taylor a Tunisian feminist blogger posted topless photos of herself on line with the words “Fuck your morals” and “My body belongs to me” written on her torso in Arabic.

    Death threats result and Taylor’s supporters in Europe stage topless protests.

    An update: Amina taylor was missing for a while. she turend up safe after apparently being abducted and assaulted by members of her own family.

    Also: there’s an online counterprotest from Muslim women who claim nudity degrades women.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/muslim-women-organize-topless-jihad-day-article-1.1309582

  9. martinc says

    Too much of this sort of story from overseas and Obama’s Muslim/atheist alliance might break down completely.

  10. =8)-DX says

    Wow. They can use “militant atheists” in the same sentence as “an atheist blogger was murdered”? It should read “peaceful atheist activists and militant fundamentalists”. A violent angry mob calling for the death penalty for just voicing your opinions is just about the definition of “militant”.

  11. laurentweppe says

    And the worst thing is: the biggest islamist party earned less than 5% of the vote in the last election: talk about one hell of a Heckler’s veto

  12. iangould says

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22058462

    Bangladeshi PM Sheikh Hasina has firmly rejected demands by Islamists for a new anti-blasphemy law to punish those who defame Islam and Prophet Muhammad.

    In a BBC interview, she said existing laws were sufficient to punish anyone who attempted to insult religion.

    Her comments came just days after hundreds of thousands of supporters of an umbrella organisation of Islamists held a massive rally in Dhaka.

    The marchers called for the death penalty for those guilty of blasphemy.

    Ms Hasina said: “They have demanded it. Actually, we don’t have any plan to [bring in the law]. We don’t need it. They should know that existing laws are enough.

    “This country is a secular democracy. So each and every religion has the right to practice their religion freely and fair. But it is not fair to hurt anybody’s religious feeling. Always we try to protect every religious sentiment.”

    The Islamists have given a three-week ultimatum to the government to meet their demands, including tough punishment to those who they describe as atheist bloggers, who are also accused of making derogatory comments against Islam.

    “We will go through all the demands and then we will see. If there is any reasonable one, we will fulfil. If it is not reasonable or not suitable for our country or society we will not accept it,” the prime minister said.

    She also defended her government’s decision to arrest four bloggers last week on suspicion of harming religious sentiment through their work.

    The arrests prompted eight blog operators to black out their websites, with liberals accusing the government of yielding to Islamist pressure.

    But the prime minister dismissed those accusations.

    “No, [it’s] not that. If anybody tried to hurt any sentiments of any religion or any religious leader, there is a law. We can take any action.”

    Bangladesh has been rocked by a series of protests by opposition parties in recent weeks.

    The Jamaat-e-Islami, Bangladesh’s largest Islamist party, has been holding demonstrations demanding the immediate release of its leaders, who are facing war crimes charges. Two of its senior leaders have already been convicted by a special tribunal. Seven more are still facing the trial.

    More than 80 people have been killed in clashes in the last few months, most of them shot by police. Human rights groups have accused the security forces of using excessive force to control the riots.

  13. Doug Little says

    This country is a secular democracy. So each and every religion has the right to practice their religion freely and fair. But it is not fair to hurt anybody’s religious feeling. Always we try to protect every religious sentiment.

    So I guess in their secular democracy the concept of free speech is foreign to them. This just makes me sad, that as progressive as India is they still have active blasphemy laws on the books.

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