Community Women Against Abuse

We Stand for Equality, Secularism and Peace

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DON’T Be Silenced, DON’T Keep Silent

In Memory of Tomalika Shingha and writer Arpita Roychoudhury

Community Women Against Abuse are distressed and at loss by the mysterious death of our member and an exiled Bangladeshi feminist activist, Tomalika Shingha. Better known as Arpita Roychoudhury, Tomalika had served the collective as a public engagement and social media lead for more than a year. At our shock, Tomalika’s deadbody was mysteriously found in the shower room of her Berlin residence on Tuesday, 18 December 2018.  The reason for Tomalika’s death is unknown and being investigated.

We express our deep condolence to Tomalika Shingha’s family. Tomalika’s sudden death is not only a loss for her family but also an unrecoverable loss for the collective of CWAA. Formerly a Botany student,  the 22-year old Tomalika had overcome an incredible and lonely journey following her gang rape in 2016.  In May 2016, she was abducted by a group of local Islamists, claimed to be belonging to Tangail and Maymensingha Awami League, then was drugged and raped for three days because of her belief and atheist writing.  She sought safety in Germany following repeated death threats and sexual violence by her rapists. She had overcome extremely difficult situation during her flight in Bangladesh, India and in Berlin in 2016 and 2017.

It has been more than two weeks since Tomalika’s body was discovered in her residence. Her family have been eagerly waiting for the autopsy report and the coffin. But Berlin Police is yet to say when the body will be released and be handed over to her family.

“German Police never contacted the family. We never heard from the Police. They are only keeping in touch with the Bangladesh High Commission in Germany. It is causing further mental distress at this time of grief”, said Tomalika’s father.

This is unacceptable and alarming. In our view, Police should get in touch with victim’s family without delay. It is the duty of Police to update the family about the progress of investigation and about a tentative date of when the coffin would be handed over to family.

Further distressing news is that while Tomalika’s death is being investigated, a group of bloggers and Bengali news men have engaged in stories by suggesting that Tomalika Shingha’s death might be a predicted suicide. We urge everyone to disengage from and reject such fairy tales.

“Tomalika was not suicidal”, said her father and younger sister. During their last telephone conversation with Tomalika on 12 December, Tomalika sounded in good spirit – said her younger sister. Likewise, CWAA spokeperson Dr Rumana Hashem, who had known Tomalika closely for nearly three years and had written about her story, confirmed that there was no visible symptom of suicide till her last correspondence. Tomalika sounded hopeful and interested in getting involved in frontline feminist activism in early December 2018.

Tomalika was an extraordinarily strong personality, an outspoken feminist and an atheist writer of minority Singhalese background. She wanted to live, and sought safety in Berlin in winter 2017. Her host, PEN Centre Deutschland, knew her as a firm and positive person. “If she wanted to commit suicide, she could have done so 2 years ago after her rape”, said Tomalika’s father.

We express our utter disturbance by the ongoing smear campaign against Tomalika Shingha. As her father, we see such smearing is a way to cover up the crimes perpetrated against Tomalika by those who forced her to exile.

These criminals also claim that Tomalika Shingha was a traitor, hence she was exiled. They are threatening her father “to keep quiet”. “Or they would destroy and banish me and rape my other daughter”, said Tomalika Shingha’s father. Bangladeshi and German media are silent about the incidence. Instead of publishing the names of her perpetrators media published victim’s home address, father’s name, work place and details about the family. “This has furthered the potential for persecution and enabled her rapists to target her younger sister”, reported Tomalika’s father.   

We advise press to stop publishing fairy tales and refraining from re-victimising the victim. Media should publish the details of her rapists and extremists who forced Tomalika Shingha to seek safety in Germany. We call upon all media to only publish first hand accounts of her family members. According to Tomalika Shingha’s father newsmen in Bangladesh and Germany never tried to contact him. Neither police nor media made any contact with Tomalika’s father. Tomalika Shingha’s family is currently under religious persecution.

