Bystanders stared impassively

The Independent has more details on the attack on Avijit Roy and Rafida Ahmed Banna.

Dr Roy, of Bangladeshi origin but a US citizen, and his wife, Rafida Ahmed Banna, were walking home from a book festival at 8.45pm on Thursday when a mob armed with machetes ambushed them. Photographs posted online showed three youths, who had made no attempt to disguise their appearance, attempting to hack Dr Roy’s head from his body. Others showed him lying lifelessly, his face in a pool of blood, while his wife – her face and clothes streaked with blood – appealed for help. Bystanders stared impassively at the writer’s body.

His wife, Rafida Bhanna, who suffered head injuries and reportedly lost a finger in the attack, remains in hospital in a serious condition.

Bangladeshi Islamists quickly tweeted their jubilation at the fate of a man who had defied their death threats for several years. “Target is Down,” one wrote. Another tweeted: “Lol!! They have switched off the target’s blogsite… No prob. Target is Down & wait for the next… InshaAllah.”

It never ceases to amaze me what a disgusting bully of a god they claim to worship. They think it looks approvingly on men with machetes attacking unarmed people and chopping them down. If god didn’t want us using our own minds, god should have just programmed us. We could all have been programmed to say prayers five times a day or five hundred times a day, and to do nothing else in the meantime, if it wanted submission and fandom that badly. But it didn’t.

According to The Daily Star, witnesses said there were police in the vicinity, but “no one came forward to resist or catch the attackers even as Banna screamed for help”.

Another win for hatred and death.

Krishna Pada Roy, the deputy commissioner of detectives with the Dhaka Metropolitan Police, said police were investigating several possible motives for the killing, including extremism. The climate of intolerance against secularists has worsened dramatically in recent years in Bangladesh, a nation that is more than 90 per cent Muslim but founded on the “Four Principles” of nationalism, democracy, secularism and socialism. Exactly two years ago a new group calling itself Ansar-al-Islam (Defenders of Islam) claimed responsibility for the fatal stabbing of a sociology professor, Shafiul Islam, who was one of three Bangladeshi bloggers killed within the space of a few weeks.

Taslima Nasreen, a Bangladeshi poet and novelist who fled her homeland in the mid-1990s after threats to her life, tweeted from Delhi: “We’re living in Dark Ages.” On her website she wrote that Dr Roy “dedicated his life to enlightening people who live in the darkness of ignorance”, adding: “Bangladesh has become a secret Isis land. Islamic terrorists can do whatever they like. They can kill people with no qualms whatsoever.”

I wish Taslima were thousands of miles from Delhi.


  1. RJW says

    “Bangladesh, a nation that is more than 90 per cent Muslim but founded on the “Four Principles” of nationalism, democracy, secularism and socialism.”

    I think I can see where the problem is, “90 per cent Muslim”.

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    … there were police in the vicinity, but “no one came forward …”

    Implying either that Bangladeshi police routinely stand by as people get hacked to death on the street, or that somebody had told them to let this particular atrocity proceed without interference.

  3. grumpyoldfart says

    Bystanders stared impassively at the writer’s body.

    Religious moderates often stand back while fanatics take over an area. The moderates always think they can move in later and wrest control from the fanatics, but that never happens. Once the fanatics are in power they stay in power for centuries

    Moderate Christians thought that first Inquisition in the 12th century was a beauty. Got rid of all those damn heretics in next to no time. Unfortunately for the moderates, the Inquisitions continued for another six hundred years. Fanatics don’t give up their power easily.

    I wonder how long the fanatical Muslims will remain in power in Bangladesh.

  4. RJW says

    I’m not sure bystanders, anywhere, would be prepared to tackle a mob armed with machetes, however the inactivity of the police is inexcusable but a regular occurrence in Muslim-majority countries.

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