Attention must be paid

CFI has a statement on the horrific murder of Washiqur Rahman.

Barely a month following the brutal murder of our friend, freethought writer Avijit Roy in Bangladesh, and the near-killing of his wife Rafida Bonya Ahmed, atheist blogger Washiqur Rahman has been killed by a group of Islamic extremists in Dhaka. A young man at age 27, Rahman was far less well-known than Dr. Roy, but his public expressions of admiration for Roy, and his courageous criticism of religion were sufficiently threatening to these extremist thugs that they tried to silence him as they silenced Dr. Roy.

But they will find that just as was the case with the murder of Dr. Roy, the power of the ideals and principles Washiqur Rahman championed will now only become a more potent force, and the hateful and backward ideology of his killers will be exposed to the world. Violent Islamic extremists think they will scare their critics into silence and submission, but their barbarity will only serve to strengthen the unity and resolve of those who believe in the fundamental right to free expression — which includes the right to criticize, question, and reject religion.

The rest.

The American Humanist Association also has a statement.

The American Humanist Association mourns the tragic death of Bangladeshi blogger, Oyasiqur (Washiqur) Rhaman, who was brutally murdered in Dhaka, Bangladesh, for advocating freethought and progressivism.

Rhaman was described by his friends and fellow bloggers as a humanist and atheist. On social media, he criticized religious extremism and expressed solidarity with Avijit Roy, another humanist blogger and Bangladeshi-American who was killed only a few weeks ago for espousing secular views. The vicious nature of these two murders underscores the oppression and harassment faced by humanists around the world. The American Humanist Association reaffirms its commitment to free speech and to ending the prejudice against humanists and other nonbelievers by advancing secular values and human rights and opposing blasphemy laws.

In the wake of these appalling tragedies, the American Humanist Association is continuing to demand that U.S. Senators and Representatives hold hearings on the global persecution of humanists and other nontheists by religious fundamentalists. A copy of the letter sent to legislators can be viewed here.

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