Posts Tagged ‘ FTB ’

Never a reason to stop fighting to make it better

Mar 2nd, 2015 9:59 am | By

Alom Shaha nudges everyone to notice and remember Avijit Roy.

He was a hero to many Bangladeshis, but few if any in the west will be declaring that they are Avijit in the way so many of us announced we were Charlie after the Charlie Hebdo attacks. But there are lots of Avijits outside the west, genuinely brave individuals who put their lives on the line to uphold values and freedoms that we take for granted: Ahmed Rajib Haider, another Bangladeshi atheist who was killed because of what he wrote; Raif Badawi, a Saudi Arabian blogger who has been flogged in public and is in prison for “insulting Islam”; Karim Ashraf Mohamed al-Banna, jailed for

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Rahman is busted

Mar 2nd, 2015 9:29 am | By

Law enforcement people in Bangladesh have arrested Farabi Shafiur Rahman in connection with the murder of Avijit Roy.

A spokesman for the police’s elite Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) said Farabi Shafiur Rahman had been arrested at a bus station in the capital over the brutal murder of Avijit Roy. “He is the main suspect,” RAB spokesman Maj Maksudul Alam said.

Rahman had threatened Roy several times before, including on Facebook, where he said Roy would be killed upon his arrival in Dhaka. The suspect has been handed over to the police’s detective branch, which is investigating the killing.

The RAB paraded Rahman before the press at its headquarters in Dhaka where another RAB spokesman, Mufti Mahmud, described him as a

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Light the darkness

Mar 1st, 2015 6:05 pm | By

There were rallies for Avijit Roy in Bangladesh, too.

Also Kolkata:

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But you cannot kill ideas

Mar 1st, 2015 5:45 pm | By

More from the vigil for Avijit Roy:

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We mourn but we are not out

Mar 1st, 2015 5:41 pm | By

There was a vigil in honor of Avijit Roy in Trafalgar Square this afternoon.

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Cage’s unsavoury nature became undeniable

Mar 1st, 2015 5:03 pm | By

James Bloodworth got into a discussion with an Amnesty volunteer last week on the question of whether or not it’s a good idea to collaborate with groups or people who stand for bad things, with Cage being the example of standing for bad things. That’s a difficult and unavoidable question for all movements and campaigns and groups, because there are always going to be differences, and it’s not generally easy to know where to draw the line.

But Cage has made it easier now…

My own argument was simply to ask whether it would be acceptable to partner with an organisation of the British far-right in a similar fashion. Would it really be kosher to share a platform with

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And feel themselves subdued

Mar 1st, 2015 12:35 pm | By

Taslima shares a long string of excerpts from the Koran and the Hadith that mandate the kind of thing the murderers did to Avijit Roy.

The Islamic killers used big sharp knives to kill Dr. Avijit Roy, the well known progressive blogger. ISIS terrorists use sharp knives to behead people. They like knives because Muhammad liked knives to kill nonbelievers. Islamist leaders convince fellow Islamists to kill nonbelievers for the sake of Islam. Allah Himself advise people to kill. There are many Islamic organizations in Bangladesh working to indoctrinate young people with Islam. The leaders of those organizations insist people to believe in the Quran, the words of Allah and the Hadith, the words of Muhammad. Governments and almost all

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Maajid Nawaz takes this moment to salute Gita Sahgal

Mar 1st, 2015 11:56 am | By

Remember this? From five years ago? Gita Sahgal told the Sunday Times about her disagreement with Amnesty International over their support for CAGE? And they fired her as a result?

A SENIOR official at Amnesty International has accused the charity of putting the human rights of Al-Qaeda terror suspects above those of their victims.

Gita Sahgal, head of the gender unit at Amnesty’s international secretariat, believes that collaborating with Moazzam Begg, a former British inmate at Guantanamo Bay, “fundamentally damages” the organisation’s reputation.

In an email sent to Amnesty’s top bosses, she suggests the charity has mistakenly allied itself with Begg and his “jihadi” group, Cageprisoners, out of fear of being branded racist and Islamophobic.

Sahgal describes Begg as “Britain’s

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Very expertly and with ferocity

Mar 1st, 2015 11:31 am | By

Three suspects were arrested in Bangladesh on Saturday but it’s not clear if they were arrested specifically on suspicion of involvement in the murder of Avijit Roy or for Islamism in general.