We call upon the government of Bangladesh to take urgent initiative to ensure safety of Tomalika’s family. We call upon German Police to ensure a fair investigation into Tomalika Shingha’s mysterious death. We demand Justice for Tomalika Shingha.

Readers are encouraged to share this post with your friends and network – far and wide. Tomalika Shingha’s family need your support. Please DO NOT engage with any story of suicide before Tomalika Shinghas’s autopsy has been completed.


What YOU Can DO to HELP

To help get justice for Tomalika, you can do the following.

  • Email Bangladesh’s recently re-elected prime minister, Sheikh Hasina Wazed.  Feel free to copy any part of the text above and email to: .
  • Tweet to German Police by asking for a fair and prompt investigation.  You can say:

“German #polizei, ensure fair and prompt investigation into Bangladeshi feminist and exiled writer @PEN_ Deutschland Tomalika Shingha’s mysterious death.  Why is it taking you so long to give us a clue of what/who killed Tomalika? Did @polizeiberlin contact victim’s family yet?

#BerlinPolizei Tomalika’s father awaits your phone call #JusticeForTomalikaShingha

  • Tweet to Bangladesh’s prime minister and say: “PM @PmSHasina we’re pleased to see a female PM in Bangladesh. Did you hear the mysterious death of a young minority woman of your country whose body was found in Berlin? What are you doing to get a fair investigation into #TomalikaShingha’s death ? When will #Tomalika’s coffin be handed over to her family?

Sheikh Hasina, ensure  #JusticeForTomalikaShingha

  • Or tweet: “The young Bangladeshi feminist and atheist writer @PEN_ Deutschland whose deadbody was discovered in her Berlin residence was gang raped by ruling party Islamists in Bangladesh.  They’re now threatening victim’s father. As a woman leader of Bangladesh @PmSHasina must ensure #JusticeForTomalikaShingha

Sheikh Hasina, prosecute rapists of #ArpitaRoychoudhury Ensure safety for victims family #JusticeForTomalikaShingha


The above are some tips only. Feel free to take your independent initiatives and let us know if you have a better idea to create pressure on authorities. We are here to listen to you.

Contact @CWomenAA or Pushpita Gupta <> or Rumana Hashem <>

DON’T keep silent. DON’T let Tomalika’s family be silenced. Act NOW!

#JusticeForTomalikaShingha  #JusticeForArpitaRoychoudhury


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Join notable secularists and veteran women’s rights campaigners speaking about Sharia, Segregation and Secularism in London

On Sunday 25 November 2018, notable secularists and veteran women’s rights campaigners from across the world will gather in central London and will be speaking at One Law for All’s international conference on Sharia, Segregation and Secularism. You can Get your tickets today!

The conference will raise key issues surrounding religious arbitration, the veil and gender segregation at schools and universities, including as part of the religious-Right’s assault on women’s rights. It will also highlight the voices of people on the frontlines of resistance, the gains made by secularists both in the UK and internationally, and the importance of secularism as a minimum precondition for equality. Challenges that secularists continue to face, and priorities for continued collective action will also be addressed.

The conference will mark the tenth anniversary of the One Law for All Campaign for equality irrespective of background, beliefs and religions.

You can view speakers’ bios here.

Check out the conference schedule here.

Join notable secularists and veteran women’s rights campaigners for a conference on Sharia, Segregation and Secularism at a spectacular venue in central London on Sunday 25 November 2018!  Get your tickets today!


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“Glastonbury of Freethinkers” in defence of free conscience and expression to be held in London

There is not much time left for the historic 22-23 July 2017 conference, being dubbed the “Glastonbury of Freethinkers”. The conference jointly organised by One Law for All and Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain will mark the 10th anniversary of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB). “We will honour our dissenters and celebrate freethought”, said Maryam Namazie , the spokesperson of the CEMB.

It is set to be the largest international gathering of ex-Muslim activists and freethinkers in London. Over 70 speakers and acts including comedy, music and art will discuss censorship and blasphemy laws, freedom of and from religion, apostasy, the limits of religion’s role in society, LGBT and women’s rights, atheism, secular values and more, to be held to defend freedom of conscience and expression and argue that freedoms are not western but universal. If you wish to be part of what will be an historic event, you can register via Secular Conference website.

