Death by Blogging

Bangladeshi blogger Oyasiqur Rhaman, 27 years old, was macheted to death over his comments on extreme Islam. This is the second killing of this kind in five weeks in the capital city, Dhaka.

The other slain blogger was Bangladeshi-American Dr. Avijit Roy who harshly criticized fundamentalist Islam on his website, “Mukto-Mona” or “Free Mind.” He wrote articles on scientific reasoning and religious extremism of all kinds, not just Islam. He and his wife Rafida Ahmed were living in Atlanta, Georgia and went to Dhaka to attend a book fair when he was killed. His wife tried to fend off the machete-wielding assailants and was injured herself, but survived. She has since returned to the U.S.

Avijit Roy

Daily Mail, 2-27-15 (Rafida Ahmed standing over her husband’s body)

The extremists said that Roy was singled out because he was a U.S. citizen, and they sought “revenge” for U.S. attacks on ISIS in Syria.

Monika Ammerman, a friend of Roy’s daughter Trisha wrote a tribute to him, aptly entitled “Words Cannot be Killed.”

It’s hard to put into words my feelings surrounding these brutal killings. I feel privileged, on the one hand, to be living in the U.S. and fairly confident I won’t be murdered for writing inflammatory posts, but at the same time, the War Against Words has begun in the U.S. too. Do any of us feel truly free to speak our minds, pen our thoughts or expose certain truths, truths that might be considered subversive or threatening to the powers-that-be? I would be lying if I said I did.

I honor those who have died and continue to die and be persecuted for what they believe, in words and in deeds.


22 thoughts on “Death by Blogging

  1. Our freedom of speech, freedom of expression is being threatened over seas and here in the U.S.; we can never take it for granted. These murders are horrific…and very frightening for all of us who cherish a free society. Keep writing, creating, never stop expressing your truth…our greatest defense against these extremists is to keep on creating, exposing their hate; for those who live in fear and have lost their lives are never forgotten.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is terrible. Yes, we live very far away and yes, we enjoy the privilege of free expression – but there is something we can do, let’s all try to treat the people we disagree with, with more respect. There is too much flame and shouting down in our culture, it is time we made more of an effort to understand each other.

    I recall a family argument a while back regarding the waves of Somali, Sudanese and Burmese immigrants to our area. One line stuck in my mind, “Hell, you can’t get along with Republicans, how do you expect to get along with those folks.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly. Yes, if we cannot find some respect and a harmonious way of communicating amongst ourselves, how can we possibly try to understand people from other cultures. Perfect example is Congress.


  3. These are sad times for freedom of speech in many areas of the world. With all our technology yet we still see ignorance popping its head. Very sad, I pray for his family.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. They haven’t gotten around to using a machete in this country yet, but you are right, there is more censorship. Topix Forums seems to be getting jittery and are now coming up with phony, ambiguous puzzles with no right answers, instead of the usual four digits (for some of us) to keep differing opinions out of some forums. Moderators of forums seem to be getting downright scared, or maybe they just want to suppress those opinions that clash with their own

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Censorship is becoming a bigger problem, but so is Government secrecy.

    Today we learn that Hillary decided which of her emails were personal and which ones were official. We also learned that she deleted all the personal ones. The only way you can permanently delete emails is to have your own server–and she had that –in defiance of Government regulations.

    How many know that Hillary was fired from the Watergate Impeachment Investigative Committee because she wanted to deny Nixon’s lawyers admission to their closed meetings?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “Do any of us feel truly free to speak our minds, pen our thoughts or expose certain truths, truths that might be considered subversive or threatening to the powers-that-be? I would be lying if I said I did.”
    Amen. All it would take is a little less obscurity and my own blog would become a vector for all sorts of abuse, death threats included. People need to learn to tolerate viewpoints other than their own. You can disagree with somebody without killing them or bullying them into silence. It seems to obvious to us, if only more could understand it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. As a blogger myself I share my concerns with you Erica! In my Pastor Jim’s Jottings blog I often criticize the political, economic and religious systems as domination systems that create an oligarcy and enrich the power and wealth of the rich on the backs of the poor and ill and outcasts of society. I’m sure I’m on some “hit lists” in the U.S. by now. A chilling thought!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We seem to be sliding towards a more fundamentalist world where ignorance is cultivated and freedom of thought seen as more dangerous than violence. I find that sad and worrying but it also makes me angry enough to stand up and be counted – even in Britain we see freedom being subtly and not so subtly curtailed. But words and knowledge are power and blogging is a great way of connecting – glad I found your site through someone who liked something of mine. Networks are pathways of lights that shine in a dark world!

    Liked by 1 person

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