Three suspected Islamists were on Saturday arrested in Bangladesh in a pre-dawn raid, as authorities intensified a crackdown on extremists following the brutal killing of American blogger Avijit Roy in the capital.

Acting on a tip-off, elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) conducted a pre-dawn raid at a five-storey building in the northeastern port city of Chittagong and arrested three suspected militants.

“We have seized 30 grenades…it appears they (militants) could have made some 300-400 bombs with the explosives we found at the den,” RAB’s commanding officer in

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Using religion in the attempt to resist freethinking

Mar 1st, 2015 11:01 am | By

I’m looking to see how much news coverage the murder of Avijit Roy is getting outside Bangladesh. A Google News search turns up items at Fox News’s blog, the Daily Mail, CNN’s blog, and a few more…so it’s not as much as it should be.

The New York Times reported Friday, with some details I hadn’t seen before.

A Bangladeshi-American blogger known for his antipathy to religion was hacked to death on the street in this capital city by two assailants wielding machetes, the police said on Friday.

The victim, Avijit Roy, 42, was leaving a book fair with his wife Thursday evening when his attackers approached him from behind, according to the police. His wife, Rafida Ahmed Bonya,

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Free thinking in Bangladesh is become a great danger

Mar 1st, 2015 10:17 am | By

The Times of India reports on the funeral of Avijit Roy today.

Bangladeshis in huge numbers paid tributes to slain American blogger Avijit Roy on Sunday as they criticized the government for its failure to ensure safety to the writer, known for his critique of religious extremism.

People from all walks of life, including Roy’s friends, relatives, well-wishers, teachers and students, gathered at the Dhaka University premises with flowers to pay their respect to the slain writer, who was on a visit to his native city in mid-February to attend a book fair.

“Free thinking in Bangladesh is become a great danger, all the free thinkers are at great risk,” writer-journalist Shahriar Kabir, a friend of Roy’s father,

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A re-trial for apostasy

Mar 1st, 2015 10:01 am | By

The Independent talked to Ensaf Haidar and gives us more details on yesterday’s terrible news:

Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger whose punishment of 1,000 lashes has prompted international condemnation, may now face the death penalty.

Mr Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, told The Independent in a series of messages that judges in Saudi Arabia’s criminal court want him to undergo a re-trial for apostasy. If found guilty, he would face a death sentence.

She said the “dangerous information” had come from “official sources” inside the conservative kingdom…

In 2013, a judge threw out the charge of apostasy against the 31-year-old blogger after he assured the court that he was a Muslim. The evidence against him had included the fact that

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The country of one million clerics

Feb 28th, 2015 5:49 pm | By

Remarks by Ensaf Haidar accepting the 2015 Courage award from the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy:

Any environment repugnant to mankind soon turns into sheer hell.

Saudi Arabia, the country of one million clerics, is the only country that prevents women from driving.

It is the only country that oppresses freedoms in the name of religion.

It rules in the name of Islamic Sharia, which clearly prescribes death to anyone who leaves the religion.

Ladies and gentlemen, my husband Raif Badawi was imprisoned merely for expressing his opinion.

His adopting liberalism was reason enough for the Saudi Inquisition courts to consider him a criminal, worthy of 10 years in prison, and 1,000 barbaric lashes.

The Islamic Inquisition

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That Criminal Court in Jeddah

Feb 28th, 2015 5:41 pm | By

Ensaf Haidar has bad news:

Very Urgent:

An official source told me that Raif Badawi may be facing death penalty for apostasy again

Free Raif Badawi posted some details:

URGENT – RAIF BADAWI MAYBE FACING DEATH PENALITY FOR APOSTASY AGAIN.
This told a official source Raifs Wife Ensaf on Saturday 01-03-2015 and she shared this message right now on Twitter.
What happened:
The Criminal Court in Jeddah where Raif faces his retrial is controlled by Hardliners who still intend to murdered him.