You can find out more about the conference aims in The Freethinker interview with Marieme Helie Lucas and Maryam Namazie.

Get your ticket here:

Read more about the conference:



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Minorities, Why can’t you be like us?

By Piya Mayenin 


Extreme views have seen deaths of  freethinkers in Bangladesh since 2013. Over the last few years news of Hindus and Buddhists and their temples and shrines being attacked in Bangladesh has also dominated Bangladeshi and even international newspapers. Earlier this year a shocking atrocity where foreigners and foreign born children of Bangladeshi citizens were hacked to death in a café in ISIS fashion killings is perhaps the most chilling and terrifying of its sort to ever happen in Bangladesh.  From the onset of Hindu Diwaali  this year news of temples and idolatries destroyed dominated newspapers once again. Then, last week  was the news of a young man  that has allegedly shared a face book post that some believe has denigrated the Masjid- Al-Haram, the great mosque of Makka, a holy site for Muslims.


Islamic group protesters gathered in Nasirnagar in protest and demanded the death of this young man who was hurting religious sentiments.  The young man denied sharing this post and the police arrested him.  However, this did not quell the angry mobs who were given permission to gather repeatedly. They gathered and used mosque loudspeakers to gather more and more people. They attacked Hindu people with sharp weapons including Hindu priests, burned down Hindu homes in the Brahmanbaria district of Eastern Bangladesh temples and idolatries were broken down throughout many parts of Bangladesh from Nasirnagar to Chattak.  It is reminiscent of 2012 when 25000 Muslim rioters burned Buddhist temples. It has been reported that the current and ongoing attacks in Hindu homes and Hindu temples has seen over 17 temples and 100 homes burned across Bangladesh. Some claim it is as much as 300 homes.


The shocking part for me was the news that a Minister allegedly reacted to this young man by publicly saying something equivalent to ‘get those Malauns‘. I have not read that report however I have read many media defending the Minister  stating that members of the Awami League ( Ruling party in Bangladesh) had stated that it is perhaps a word he used in private not in public. I have also read reports of the Minister stating ‘I will resign if anyone can prove I have said Malaun‘.  I believed this Minister has said this and in protest of this ongoing attacks on Hindu population in Bangladesh I changed my profile ID to a slogan ‘Ami Malaun‘, meaning I am a malaun in support of friends, brothers sisters of Bangladeshi origin who have been subject to these atrocious and this slur word throughout their lifetime.  Since then another thing that has happened is that I have had unsolicited approach from unknown people (who were on my face book list but not known to me personally) telling me to ‘Take it off’ and that I ‘should be mature about it’. On seeing the same message on my ID, I replied there that it was in protest of what the Minister allegedly said and even if he didn’t it was in support of this ongoing hatred against the decreasing Hindu population of Bangladesh since 1975. However I continued to get private in-box messages that were ‘educating me’ from the same individual and others who were asking me if I knew what Malaun meant and that I should take it down without asking my reasons for putting it up in the first place.


Religious persecution following the comments of Minister of animal well-being, who called Hindus as 'malaun'. Source Ajanta Deb Roy

Religious persecution following the comments of Minister of animal well-being, who called Hindus as ‘malaun’. Source Ajanta Deb Roy










As a human being,  I felt it was utterly disrespectful the tone and manner of ‘educating’ me. As a mother of three, two that are teenagers and as an educated individual, I found it alarming, surprising and patronising. As a woman I knew that a large male population feel that they are entitled to educate the woman,  the lesser being,  in this patronising manner.


If I was approached respectfully I would have had the mindset to communicate the following:

The word Malaun is a term derived from Arabic which means ‘accursed’  or ‘deprived of God’s mercy’.  It is commonly used by Bangladeshi Muslims and Muslims of Bengal to ethnically slur a Hindu.  If this is said by a Minister of a Country, be it in a slip of tongue or to incite violence then it must be protested.


