It is a criminal offence when bloggers hurt religious sentiments

The government of Bangladesh has drilled down to a new level of horribleness. The Daily Star headline sums it up:

Govt displeased with anti-religion bloggers, their killers: Minister

The government is more angry at the bloggers than at the people who chopped them to death.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal today said that the government is not pleased with “bloggers who demean religion” and the people who are killing them.

“Bloggers should [refrain] from hurting religious sentiments,” the minister said. It is a criminal offence when bloggers hurt religious sentiments of the public, he added.

If it is a criminal offence, it shouldn’t be.

If it is a criminal offence, it’s a very minor and non-violent one. I would argue that it’s a victimless crime, because the murderers’ sense of grievance is illegitimate. People shouldn’t be working up their grievances into red-hot justifications for blood-drenched murder.

But in any case it shouldn’t be a criminal offence at all. On the contrary: it should be treated as a public benefit. Religion has a death-grip on the minds of too many people, and those who loosen it are doing a service. It’s disgusting of the Home Minister to claim that the bloggers are doing a bad thing.

He was briefing reporters at his office after a meeting with Nisha Desai Biswal, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs.

The murder of LGBT magazine editor Xulhaz Mannan, press freedom in Bangladesh, terrorism and US-Bangladesh partnership came up in the discussion.

The United States is said to have agreed to cooperate in helping setting up a counter terrorism unit and assist in training of law enforcers to combat terrorism in Bangladesh.

And that’s all there is about that. Apparently it was important to scold the bloggers, who did nothing wrong, while passing over the murderers who murdered them in silence.

What a dreadful government Bangladesh has.

H/t Stewart

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