What can we do?
Our only chance are is to keep an enormous pressure against the Saudi Authorities and – as well – to our Governments, Parties, Politician, Ambassadors in Saudi Arabia & Organizations like

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Beware the Wheat

Feb 28th, 2015 5:23 pm | By

Yesterday the CBC documentary show The Fifth Estate was about a medical doctor who wrote a best-seller about zomg wheat is poison stop eating it right this second and you will live forever.

Millions of people are joining the anti-wheat revolution.

Kellogg’s, the world’s largest cereal maker, has seen its biggest drop in sales since the 1970s. Food companies are selling off their struggling bread divisions. It’s all because best-selling health evangelists say that wheat is causing everything from fat bellies to schizophrenia. But do they have science on their side? Mark Kelley takes a hard look at what’s driving a movement that is dramatically changing the way we eat.

There were a couple of women on it, Rachel and … Read the rest

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A dangerous activity

Feb 28th, 2015 11:40 am | By

Deeyah Khan underlines the importance of free expression.

When I organised World Woman I was keen to emphasise the need for freedom of expression for activists and artists, to identify that those who are most likely to be silenced by the religious right most often share the culture of those who wish to silence them: that this is not a conflict of the enlightened West versus the obscurantist East, but against extremist ideologies that threaten all our shared liberties.

Definitely. We have extremist theocrats in “the West” and there are many loyal free expressionists in “the East.”

[T]here is something very wrong with a world in which being an artist, activist, a feminist, a politician, a lawyer or a

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The Future of Secularism in a Multi-Ethnic UK

Feb 28th, 2015 10:55 am | By

If you’re in or near London or up for a journey you obviously won’t want to miss this panel discussion at LSE next Tuesday.

The Future of Secularism in a Multi-Ethnic UK

LSESU Atheist, Secularist & Humanist Society panel discussion

Date: Tuesday 3 March 2015
Time: 6.30-9pm
Venue: TW1 G.01, Tower 1
Speakers: Tehmina Kazi, Maryam Namazie, Pragna Patel, Keith Porteous Wood, Gita Sahgal
Chair: Dr Fenella Cannell

The LSESU Atheist, Secularist & Humanist Society have always believed the developed world to be exemplars of secular states. However recent events such as the Charlie Hebdo massacre and the Chapel Hill shooting are starting to put this to the test. This panel seeks to find a place for secularism in

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If everyone could share his story

Feb 28th, 2015 10:35 am | By

Trisha Ahmed, daughter of Avijit Roy, asks us all to share her father’s story. The IHEU has more.

Criticism of a “culture of impunity” and the apparent failure of authorities to act on strong, credible threats by known individuals in the past year alone has been a common feature of the international outcry over the killing, including our own commentary which named one of the hostile individuals Fellow humanist bloggers like Asif Mohiuddin have called for pressure to be piled on the Bangladesh government.

Roy’s daughter, Trisha Ahmed, a student in the United States, has also written about her father in tribute and calling for his story to be shared far and wider. Her words below, originally

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The cause is highly personal

Feb 28th, 2015 9:29 am | By

Avijit Roy and his daughter Trisha Ahmed wrote an op-ed for Free Inquiry, October/November 2013: Freethought Under Attack in Bangladesh. (I had a piece in that issue too. I never met him, but it was one degree of separation.)

It’s chilling to read now – all the more chilling, that is. It was chilling then and it’s more so now.

On April 1, 2013, the Bangladeshi government played the fool in a disgraceful affair that we only wish had been an April Fool’s Day prank. On that day, several bloggers were put behind bars in Bangladesh on the sole basis that they were openly atheist. When we say “openly atheist,” we do not mean that the bloggers denounced

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Our art is our humanity

Feb 28th, 2015 8:52 am | By

This too is horrible – IS smashes ancient statues in Mosul.

The Islamic State (IS) group has released a video appearing to show the destruction of statues in Iraq.

Statues are smashed using sledgehammers and drills in what seems to be a museum in the city of Mosul.

Statues are also shown being destroyed at an archaeological site known as the Nergal Gate.

It’s the same thing the Spanish colonizers did to Inca and Aztec and Mayan and other artifacts. It’s appalling.

In the video released via IS social media sites, black-clad men push over statues, smash them with sledgehammers and use a pneumatic drill to destroy the rubble.

Ihsan Fethi, an Iraqi professor of architecture based in

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