There are some who suggest that this is a manipulation by the current government in order to create tensions and communal violence, while it flies over my head why any government would do that we should remember that attacks on minorities in South Asian countries are not unknown and religious sentiments are incensed to provoke atrocities on minorities. In Bangladesh Hindus are the second largest religion although only 8% of the population. Further please recall the communal violence that has a history of thousands of years in these countries.


Initially the invaders brought trade and the spread of Islam to Hindu and Buddhist region, not to mention the other tribal religions that existed and still exist in those regions.  Then invasion in a  the temples of Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh when Mahmud of Ghazni came down the Indus plains from Afghanistan and plundered Hindu temples of  gold jewellery and money. By 1024 he  returned and went all the way to somnaath, now known as Gujrat and plundered more with feeble resistance from Hindus who thought that the lord Shiva had punished them. According to historians 50,000 Hindus were killed and temples were destroyed to the ground.  Then came the Muizzu’Din of Turkey in 12th century and the Delhi sultanate in the 13th century and Tughluqs in the 14th, and Timur in 1398 who is said to have seen 5 million deaths. Other names not to forget in Bengal is Alauddin Khilji the early 13th century and Hazrat Shahjalal from Delhi who arrived in Sylhet in 1303 with 360 disciples. A dispute with Gaur Gabindh created a fight which he won. The tensions continued in the Mughal era being the descendants of Timur and Genghis Khan. It was the 16th century Akber the Great who brought a long and ushered Golden Age. He married a Hindu princess and appointed Hindu ministers and this golden era was somewhat undone by Aurangazeb 1658- 1707.  However, even during these times Hindus and the growing Muslim population managed to live, on the whole, harmoniously. It is reported by Indian psychoanalyst and author Sudhir Kakur that ‘It was a multicultural co-existence rather than any merger into a single, composite culture.’  I explain that as Hindus and Muslims and Buddhists and other religions were getting along with each other and accepting each others ethnic similarities and their religious differences.


The modern violence and it must be said that no other violence that flared up was the one that did during the British rule in India.  Despite of Mahatma Ghandi’s attempt to unite, the demand to split up Pakistan and India on the basis of religion from Mohammed Ali Jinnah giving it a two state solution was never a solution as communal violence continued between India and Pakistan. What more West Pakistan  which was over a 10000 miles away from East Pakistan and very intolerant and non accepting of Bengali people who were culturally linguistically different. Bengali’s had a history and language of thousands of years and thus were not ‘Muslim’ enough and not clean enough for the rulers of Pakistan based on religion. This was the backdrop of the independence of East Pakistan which is now Bangladesh.


The point of this extremely brief history is that this attitude has not changed. Generation after generation an inherent ignorance and hatred of each others’ religion has continued. The same loot and attacks over religious rhetoric. It is astonishing that large groups are given permission to gather in this way in full knowledge of communal violence of south Asia and which is increasingly happening in Bangladesh. A Hindu person commented that even in 1971 Nasirnagar was a safe place for Hindus.


It is the responsibility of the leaders of a nation to change this rhetoric and to change this scene and to change it now. It does not happen overnight but the permission to gather over communal rows must be stopped. It is despicable that a Minister is implicated in all this and that is why whether he said it or not he should resign. The use of slurring word such as ‘malaun’  must be banned and a fine imposed so that eventually people learn to live within the law.


History of other developed nations has demonstrated that within time peoples attitudes and vision change. Allowing communal tensions to fester and giving in to violence is an easy and an extremely dangerous option which is hovering over the head of every Bangladeshi person especially Hindus.


For a country that prides in its secular democratic vision, in practice very little is done to bring about unity and cohesion and tolerance in Bangladesh. A successful nation is one where it is fine to be different. Every evil in the Human world seems to stem from the intolerance of difference which often renders injustice to the minorities. When it is truly learned in Bangladesh that progressive nations work toward harmony though allowing everyone to live under the rule of Law with their own beliefs and with equal dignity.




