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Home > impact on women / resistance > In the Memory of our Beloved Comrade Avijit Roy, Murdered by (...)

In the Memory of our Beloved Comrade Avijit Roy, Murdered by Islamists.

Sunday 1 March 2015, by siawi3

Left Socialist Blog


Memorial Protest for a Beloved Fighter for Freedom.

Avijit Roy, who has been killed in an attack in Dhaka at the age of 42, was a Bangladeshi-American blogger, published author, and prominent defender of the free-thought movement in Bangladesh.
Mr Roy rose to prominence though his prolific writing on his self-founded site, Mukto-Mona – an internet gathering of mostly South Asia free-thinkers, ratio­nalists, sceptics and humanists founded in 2000.
He was a passionate atheist and an adherent of metaphys­ical naturalism – the school of thought that rejects the supernatural concepts and explanations that are part of many religions.
He was the author of numerous books, and had many articles published in magazines and journals.
In a conservative country like Bangladesh, his subject matter was often contentious, covering sensitive issues such as homosexuality – which he argued was inherent in nature – religious unbelief and cosmology.
Mr Roy’s followers argue that many of his secular ideas are in the tradition of the great Bengali writer Rabindranath Tagore, who died in 1941 and is often referred to as “Bengal’s Shakespeare”.
Some of the last books Mr Roy wrote, Obisshahser Dorshon (The Philosophy of Disbelief) and Biswasher Virus (The Virus of Faith), were critically well received around the world.
In the Virus of Faith he argues that “faith-based terrorism will wreak havoc on society in epidemic proportions”.
In one of his last published articles in the Free Inquiry magazine, Mr Roy wrote: “To me, religious extremism is like a highly contagious virus. My own recent experiences in this regard verify the horrific reality that such religious extremism is a virus of faith.”
He said in the article that a book he published last year “hit the cranial nerve of Islamic fundamentalists” and led to him being targeted by militant Islamists and terrorists.
It also led, he said, to a man openly issuing death threats against him on Facebook.
“Avijit Roy lives in America and so it is not possible to kill him right now,” Mr Roy quoted one threat against him as saying, “but he will be murdered when he gets back.”
The Independent reports,
Avijit Roy and his wife were returning from a book fair at Dhaka University on Thursday evening when they were attacked.
Witnesses told local media their bicycle rickshaw was stopped by two men who dragged them on to the pavement but police chief Sirajul Islam said the couple were ambushed as they walked towards a roadside tea stall.
Both accounts said at least two men with machetes started hacking at the couple as they lay on the ground.
The attackers then ran away, disappearing into crowds.
Mr Roy, believed to be in his 40s, was pronounced dead during emergency surgery at the Dhaka Medical College hospital and his wife, Rafida Ahmed Banna, lost a finger and is being treated for serious injuries.
Police found her severed finger alongside two machetes and a bag possibly belonging to the attackers at the scene

