An atheist blogger in Bangladesh was arrested at an airport on Monday, and he could get up to 14 years in prison because he “hurt religious feelings” with his social media posts criticizing Islam.
Immigration police detained 25-year-old blogger Asaduzzaman Noor, known as Asad Noor on Facebook and YouTube, at the Dhaka airport on Monday. Inspector Mohammad Shahidullah said hundreds of Muslims had staged demonstrations against Noor, which apparently is cause for prison time there.
‘The charge against him is that he hurt religious feeling[s] by mocking Prophet Mohammed and made bad comments against Islam, the prophet and the Koran on Facebook and YouTube,’ he said.
Noor is now facing up to 14 years in prison because a group of people were upset by his religious criticisms and rhetoric online. If I was arrested every time I offended some religious people, I wouldn’t be able to write this right now.
Noor’s arrest comes almost a year after the head of an Islamic seminary filed a case against him, according to local news reports.
Mr Noor was charged under Bangladesh’s strict internet laws and could face up to 14 years in jail if found guilty.
Hundreds of Muslims had staged demonstrations against Mr Noor this year after Bangladesh Islami Andolon Amtali unit President Mufti Omar Farooq filed the case against him.
There is no fairness or justice associated with this arrest, but realize that things could always be worse. If those mobs of Muslim extremists had turned into vigilantes, Noor may be dead instead of facing a lengthy prison sentence. It’s not much consolation, but it’s somehow better than before.
In recent years, Islamist extremists have hacked to death a dozen bloggers, publishers and activists, and forced several others to flee the country.
Following the attacks, the government launched a crackdown on extremist groups.
This is an ongoing problem in several countries, and it is showing no signs of stopping. If atheist bloggers aren’t hacked to death, they are arrested for thought crimes or because other people were offended by their criticisms.
But at least Christians can say “Merry Christmas” in the U.S., right?