The author is a solicitor, a women’s rights activists and a member of community women’s blog who speak for the rights of all community women and men.

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Memorandum of the Solidarity Vigil for the Victims of Dhaka Attack

Hand-paint flags and the names death has handcuffed at Traflagar Square . Photo by Araje Tomso. Copy right @Gonojagoron Mancho

Copy right @Gonojagoron Moncho, UK.

At Trafalgar Square Solidarity Vigil for Victims on 3 July 2016

Trafalgar Square Solidarity Vigil for Victims










Sunday, 3rd July, 2016, Trafalgar Square, London

We, concerned community members and activists from Bangladesh and internationally, along with representatives of human rights organisations and other civil society organisations and supporters of peace and humanity, are horrified and outraged by the terrorist attack that was perpetuated by extremists in the name of Islam on Friday, the 1st of July, in the capital city of Bangladesh, Dhaka. We strongly condemn the terrorist attack in Dhaka for which ISIS has taken responsibility.

Following the ongoing and systematic murders of bloggers and academics – variously identifying as humanist, rationalist, atheist, secularist, and variously writing about science, humanist values, against Islamist extremism, or in favour of human rights and justice – for the last three years, the religious extremists perpetuated a horrific attack on peaceful and unarmed Bangladeshi and international citizens in the Holly Artisan, a cafeteria previously known as a harmonious and progressive space at a (known as) pleasant town called Gulshan.  While the exact numbers of victims are not yet known, there were at least 22 people killed on Friday’s attack.

No word is sufficient to express the brutality of the slaughtering of innocent and unarmed women and men. The murderers and their ideological supporters are of course to be condemned and must be brought to justice without delay.

Poster at Solidarity vigil on Sunday 3 July 2016. Copy right @Gonojagoron Mancho

Poster at Solidarity vigil on Sunday 3 July 2016. Copy right @Gonojagoron Mancho

Today we stand in solidarity with the victims of the brutal attack in Gulshan. We are joining with the Gonojagoron Moncho in a rally against religious violence and terrorism at Trafalgar Square, London, in solidarity with the victims of Gulshan Attack. We call upon all concerned humans and well-wishers to Bangladesh to join us in the protest against terrorism and extremism.

Bangladesh is one of the largest democracies in the world and has a secular (non-religious) constitution. It has a largely Muslim population, along with a large number of Hindus, Ahmedia, Buddhist ,and some Christian population who were there since the birth of the nation. The country is one of the fastest growing economies in South East Asia. It’s fight to be an independent nation based on democratic principles of freedom and justice was hard won 45 years ago.  Bangladesh will not give this fight up to any terrorist group. But religious extremists hate this position of Bangladesh and have been trying to destroy the nation’s secular space.

Community Women's Blog's Founder, Dr Rumana Hashem, at Sunday Solidarity Vigil for Dhaka at Trafalgar Square on 3 July 2016. Copy right@ Gonojagoron Mancho

Community Women’s Blog’s Founder, Dr Rumana Hashem, at Sunday’s Solidarity Vigil for Dhaka at Trafalgar Square on 3 July 2016. Copy right@ Gonojagoron Moncho, UK

We will not tolerate this. Bangladeshis everywhere will fight against fascism and religious violence and terrorism in the name of religion. It is time for us to stand united against terrorism in the name of religion. It is time to forget all of our differences. It is time to condemn unreservedly the brutal murders and violence in the name of Islam.

This protest and solidarity vigil has been joined by Bangladeshi community organisations and many human rights organisation concerned to the ongoing killings of humans in the name of Islam. Unconditional solidarity has been extended by the British Humanist Asscoiaiton, the Centre for Secualr Space, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, International Humanitarian Ethical Union, Council for Ex-Muslims. Among the community organisations, Community Women’s Blog, Jubo Union, Nari Digatna, Udichi Shilpi Goshti and many cultural and civic rights organisations have expressed unreserved solidarity with the Gonojagorn Moncho and Bangladeshi people protesting the heinous attack in Dhaka.


