Another atheist has been murdered in Bangladesh, for atheism.
Nazimuddin Samad, a 26-year-old atheist who had taken part in protests against Islamist leaders, was attacked late on Wednesday near his university in Dhaka by unknown assailants carrying machetes.
“They hacked his head with a machete. As he fell down, one of them shot him in the head with a pistol from close range. He died on the spot,” deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police Syed Nurul Islam told AFP.
They shouted “Allahu akbar” as they butchered a human being — a human being they presumably believe was created by Allah, whose body is an astonishing work of God, whose mind is the most wonderful thing in the universe. It’s a strange form of praise and worship, I think. Do they also stroll into museums and enjoy the artwork by destroying it?
Oh, yeah…I guess some of them do.
Maybe it’s not so much that they are obsessed with their gods, as they are besotted with the thrill of wanton destruction and sanctimonious self-validation.
PZ Myers says
By the way, the photo is not of chanting jihadists. It’s a group of secular students protesting the murder.
This is terrorism, plain and simple. Hacking an atheist or secular to death sends a very frightening message that you don’t dare speak out against the religion; that’s exactly what terrorism is designed to do. The trhill of wanton destruction and sanctimonious self validation are just bonuses.
I hope that the members of the Skeptics Society of Bangladesh are safe. Was this young man, Nazimuddin Samad, a member?
The perpetrators of this savagery must be very afraid of their absurd religious beliefs being undermined by rationality. Or are there other things that they stand to lose in the light of reason? Are they afraid of losing privileges that they currently obtain? I don’t know enough about Bangladeshi culture to answer that. Maybe it’s got a lot to do with madrassas?
@3 dick: I think it’s worse than that. They are gravely insulted by being told that they are WRONG!
Of course that might be my own pattern recognition circuitry going haywire, but this hatred of being called wrong seems to me to be everywhere. Not limited to, but very common within the religious.
Saganite, a haunter of demons says
The secularists are extremely brave, but unless the Bandladeshi authorities actually do something, I fear their sacrifices will be in vain. That acts like these – again and again – continue to happen reflects horrendously on them. How can one consider that as anythign other than acquiescence?
In addition to disliking philosophical dissent, I think there’s more than a little honor culture religion at work here. Insults deserve retaliation because you cannot have a reputation which has been sullied. If your religion is considered foundational to everything in the world and defines you as a human being, then dissent is insult, and insult merits revenge. And if you and the world only matter in relation to God, then insulting God is the gravest form of insolence possible. The more passionately you react, the more grateful God will be and the more you reassert religion as identity. Nonbelief is framed an impure toxin which must be purged. How can that be a crime, given the framework?
(Honor Culture) + (Religion = Identity) = Entitlement to Violence.
How very, very sad it all is, in every direction. I’m glad there are protests in Bangladesh.
Another day, another dolor.
The strongest arguments are those with the strength of facts and reasoning. Unfortunately, religious fanatics think the strongest arguments are those with the strength of violence.
The government does the opposite. Part of their response consists of arresting bloggers and shutting their websites down. What would you expect from a theocracy?
In the beginning, the list (now hit list) of bloggers was actually given to the government for them to arrest for blasphemy. The government did nothing to offer the bloggers protection or go after the group that gave them the list.
Do muslims believe in indefinite visits to heaven and hell? Any atrocity in the mortal realm can trivially be excused in that case, assuming the methods are effective in quelling dissent.
Sastra, thanks for your response.
My mind doesn’t work that particular way. (I’m probably well onto the autistic part of the spectrum.) I can, however, see that this statement may well be true for some people. It does offer a cogent explanation for what is, otherwise, difficult to explain in terms of what I understand it is to be human.
Bangladesh is a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council so it should all turn out for the best.
Another case of this type of tragedy:
Religious extremism: It’s just perfect for the would- be murderer who’s looking for an excuse to indulge.
I has sad.
Why not both?
I still think that this is incredibly dangerous thinking. It seems only in this context do some people go so far out of their way as to absolve religion. No. Maybe it’s because certain religious creeds do make people behave badly. Is there any doubt that they did this on the major premise that they believe that it was the morally correct thing to do, which is itself based on particular religious beliefs?
Or was it merely a bunch of unemployed disaffected marginalized youths who got together in a social setting and formed a club and bonded, and they spontaneously chose a bonding exercise of murdering an atheist while yelling “allahu akbar”? It’s so ridiculous. This kind of extreme downplaying of the responsibility of their religious beliefs is offense to me, and I consider it extremely dangerous. Knock it off please.
As far as I can tell, this ridiculous position is said mostly by lifelong atheists and former moderate religious believers. In particular, they believe that the people who hacked this person to death really cannot believe all that god stuff, and for some bizarre reason these religious apologists are desperate to invent any reason that they can in order to arrive at any conclusion except the dead obvious: That they themselves believe that they’re doing it primarily for religious reasons, and that they would not do it if the religious creed had been different. Does anyone really doubt the hypothetical cima that there would be no bigotry against gays in the United States if the bible contained several clear verses that promoted and celebrated homosexual relations and had no verses that were easily read to the opposite? And dittos for any Muslim majority country.
Prima facie example:
In other words, the claim that no religious believer actually takes their beliefs seriously, and no religious believer actually believes what they say that they believe. In particular, it’s the claim that whenever a group of self identified Muslims take days or weeks to track down a particular suspected atheist, and hack the person to death while yelling “allahu akbar”, all of the self identified Muslims are actually just mentally ill people who are devious and mentally competent enough to use Islam as an excuse, and they’re not true Muslims.
This is flatly ridiculous. This is extreme wishful thinking. This is delusional. The contortions that one has to go through in order to reach that conclusion is extreme in number and absurdity.
The cold hard reality is that most people are willing to behave very, very badly, if they think that they’ve been ordered to do so by an authority figure. Religion is but one example. We need to recognize this reality of human psychology, and plan around it – not deny the obvious, because then any plans that we try to make will be doomed to failure.