It’s bad enough that, after the murder of Bangladeshi atheist blogger Nazimuddin Samad (below), Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said that Samad’s writings “needed to be scrutinized to see whether he wrote anything objectionable about religion.”
It’s even worse when the leader of the country echoes that same sentiment.
During a celebration of the Bengali New Year today, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina stated that criticism of religion was not to be tolerated:
Hasina said it is not at all acceptable to write something hurting religious sentiments of others. “We perform our religious rituals.
But, if anyone writes filthy words against our religion, why should we tolerate that?”
She said nowadays it has become a fashion to write something against religion as part of free thinking. “But, I consider such writings as not free thinking but filthy words. Why anyone would write such things? It’s not at all acceptable if anyone writes against our [prophet] or other religions. This is a characteristic fault, expression of distorted or filthy mindset. I hope no one would write such filthy things.“
And what about Muslims who kill those atheists in the name of Allah?
“I hope no one would indulge in such act.”
Well, guess what? They are. And they’re doing it because even government leaders like Hasina think criticism of religion requires retaliation.
No one’s asking Hasina or other Muslims to endorse critiques of their faith. They just have to accept it as part of the free exchange of ideas enjoyed by all civilized nations. To suggest that atheists are “filthy” or screwed up in any way because they don’t accept fairy tales as reality just shows you how far the nation has to go in order to enter the 21st century.