We stand with humanity and victims of inhuman killings in the name of religion. Bangladesh must not fail to confront and fight ISIS, will mark the beginning of the end of Bangladesh as a free and democratic country.

Gonojagoron Moncho UK activist, Ajanta Deb Roy, stood with a poster questioning the brutality of religious persecution

Gonojagoron Moncho UK activist, Ajanta Deb Roy, stood with a poster questioning the brutality of religious persecution

#WeAreDhaka #StandForDhaka

Gonojagoron Moncho and Alliances, United Kingdom

Here is a short video of the Sunday’s Solidarity Vigil at Trafalgar Square:

Further published news:

গুলশান হত্যাকাণ্ড নিহতদের প্রতি শ্রদ্ধা জানিয়ে যুক্তরাজ্যে গণসংহতি প্রকাশ: Bangla Tribune

‘আমরা বাংলাদেশের পাশে দাঁড়িয়েছি’: পরিবর্তন ডেস্ক


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Solidarity Vigil for the victims of Dhaka Attack

Community Women’s Blog is horrified and outraged by the terrorist attack that was perpetuated by ISIS in the name of Islam on Friday, the 1st of July, in the capital city of Bangladesh, Dhaka. Words failed us as no word is sufficient to express the brutality of the slaughtering of many innocent and unarmed women and men in Holly Artisan, previously known as a harmonious cafeteria at a (previously) pleasant town Gulshan, Dhaka. We strongly condemn the terrorist attack in the name of religion.

Poster for Sunday's Solidarity Vigil at Trafalgar Square, London. Courtesy Gonojagoron Moncho, UK

Poster for Sunday’s Solidarity Vigil at Trafalgar Square, London. Courtesy Gonojagoron Moncho, UK

We stand in solidarity with the victims of the brutal attack in Gulshan.  Today we will be joining with the UK branch of Gonojagoron Moncho in a rally against religious violence and terrorism at Trafalgar Square, London, in solidarity with the victims of #GulshanAttack.

Time: 6 PM to 7PM
Venue: Trafalgar Square, London
Date: Sunday 3rd July 2016


We call upon our readers and well-wishers to join the Solidarity Vigil for Victims in #DhakaAttack. We hope that all conscious humans will join us today.  Please confirm your participation by clicking here

It is time for us to stand united against terrorism that happened across world in the name of religion. It is time to forget all of our faith-based differences. It is time to condemn unreservedly the brutal murders and violence in the name of Islam. No religion is above humanity and human lives.

Let’s stand in solidarity with humanity and victims of inhuman killings that happened in the name of religion.

#StandForDhaka #StandForPeaceandHumanity

Note: All attendees are encouraged to BRING ALONG ELECTRIC CANDLES or A CANDLE WITH A LID. Flowers and placards with your chosen slogans are most welcome.

See you there. #WeAreDhaka

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Support Those Fighting Religious-Right and Jihadists in Bangladesh

By Rumana Hashem

Nari Diganta is horrified and outraged by the brutal killing of Bangladeshi-born freethinker and humanist- writer, Avijit Roy. This is not the first time that we are shocked by watching how the fatal stabbing of humanists and freethinkers happens in Bangladesh. There has been a series of such killings for which fundamentalist and Islamic groups are responsible. Just about six weeks ago a freethinker and female teacher, Anjali Devi Roy, at Chittagong Nursing College was stabbed to death by Jamat-e Islami’s cadre for she had spoken out against Hijab and refused to cooperate to impose Hijab on her students in the college. Previously Bangladesh has witnessed the brutal attack on renowned humanist –literary Professor Humayun Azad in 2004, who was forced into exile in Germany and was succumb to death there. In 2013, humanist-bloggers Asif Mohiuddin was stabbed and Ahmed Rajib Haider was killed by religious fanatics in Dhaka.

