Last year, when we were seeing Bangladeshi atheists get slaughtered every other month, it was disheartening, to say the least, when the Inspector General of Police (IGP) offered this advice to other atheists: Stop criticizing religion. As if the atheists were to blame for their own murders.
We just lost another atheist this week, 28-year-old Nazimuddin Samad.
Surely the police have learned their lesson, announcing that this is a travesty and that they will not rest until the Islamic radicals who did this are apprehended and punished?
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal today said that the write-ups of the slain secular activist Nazimuddin Samad are needed to be scrutinised to see whether he wrote anything objectionable about religion.
What’s next on his agenda? A press conference announcing that he’s looking into the length of a rape victim’s skirt?
“I cannot say right now why it happened or what exactly happened. I need to gather information first,” the minister responded, when asked about the murder that took place Wednesday night.
“It is needed to see whether he has written anything objectionable in his blogs.”
Samad criticized religious ideas in his writings. That’s not objectionable unless you hold the warped view that religion is immune from critical inquiry. Even if Samad peppered his essays with curse words and blasphemous statements, none of that justifies his murder.
By suggesting that Samad’s writings have any bearing on what happens in this investigation, Kamal is sending a signal to other atheists that if they keep up with their criticism, the nation’s leaders will respond with a collective ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
It’s another awful response. It’s more irresponsible leadership. And it’s this very mentality that will likely lead to even more murdered atheists in the future.