Bangladesh: Vigilantes of the Prophet

Dec 30, 2023 | Health, People, Religion, Videos

In Bangladesh, Islamist vigilantes are wreaking havoc on the country’s civil society. In a series of horrific machete attacks across the nation, public figures have been targeted and brutally punished for alleged blasphemy-like behavior, sparking deep concern about the state of secularism in Bangladesh.

The most recent attack took place at the Dhaka University campus, where Professor Rezaul Karim Siddique was hacked to death. An English professor who had taught at the university for almost two decades, his life was taken in a shocking display of violence that sent shockwaves throughout not only Bangladesh, but also around the world.

This attack is just one in a long list of similar incidents that have taken place in Bangladesh over the last few years. In 2013, Ahmed Rajib Haider, an activist who had been fighting against religious extremism online, was murdered by Islamists in Dhaka. Then there was Avijit Roy, a prominent atheist blogger who was hacked to death with machetes on a street corner in Dhaka in 2015. The list goes on and on.

These attacks have revealed a deep rift between those who support secular ideals and those seeking to impose religious authority over civil society. It has become increasingly clear that these attacks are part of a larger effort to limit freedom of expression and suppress any anti-Islamist views within Bangladeshi society. This culture of fear has serious implications for both human rights and democracy within Bangladesh.

As the situation continues to deteriorate, it is important that we pay attention and take action to protect free speech and civil liberties in Bangladesh before they get completely eroded away. To learn more about this ongoing issue within Bangladeshi society, viewers should watch ‘Fear Has No Religion’, an upcoming documentary by filmmaker Sharbari Zohra Ahmed which explores how religion can be weaponized by Islamists as opposed to being used for peace and understanding between people from different backgrounds. Through interviews and stories from individuals affected by these terrible incidents, viewers will gain insight into how this culture of hate thrives – all while uncovering potential solutions towards achieving peace amongst all faiths.

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David B