Ansar al-Islam said its operatives were behind the murder of Nazimuddin Samad, a 26-year-old [sic] law student who was killed late Wednesday near his university in Dhaka by assailants carrying machetes, SITE Intelligence Group said. “This operation was conducted to teach a lesson to the blasphemers of this land whose poisonous tongues are constantly abusing Allah… the religion of Islam and the Messenger… under the pretext of so-called ‘freedom of speech’,” Mufti Abdullah Ashraf, a spokesman for Ansar al-Islam, said in a statement according to SITE.
Despite the admission, no one has been arrested yet. The attention of the police seems to be on the bloggers who criticize religion, not the people killing them for it.
That’s not to say there isn’t support for the slain atheists.
Yesterday, students from Samad’s university staged a protest:
Students from the Jagannath University, where Mr Samad studied, blocked roads in and around the university.
They told reporters that police inaction over previous killings had contributed to the death of Mr Samad.
“Talented youths are killed one after another, but there are no visible measures against these heinous acts,” Kabir Chowdhury Tanmoy, president of the Online Activist Forum, which advocates secularism, told Reuters news agency.
And in the U.S., Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) introduced House Resolution 396, which would call on Bangladesh’s government to “protect the human rights of all its citizens, particularly vulnerable minorities, strengthen democratic institutions and rule of law, and prevent the growth of extremist groups.”
It’s symbolic, sure, but it still hasn’t gone anywhere. It hasn’t even had a subcommittee hearing. If Congress can’t come together to pass this resolution… well, what else is new?