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Location in the Indian subcontinent.

Bangladesh (a.k.a. The Artist Formerly Known As East Pakistan), officially known as the People's Republic of Bangladesh (actually has nothing to do with communism) is a country in South Asia. During British rule in India, Bangladesh was the most prosperous part of India. However, mismanagement hatred by (The Artist Formerly Known As West) Pakistan (prior to Bangladesh's initial name) and corruption since have made it one of the poorest places on earth, though recently it has experienced substantial industrialization and development.

It gets hit by natural disasters fairly often, generally of the monsoon variety. And, when it gets hit, it gets hit hard. Unfortunately, due to its location in a low, swampy delta, the country is highly vulnerable to climate change and the melting of the icecaps. As though that weren't bad enough, the funnel shape of the Bay of Bengal and the gentle slope of both the offshore seabed and the onshore land produce large storm surges from cyclones that cover large areas of some of the most densely-populated low-lying real estate in the world. Bangladeshi death tolls from cyclones have many times reached into the tens of thousands; at least 7 cyclones are known to have each killed over 100,000 people and rendered millions homeless, and one in 1970Wikipedia's W.svg killed at least 500,000. For comparison, the most deadly hurricane ever to strike the U.S. killed around 8,000 people.

Bangladesh has the highest religiosity it the world, at 100% 110% (though there are other contenders).

2013 persecution of atheists[edit]

In April 2013, four atheist bloggers were arrested by the local police and charged with defaming Islam and the prophet Muhammad online. The court ruled against the charges and all bloggers were released.[1][2]

Assassination of atheists and secularists[edit]

Atheists and secularists in Bangladesh are the the most obvious targets of assassination since 2013 because there is a de facto public hit list of 84 bloggers accused of blasphemy.[3] The campaign likely also includes assassinations of Shiite Muslims, Hindus and non-Muslim foreigners.[4] Authors have been killed for writing books promoting atheism, freethought, rationalism, skepticism, scientific viewpoint and anything else deemed "anti-Islamic propaganda".[5]

On February 15, 2013, atheist blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider was hacked to death by Islamists.[6] In 2015, eight people were convicted for his murder.[7]

On February 27, 2015, atheist writer Avijit Roy was hacked to death in Dhaka by two machete-wielding Islamists. Roy was "the second Bangladeshi blogger to have been murdered in two years and the fourth writer to have been attacked since 2004."[8] The government reacted to the murder by arresting some atheist bloggers.[9]

Roy was one of 4 atheist bloggers who have been assassinated since 2013, and there appears to be a pattern to the murders which all have the same modus operandi. The group "Hefajat-e-Islam, published a list of 84 bloggers whom they accused of blasphemy and demanded they be punished."[3]

On March 30, 2015, blogger Washiqur Rahman Babu was murdered by 3 men with meat cleavers. Two of the 3 men were captured by bystanders. The men said that they were students of Islamic schools and ordered to commit the attack.[4]

On May 12, 2015, atheist activist and science magazine editor Ananta Bijoy Das was murdered. Al Qaeda on the Indian subcontinent claimed responsibility.[4]

On August 7, 2015, atheist blogger Niloy Neel was hacked to death in Dhaka by suspected Islamist militants.[10]

On October 31, 2015, secular book publisher Faisal Arefin Deepan was hacked to death. Ansar al-Islam claimed responsibility.[4]

On April 8, 2016, law student and secularist writer Nazimuddin Samad was hacked and shot to death by four assailants in Dhaka.[11]

On April 23, 2016, Rezaul Karim Siddique, an English professor at the University of Rajshahi was slain by two men with machetes. The Islamic State claimed responsibility, alleging that the professor was "calling to atheism". The Islamic State recently endorsed the Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh, which may have actually been responsible.[12]

On April 24, 2016, five or six assailants hacked to death a leading gay rights activist, Julhas Mannan (also transcribed as Xulhas and Zhulhas), the editor of Rupban, Bangladesh's first magazine for the LGBT community. They attacked him and a friend with sharp weapons.[13]


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