In Commemoration: Avijit Roy.
News From Bangladesh:
BD News 24.
Former Chief Justice ABM Khairul Haque says the judiciary is also to blame for the culture of impunity that led to Avijit Roy’s murder.
Speaking to at the Amar Ekushey Book Fair on Saturday, he said that since many have got away with murders of free thinkers and intellectuals before, other zealots have felt encouraged to launch similar attacks.
He was referring to suspects of such killings easily securing bail from the High Court.
Writer-blogger Avijit Roy and his wife were hacked by unidentified miscreants near Dhaka University’s TSC on Thursday night.
He died at the Dhaka Medical College and Hospital soon after he was rushed there.
His wife and fellow blogger Rafida Ahmed Bonya lost a finger and was seriously injured. She is being treated at a Dhaka hospital.
The couple lived in the US, but were in Bangladesh to launch newly published books written by Avijit at this year’s book fair.
“I must say after Avijit’s murder, that we need to stand up to this unitedly,” the former chief justice said.
According to Haque, the judiciary was also responsible.
“Those who had granted bail to suspects of such murders, are responsible for the bloodbath that continues and of which Avijit is the latest victim. This incident is proves that our police is inefficient.”
Roy was the founder of ‘Mukto-Mona’ (Free Mind) blog and used to write against communalism and religious superstition.
Fundamentalists had threatened him on several occasions for his writings.
Police are yet to identify the killers, but suspect fundamentalists for the murderous assault because Avijit’s murder resembles those of legendary writer Humayun Azad, blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider and Rajshahi University teacher Shafiul Islam.
All of them were known for their bold stance against religious extremism and communalism.
Azad was killed in a similar attack near TSC in February 2004.
In 2013, Rajib Haider was killed near his home at Dhaka’s Mirpur area.
One of the suspects of that murder secured bail from the High Court, which was later stayed by the Appellate Division.
One Farabi Shafiur Rahman, who was arrested on charges of inciting more attacks on bloggers like the one on Haider on the web and social media then, is now out on bail from the High Court.
Even now there is considerable traffic on the web supporting Avijit’s murder, with Islamist radicals posting laudatory messages and tweeting extensively.
Monday strike in DU to protest Avijit Roy murder. BD News.
Pragatishil Chhatra Jote, a platform of Leftist student organisations, has called for a strike at Dhaka University for Monday to protest the brutal murder of writer-blogger Avijit Roy.
Avijit’s killing stirs world media Mohammad Abu Bakar Siddique
The brutal killing of writer, blogger Avijit Roy in hand of machete-wielding assailants has created a shockwave in the global media.
The leading news organisations from around the world including BBC, Reuters, the Guardian, The New York Times, NDTV etc condemned the barbarous killing, bringing out detail of the attack.
BBC placed the news on the attack that left the Bangladesh-born US citizen dead and his wife also a blogger Rafida Ahmed Bonna, critically injured, as its lead on the following day, with the headline suggesting “US-Bangladesh blogger Avijit Roy hacked to death.”
The contributions of Avijit, a naturalised US citizen, particularly his activism for scientific knowledge and secularism through online and publications, his receiving threats from militants groups, the attack by the widespread protest against the killing and for arrest of the attackers, and the country’s context were mentioned in the BBC’s report.
The killing of the son of the country’s one of the most prominent professors Ajay Roy was covered Reuters, as “American blogger killed in Bangladesh machete attack,” the New York Times reported “Avijit Roy, Bangladeshi-American Writer, Is Killed by Machete-Wielding Assailants,” besides several other versions with updates.
Roy came to Dhaka for publication of his new books in the book fair around mid-February with his wife, and on the evening they fell under the attack in the TSC area in Dhaka University on the way back from the fair.
Avijit wrote a number of books on mainly philosophy, rationalism and science, in line with his activism, also in online, for secularism and freedom of expression, for which he had been receiving death threats since long, including the recent one when social media fanatics openly declared to kill him on coming home, family told media.
The UK-based the Guardian reported “American atheist blogger hacked to death in Bangladesh” mentioning the previously happened similar attacks on the free thinkers.
“American-Bangladeshi atheist blogger Avijit Roy hacked to death by suspected Islamist extremists,” wrote the UK based the Independent.
The Telegraph wrote: “Atheist US blogger hacked to death in Bangladesh,” while The Times headlined “Atheist US blogger hacked to death in Bangladesh”
CNN titled “Prominent Bangladeshi-American blogger Avijit Roy killed” where it detailed with the facts related to the killing and the shocks emerged from it.
It reported on the very attack in two more stories with title “American writer hacked to death in Bangladesh spoke out against extremists”, and “Blogger’s brutal death for speaking his mind.”
From the murder to the UN condemnation, the media all around the world are coming up with the follow ups as well.
The attack was widely covered in the media of neighboring India and Pakistan.
India’s NDTV and Pakistan’s Dawn among the prominent news media covered the story, his contributions, threats were mentioned.
These news media are also following the developments in Bangladesh and the world, in response to the attack, protest and condemnation that began in Dhaka.