11 September 2015

Atheist bloggers flee Bangladesh

At least 12 bloggers have packed their bags and fled abroad in recent weeks. Others are preparing to follow suit and leave the Muslim-majority country. They are all ardent advocates of atheist standpoints in their blogs.

Despite the fact that the country’s constitution guarantees freedom of speech, these writers fear that they too will be the next targets for Islamists. Four bloggers have been murdered so far this year.

The number of atheists living in Bangladesh is not known. There has never been an attempt to ascertain the number of people who reject religion. Bloggers claim that more than one hundred thousand people are atheists in Bangladesh, a country with a population of 160 million people. More than 90 percent are Muslims.

Ever since the independence of the country back in 1971, atheism has remained as a taboo in the country. Atheist journalist Daud Haider was forced to leave the country in 1974 for writing a poem criticizing religion. Another atheist writer, Taslima Nasreen, fled Bangladesh in 1994 following massive protests by Islamists demanding her death after she made some critical comments about Islam. [Deutsche Welle] Read more