Atheist and liberal blogger Avijit Roy who wrote against religious extremism and promoted rationalism, science and skepticism was hacked to death by a mob of unidentified attackers. It is believed that he was attacked by Muslim extremists who were upset at his criticism against Islamic extremism.
Roy and his wife had attended the Ekushey Book Fair and were attacked at the Teacher Student Center intersection at Dhaka University. Two of the attackers dragged them to the pavement and began hacking them with machetes. Avijit was hit hard on the head while his wife was slashed on her shoulders and lost her finger. Both were immediately taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital, but Avijit passed at about 10 PM local time while his wife survived the attack. Roy was previously threatened for his views, but continued posting them on his blog despite the threats.
Roy was the son of a physicist and himself earned a masters and doctorate degree in Mechanical and Biochemical Engineering. He wrote several essays online and published books on his views on disbelief and his criticism of faith as a “virus.” Many students and fellow liberals took to the streets protesting the violent act and attempt to silence dissenting views.
This story is disturbing and is a reminder of the extremism that is taking hold now, not just in religion but also in liberalism, secularism and atheism. There are people out there who are so insecure in their views and beliefs that they need to silence their opposition even by means of violence. When will it end? People are entitled to their views and should not be afraid to express them even if their views are not that which the majority hold or are not popular. I extend my condolences to Avijit’s family. Let us pray for peace and tolerance.