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Apr 03 2013

Freethinkers unite!

Mukto Mona freethinkers, a group of Bengali atheists, issued a statement: Bangladesh government squishing freedom of speech by arresting and harassing young bloggers inside the country

We are drawing your attention to an ominous development that is taking place right now in Bangladesh. To appease a handful of radical islamist preachers, the government has embarked on a campaign to curtail freedom of speech. To this effect, the police under government dictate have arrested three bloggers (Subrata Adhikari Shuvo, Mashiur Rahman Biplob and Rasel Parvez) in Dhaka, and then several others including one popular atheist blogger, Asif Mohiuddin in the following day. They were interrogated by police and further remanded in custody for seven more days. Torture in police custody is commonplace in Bangladesh for the detainees, often to extract incriminating statements. This time, several hapless bloggers are at the receiving end of government’s wrath. The government claims that these young bloggers have offended Islam and Muhammad, Islam’s holy prophet. It is worth noting that Bangladesh has no blasphemy law and the nation’s constitution allows the “freedom of thought, conscience and expression” as a fundamental right. In the aftermath of a popular protest in February and March 2013 known as Shahbag Movement, which was organized by bloggers and cyber writers, a section of Islamists have waged a disinformation campaign to label the bloggers ‘atheists’. The government is now trying to appease these Islamists. The government has made a list of nearly 100 bloggers and cyber forum participants who they labeled atheists and defamers of Islam. Through interview given to popular press, a spokesperson for the government has announced that the government will arrest and prosecute these “errant” bloggers. Although there is no law against atheism in Bangladesh, the government is persecuting these bloggers on charges of offending Islam and its Prophet. The government has already blocked a few popular websites to curtail free flow of information and promises to do even more to appease the Islamists. Since the constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh ensures freedom of speech and expression [article 39 (1, 2) of chapter-3], we believe Bangladesh Government’s heinous action against the popular bloggers is unconstitutional and a gross violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, which clearly states, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression”).

We urge you to look into this serious matter and join with us in expressing grave concern so that bloggers and writers are not harassed and persecuted by state machinery because of the views they hold on religion and other such matters. The government has taken this easy route to appease a handful of rouge Mullahs whose support they need to win the upcoming election. We hope you understand the gravity of the situation which is worsening by the day.

Political parties in Bangladesh do not hesitate to kill people and destroy the country in order of remain in power. They appease Islamic fundamentalists for votes. This can’t be a democracy. A group of hypocrites will leave, another group of hypocrites will come. It has been happening for ages. It is time to stop electing hypocrites. The problem is, every politician is a hypocrite.

Fanatics and fascists are united. Freethinkers are not. Freethinkers almost always let fanatics and fascists go unopposed.

Will they protest now to save Bangladesh from being completely ruined and Islamized?

6 comments

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  1. 1
    roger ivanhart

    “Political parties do not hesitate to kill people and destroy the country in order of remain in power.”

    How right you are! However, the chances of freethinkers agreeing to act together may be a little optimistic.

  2. 2
    Guy Otten

    It is the damaging influence of Islam itself that produces these clampdowns on freedom of expression. Ironically the very clampdown underlines how vital such freedom is and makes those who exercise that freedom brave champions in an important struggle around the world.

    One way of countering Islamic influence is to spread the facts about the mythological origins of Islam itself. Much new research shows that contrary to Tradition the creation of Islam took place over several centuries and involved a deliberate and enhancement development of earlier traditions – most probably for political reasons. See http://www.mythofislam.info

  3. 3
    Swami Yesudas

    Dear Taslima, Great Idea. But how do we join? It WOULD be good to keep in touch with One another. Regards.

  4. 4
    Sarita Ahmed

    @Taslima di, Thanks for welcome us to be united.

    Freethinkers, at some level, are getting united via cyber world.
    Therefore ‘Shahbag-Movement’ is the brainchild of united freethinkers of Bangladesh. But the problem is, the DIFFERENCE of Freethinkers Vs Fanatics !
    the Freethinkers have Knowledge, Courage, Self-confidence but NO deadly Weapons. They r non-violent, peace-loving.
    The Fanatics or the fascists ,having no above mentioned good qualities, only Have Blind Faith, completely misused Brains that only responsed to the call of god or godamn-religious traders and yes, tons of Deadly Weapons provided by some Poltical parties — their ultimate mightiest Strength!
    And here lies the Main Problem. This is the war between non-violence & Violence. so, whenever these two class meet in a debate there has to be murders of the non-violent,intelligent,enlightened section.

    Now, no democratic law & order and moral value allow us(freethinkers) to be violent. So, the most intelligent section got political punishment and finally pre-mature Death !

    ‘United we stand, Divided we Fall” – is the forefathers’ proverb. but now, we are facing divide and rule game-plan by the ruling as well the opposition party! All of us are now poltical victims….no free speech, no free talk, no free breath, no freedom even pressing the Facebook ‘Like’ button !! We are threatend to be Alive too in WB !

    Where will the unity come from????

  5. 5
    susanflindt

    I have looked on mukto mona’s site and there are three petitions to sign,two on change .org to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh.maybe someone would know how to put the links up here.

  6. 6
    Ultra Force MIght REview

    I’m not sure why but this web site is loading extremely slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a problem on my end? I’ll check
    back later and see if the problem still exists.

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