Atheists are arrested.

Atheists get arrested in Bangladesh, a so called liberal Muslim country.

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

The arrest of the three, who were paraded in handcuffs at a news conference, followed pressure from Islamists who have organised a march from all over the country to the capital to demand the death penalty for atheist bloggers.

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

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

He denied the arrests were linked to the planned march to Dhaka set for Saturday.

Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan said the three arrested men were among 84 “atheist bloggers” named in a list handed over by an Islamist group to a government panel probing alleged blasphemy against Islam on the Internet.

“The arrests were made on primary information” and further investigation is underway, Khan said, adding the government would act toughly to prevent any attempt to upset “communal harmony” via the Internet.

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

The arrests came as Bangladesh has been hit by violent protests over a war crimes tribunal which is trying leading Islamists who opposed the country’s independence from Pakistan during the 1971 liberation war.

Islamists are stabbing and killing atheists. The government, instead of protecting atheists, harassing, threatening and arresting atheists. Atheists are treated as criminals in Bangladesh. It is a crime not to have a faith in Allah and Muhammad. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is protecting Allah and Muhammad from atheists. It means she believes that she is more powerful than Allah and Muhammad and Allah and Muhammad are too weak and vulnerable and unable to protect themselves. So it is her duty to protect them. What a blasphemy!


  1. Sastra says

    This is horrible. I feel sympathy for those who have been arrested. We get so used to taking the values of the enlightenment for granted — a common ground shared by the whole world — that what happens when religion meets an ‘honor’ culture sounds like something that must have happened in the past.

  2. wvbishop says

    Admittedly an ignorant question, but what is the most effective way to (1) demonstrate support for these people and (2) put pressure on these ridiculous police states that justify such intolerance toward atheist?

  3. Steersman says

    Ibn Warraq in his Why I Am Not a Muslim argues that Islam is antithetical to democracy. Bangladesh seems to be positive proof.

      • harries says

        Taslima Nasreen
        You can tell something rational which never insult someone. Atheist most of the time shows their filthy mind. No one have right to prate about religion. I respect you thought committing violence is crime. For your kind information, any country’s rules violation is crime as well. is not it?

        • Rudolf Root says

          @piper —

          One cannot insult an idea, one only can try to insult people.
          Ideas –including religions– certainly can be mocked, satirized, made fun of.

          That’s what they are here for, ESPECIALLY if they are of the religious sort, based not on evidence but on nothing else than faith. 25o years after the Age of Enlightenment this principle should have reached even the most remote corner of the earth.

          @harries —

          Attributing “filthy mind[s]” to atheists is a good start trying to insult, harries, but not a very refined one, as you must admit. Try something along the lines of “Atheism is a dumb idea, atheists are just plain stupid”.

          In the possibly ensuing discussion you might even wedge in an argument in favor of your particular diety and win people over, getting them to admit their previous stupidity.
          Woudn’t that be great?

          • harries says

            An atheist belief that result depended on work/wish. My question is ” How does a man come to world, i mean before he born, did he wishes to be born?

          • No One says

            If you asking asking if a persons “will” exists before they are born I would answer probably not. Mormons believe that “souls” exist on another planet and are the children of a god. When a person is born on earth the spirit child inhabits the body. But I don’t hold high regard for Mormonism since it’s founder was a known con man.

            Meh… this is a silly discussion. It’s like asking; “where do the presents come from if there is no Santa Claus”.

          • Rudolf Root says

            @harries —

            As an atheist I can assure you that atheists do NOT “belief [sic] that result depended on work/wish”.
            Hence your question “How does a man come to world, i mean before he born, did he wishes to be born?” is a nice one but a bit … well … to put it nicely: utterly meaningless, at least to anyone who is not religious.

            You seem to like mindbending questions, however, so here’s another nice question for you:
            Noam Chomsky conceived the sentence “Colourless green ideas sleep furiously” as an example of a grammatically correct sentence.
            The certainly ensuing question, of course, is:
            What do they dream of?

            If this one is too difficult for you, you can try a shorter, a bit more simple one:
            What does the colour blue taste like?

            Eagerly awaiting you reply, but please, take all the time you need to answer properly.

          • Anindya Pal, Kolkata says

            If criticism to religions is unfair then criticism to Marxism/Gandhism/socialism/capitalism etc. should not be criticised by others. is int it?

        • Pierce R. Butler says

          harries: You can tell something rational which never insult someone.

          Look at the names which Islamists call those unconvinced by their religion. (“Filthy mind”, for example.)

          Whatever you want to call that, “rational” is not on the list.

          • harries says

            Atheist usually use slang language and they hurt believer by expressing some sexual scandal of preachers. Please check it out (this site is the best example)

          • No One says

            Atheist usually use slang language and they hurt believer by expressing some sexual scandal of preachers. Please check it out (this site is the best example)

            Of course the pain that the preachers cause to their victims is secondary to the hurt feelings of believers. That’s an odd set of values you have. Perhaps you should re-visit you priorities.

          • Pierce R. Butler says

            … they hurt believer by expressing some sexual scandal of preachers.

            Do you feel clever for dodging two points at once while introducing a new distraction?

            Debating tip: bringing up the sexual scandals of (many, so many) clergy does not work well as a defense for arresting/beating those who protest abuses by clergy.

            Particularly since those most injured by preachers’ (including imams, rabbis, etc) sexual scandals are usually members of said preachers’ respective flocks.

            Are you one of the many secret agents sent by the International Atheist Conspiracy to infiltrate and sabotage those who attempt to defend and protect religious organizations? If so, great work!

  4. harries says

    Considering upcoming parliament election Prime minister had to do that. Don’t afraid atheist, honorable prime minister is supporter of u. Why an atheist can’t tolerate believers’ peaceful life. Why atheist make conflict with them. let them go with their way if they think that’s the best way of leading life.

  5. nadim ahmed says

    This is a new Bangladesh. We young people are fighting against those religious fundamentalists. Govt. cant stop us. Now we are not small in number. They may arrest some of us, but there are thousands more. How many sites they will block? how many mouth they will shut? We will be fighting until we win.

  6. voidhawk says

    Harries – “Why an atheist can’t tolerate believers’ peaceful life.”
    “an atheist blogger was murdered”

    Right… peaceful, right up until we say something you don’t like then it’s violent thuggery all the way.

  7. No One says

    Why an atheist can’t tolerate believers’ peaceful life. Why atheist make conflict with them. let them go with their way if they think that’s the best way of leading life.

    Yes indeed! Why are atheists murdering muslims with knives, having them arrested and imprisoned? Poor oppressed muslims.

  8. Mukto-Mona says

    Bangladesh government squishing freedom of speech by arresting and harassing young bloggers inside the country

    To whom it may concern

    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.

    Mukto-Mona (Freethinkers)

    Also Read:

    Muzzling the voice of freethinking bloggers: An alarming development in Bangladesh!

    Appeasing the Islamists – a Distressing Sign for Bangladesh


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