Avijit hattar Bichar chai Poster

Poster: Avijit hattar Bichar Chai #IamAvijit

As reports demonstrate, Avijit Roy was killed in a similar fashion to all of the above, by Islamic extremists and men hired by identifiable jihadist groups in the capital city of Dhaka on his way back to home from the Bangla Academy Ekushey Book Fair, a place/space that was historically known as secular in Bangladesh. The killing of Avijit by jihadists is neither an isolated incident nor surprising to Bangladeshi secularists and freethinkers. Rather it was expected, and now being accepted by many Muslims in and outside Bangladesh who believe that Avijit was “a talent but a bit insensible and careless! He spoke and wrote things that he shouldn’t have. People belonging to Hijbut Tahrir are extremists, how could we fight them?”

After this killing of this renowned freethinker on Thursday, 26 February 2015, such a statement is outrageous and unacceptable. It is time to recognise that expressing indignation, denunciation and paying tribute, as so many are doing, is not enough. It is time to act and prevent the brutal attack and killing of freethinkers from happening. We need to support our freethinkers openly and without reservation. Everyone will be killed one after another unless we have recognised the importance of freethinking, secularism and humanism – unless we stop being partial to the religious-Right.

A glance at the Bengali-speaking media shows that whilst many Bangladeshis condemned the violence itself, the majority of them are hesitant to accept the fact that the killers were hired men of Islamic groups, and deny the fact it is religious-right that is responsible for Avijit’s brutal killing. Some also expressed a view that freethinkers like Avijit must have insulted Islam and hence this is his ‘fate’. These stories are similar to what we have seen and experienced after the fatal stabbing of Professor Humayun Azad, another humble atheist, a triumphant academic and an unforgotten Bengali literary who was killed in August 2004, following the publication of his last revolutionary book ‘Pak Sar Jamin’ [the Holy Land]. Professor Azad’s narrative is so very like Avijit Roy’s. Both of them were fatally stabbed during the month of February, near the Bangla Academy, in Dhaka University neighbourhood and as returning from the historical Book Fair in February. The Dhaka University’s secularists, humanists and freethinkers have broken into outrage that time too. But as usual, a large number of the population in the country was undecided and hesitant to support us – those who were fighting at the frontier, those who demanded justice for Humayun Azad, just like today.

Many have said that it was ‘sad’ that the Professor ‘had to experience this brutality’, however, it was ‘arrogant and insensible’ of the Professor to attack Allah and the holy Quran in the way that he did in his Pak Sar Jamin. The media and civil society in Bangladesh were divided into two sections, along the above lines. Their attitudes suggest that atheists must ‘be polite or face death’. This trend in the media, government and civil society in Bangladesh demands our grave attention. It is shocking to see that secularists and atheists are the ones who must keep silent and who do not get the kind of respect that the believers do. It is shocking to see that believers and Jihadists could kill people if any individual wants to enjoy free speech to the same degree as the believers do in a state that was created to enjoy secularism and freedom of speech. The separation of Bangladesh from Pakistan in 1971 was primarily to establish a secular state which would ensure freedom of speech and would promote freethinking. But today’s Bangladesh and the murder of a renowned freethinker tell us that we belong to a state of extremism and a state of Jihadist/killers.

We believe that the attitude of government, media and civil society in a supposedly secular and democratic state, Bangladesh, has given birth of too many Jihadists, who continue to kill voices and stab freethinkers like Azad, Rajib, Anjali and Avijit Roy. It is indeed the obsessive religious-Right that is being supported and given centre stage in a supposedly secular state. This must stop. It is time for cure and prevention. Those who are on the forefront of countering armed fundamentalists must gain justice instead of being left to their own devices. It is time to recognise importance of those secularists who are at the forefront and who seek to reform society with their courage, critical thinking, political clarity and their great abilities. It is time to stop referring to Allah, Quran and Islam when humans are being killed in the name of religious sensibility. It is time to stop any killing in the name of religion.

