Samstag, 8. März 2014

Asif Mohiuddin

Bangladesh is a country in Southeast Asia and most people associate it with the factory fire. But how is the political situation there?

Of course, Bangladesh is a parliamentary democracy with direct elections in which the citizens can vote for their unicameral parliament. After the general election in January 2014, the party Awami League came to power. The Awami League has four important principles which are guiding its policies: Democracy, Socialism, Secularism and Nationalism. So Bangladesh must be a secular country, right?

That’s how a government which calls itself secular act:

Asif Mohiuddin is a blogger from Bangladesh and he was brutally stabbed by Islamists. Then the government arrested him for the crime of being an atheist and banned his blog.

What did Asif Mohiuddin do? 
He did not kill anyone in the name of atheism. 
He asked no one to kill anyone to save atheism. 
He used his pen to tell the truth BUT Islamists nearly killed him with knives.

Probably, you are asking yourself why. Well, Asif expressed his opinion against Islamic fundamentalism, religious terrorism, religion-based education system, religion-based politics, religious institutions and their oppression on women’s right and secularism, human rights, rights of homosexuals, right of education, etc.. Also he calls out for rallies, protests and movements

Asif and other activists organized and staged successfully the Shahbag movement against the war criminals of Bangladesh, most of who have links with Islamic political parties of Bangladesh.

After the movement, the Islamic fundamentalist newspapers and media reported about Asif with his photo and started demanding his death penalty for being an atheist and criticizing religious fundamentalism, religious parties and leaders. The newspaper has spread all over the country including his nearest mosques and madrasas (Islamic school).

The government arrested him for hurting religious belief and without any evidence they interrogate him for 7 days. After 3 and half months in jail, they released him on bail but the trial is still going on. The punishment of writing blasphemous blog is 10 years in prison and 1.3 million dollars fine.

Fortunately, Asif could flee and came to Germany with the help of Amnesty International.

On Thursday, I went to an Amnesty event at my school and had the opportunity to listen to his story. Afterwards, the audience could ask him questions. It was really interesting to hear his opinion about the Islam, the factory fire in Bangladesh or other activists.

At the end of the event I helped the Amnesty group to clean up (even though I’m not an active member of Amnesty. I have different reasons but I still support Amnesty by signing petitions, taking part in their events, etc..) I also could have a little private conversation with Asif because I was wondering if he is Richard Dawkins. He actually have been to an event in August where different famous atheist gave speeches and there he also have met Richard Dawkins. He also recommended me other atheist writers which I’ll check out. My books-to-read list gets longer and longer ^^”

Anyway, I hope you could get an idea what is going in Bangladesh by reading my entry and inform yourself more about this topic.

Please check out Asif’s blog, facebook page or twitter page.

Have a nice day :)

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