Third Secular Writer Hacked To Death By Islamic Extremists In Bangladesh

Ananta-Bijoy-Das_3300494iWe have been covering the attacks on secular writers and bloggers by Islamic extremists in Bangladesh. Now a third blogger and secular writer has been murdered by Islamic extremists . The latest victim is Ananta Bijoy Das, a blogger who advocated secularism, was attacked by four masked assailants wielding machetes. The rise of Islamic extremism has alarmed the free speech community in Bangladesh, which sees increasing Islamic orthodoxy in society and intolerance for non-Islamic views.


Das was a 33-year-old banker who wrote about the need for tolerance and the values of a secular state. He was also editor of science magazine “Jukti”, which means “logic”, and on the advisory board of “Mukto Mona” (Free Mind), a website propagating rationalism and opposing fundamentalism that was founded by U.S.-based blogger Avijit Roy. Roy was hacked to death in February and his wife seriously injured by Islamic extremists.

The Islamist group Ansar al-Islam Bangladesh said al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) claimed responsibility for the attack. Das won the annual rationalist award in 2006 for his “deep and courageous interest in spreading secular and humanist ideals and messages.”

Islamic groups have been pushing to make Bangladesh (with 160 million people) the next Sharia-based state imposing Islamic law on everyone regarding of their beliefs. Another Islamic group, Hefazat-e-Islam, has publicly sought the execution of atheists who organized protests against the rise of political Islam. This group led by Islamic seminary teachers led protests against the bloggers in May 2013 that left nearly 50 people dead.

The bravery and sacrifice of men like Das are hard to put into words. In the face of the rising violence and calls for Sharia law, these writers continue to put themselves at risk for their country and the universal right to free speech and free exercise. The hatred of these Islamic extremists are only surpassed by the towering courage of writers like Das.

36 thoughts on “Third Secular Writer Hacked To Death By Islamic Extremists In Bangladesh”

  1. Isaac:

    “How do you feel/think about Muslims in America refusing to design a wedding cake for American gays? It’s their extreme Sharia law that promotes the hacking to death of gays. Perhaps they would if they could here. Perhaps if they establish their beliefs with precedents in bakery shops the next move will be, well you get the picture. Which right do ya’ll support first?”

    When you write something like that, you have to expect questions on your position comparing not baking a cake for a gay wedding to hacking gays to death. You appeared to say that having the right not to bake a cake was opening the door to murder, hence why I questioned you. I also explained the difference between the right NOT to get involved in someone else’s religious ceremony and murder.

  2. Nick

    You have taken this position many times, differentiating between religions and dictators. Most dictatorships are based on the cult of the leader(s). This places them in the same category with religions. When an individual will do ‘whatever’ based on a doctrine delivered by the representative of a supreme being and when that supreme being happens to be alive, it is not much different. Force of one sort or another is typically used. Military force morphed into the force of fear of excommunication. How many people believe in a religion perhaps not as rigidly as others but stay for the social needs? One can be afraid of the KGB coming at night or of going to hell, or perhaps of simply not belonging.

    The cult of Stalin has evolved into the cult of Putin but along the way a multitude of freedoms have been attached. This is the right direction. The cult of Jesus and Mary has evolved into ‘we won’t burn you at the stake if you disagree’ and that is a good thing. The residue still sticks but is dissipating. As common sense is given room to grow, humans look to themselves for truth and justice and not so much to ancient stories.

    The way to the ‘godhead’ is through the secular world.

    1. issac wrote: “As common sense is given room to grow, humans look to themselves for truth and justice and not so much to ancient stories.”

      Well, it is true that young people today forsake the knowledge that might be gained from history, and instead they look to their own personal feelings and personal sense of self worth. You seem to think that is a good thing and represents progress. I think it is a bad thing.

      issac wrote: “The way to the ‘godhead’ is through the secular world.”

      Wow! That is an oxymoron that is very difficult to understand. Perhaps you can explain what you are trying to say. Jesus taught that God was spirit, and the only way to him was through spirit and truth. Was Jesus wrong about that?

  3. Squeeky, These atheists always forget the hundreds of millions killed by Communist atheists in our lifetime!!. Well, maybe they just hope we do. Even these savage Muslims got a lot of catching up to do to catch up w/ Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, etc. .

  4. Isaac, You admittedly look @ the US Constitution from a European perspective. Correct? With blasphemy laws being supported by Obama and Hillary, w/ free speech and religious freedom being attacked continually, I see this as a critical time where a strict interpretation of the Constitution is necessary. At this point, I am in do not give one freakin’ inch mode. You are La de da about fundamental principles. I vehemently disagree. There’s nothing else to discuss. We do get baseball. That’s heartening.

  5. Nick

    The one thing that is evident regarding the US Constitution is that it can easily be perverted or interpreted. This is proven in an ongoing theatre with the performances of it chief protectors. The weakest argument one can present is one based on the ownership of something so as to provide authority and cast dispersions on the side with whom one is discussing. You do this continually and then stop. The Constitution is a living entity, amended, and interpreted. When one argues that one’s opponent doesn’t understand the Constitution one sadly points their finger at themselves.

    I have read enough American history and studied enough of the ever changing workings of this nation to realize there is no merit for your position. If I had never revealed my history, where would you be and what would you use for powder?

  6. Squeeky

    I would venture to state that my life has been the least sheltered of any on this blog. I can easily state that logic and goodness are more often than not perverted in the name of religion, sanctioned by a selective interpretation of god’s will, and easily and often resulting in evil being done to others. When one is faced with one’s self and one’s naked logic stacked up against the truth, it is much harder to ‘get away with stuff’. History should teach anyone who studies it, this. The worst of the worst have always had some god on their side, either to justify the evil or to forgive later.

    A person who is religious and good is good. A person who is good without religion is just as good. It is not necessary to believe in a supreme being to recognize right and wrong, evil and good, or truth and holy bs.

    Your statements seem to illustrate that very sheltered life you mention.

  7. Isaac, You have shown over time you have a Canadian/European understanding of the US Constitution. A distorted lens for which there is no Lasik. That “perverts” all discussions. You just don’t get our Constitution. That’s why I tend to avoid interactions w/ you involving it.

  8. @isaac

    If you think non-religious people make most of their decisions and base their general conduct on the basis of “logic” and “goodness”, then you are either a truly delusional person, or have lived a very blessed and sheltered life. Whenever you see people acting badly, in all their glory, it is usually because they have abandoned their religion, either temporarily or permanently.

    For every blogger hacked to death by religious zealots, there are hundreds and thousands of people killed for their tennis shoes, or because of sexual jealousy, or because of anger, or because of greed, or just for the thrill of it.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  9. Squeaky

    Perhaps the murderers are afraid of secularism as they witness how common sense and logic is usurping Christianity and other religions that once ruled the West. Evolution is a slow process but societal evolution contains some massive and lengthy fracturing. I thank my lucky stars that I live in the secular West where regardless of the last gasps of religious doctrine, logic and goodness as determined by mankind have become the goals rather than that which is interpreted by a bunch of old farts distanced from reality by power and fairy tales.

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