We insist prevention, and NOT protest and outrage only. We do not pay tribute or express condemnation only but also stand in solidarity with Avijit’s family who demand justice for Avijit. We join all who fight religious fundamentalism and Islamic extremists in Bangladesh and other states across world. As reports show, clearly it is a Bangladeshi Islamist group who is responsible for Aviji’ts killing, and they can be tracked down if government of Bangladesh would be willing to do so. The group calling itself Ansar Bangla-7, is a fundamentalist group who claimed responsibility for the attack in a series of Twitter postings by saying that Roy “was a target for more than 3/4 years” for his writings that it characterized as being critical of Islam. Although the group’s Twitter account was later disabled, we believe that it is possible to trace the group if government and mainstream media in Bangladesh are willing to help us to ensure justice for Avijit Roy.

We stand in solidarity with the protesters and peace activists who are working to prevent all of those fanatic occurrences around the world from happening. Our struggle is against religious fundamentalism and racism and for universal human rights. State must take the responsibility to safeguard freethinking and humanity. Bangladesh government must ensure justice for Avijit and all other freethinkers who were killed in the name of religion and Islam. Avijit Roy will leave as long as we protest and seek justice for #AvijitRoy .

Protesters paid tribute to murdered #Avijit  at  Trafalgar Squire,  London. Sunday, March 2, 2015. Photo: Paul Dudman

Protesters paid tribute to murdered #Avijit at Trafalgar Squire, London. Sunday, March 2, 2015. Photo: Paul Dudman

Letter from Avijit Roy’s daughter Trisha Ahmed: ‘…everyone could share his story…Use your influence to help bring some sort of justice to the atrocious acts’

Avijit Will live as we speak Poster by Freethinkers

Avijit Will live as we speak Poster by Freethinkers

Avijit Roy’s daughter, Trisha Ahmed, called upon everyone to spread the words of her father who was never submissive and never to be forgotten. In a form of paying a tribute and expressing solidarity with Trisha and her mother, we have reproduced the letter of Trisha Ahmed below, which she has posted on Facebook, which she wanted us all to share as widely as possible. Readers are requested to please read, share and spread the story of Avijit Roy, as written by Trisha, to honour Dr. Roy and to remember an ever-powerful humanist voice.

My dad was a prominent Bengali writer, most famous for his books about science and atheism. He and my mom went to Bangladesh last week to publicize his books at Bangladesh’s national book fair. 15 hours ago, Islamic fundamentalists stabbed my dad to death. My mom was severely wounded from the attack and is still in the hospital. His death is headline news in Bangladesh.

The reason I’m sharing this is less for me and more for my dad. He was a firm believer in voicing your opinion to better the world.

He and my mom started dating when I was six years old. In the twelve years that followed, he became my friend, my hero, my most trusted confidante, my dance partner (even though we’re both terrible dancers), and my father. Not once did he tell me to simmer down or be more polite; he taught me to be informed, bold, and unafraid.

To say that I’m furious or heartbroken would be an understatement. But as fucked up as the world is, there’s never a reason to stop fighting to make it better. I’ll carry the lessons he taught me and the love he gave me forever. I love you so much, Dad. Thank you for every single thing

What would help me the most right now is if everyone (even people I’ve never met) could share his story. His story should be heard in the US because Bangladesh is powerless; it’s corrupt, there is no law and order, and I highly doubt that any justice will come to the murderers. I want his story to be on US headline news, not only Bangladesh’s. If you could just do all you can to spread word of what’s happened, I would appreciate it so so much. Inform your schools, your communities, write all that you can. Please don’t allow my dad to die in vain.

Please use your influence to help bring some sort of justice to the atrocious acts that have been committed against my parents.


Read also:

‘I am Avijit’ Vigil in London

‘Avijit was an intellectually-fulfilled-atheist who dedicated life to promote science and secularism’- Listen to Rafida Ahmed about Avijit

Prominent writer killed by Jihadists in Dhaka

Blogger hacked to death in Bangladesh capital:

Blogger killed in Bangladesh machete attack:

Bangladeshi-origin U.S. Blogger Critical of Fanatic Muslim and Extremist Stabbed

Avvaz petition to Bangladesh Government