November 4, 2015

Blogging for publishing free thought is pardoned unless it criticizes Islamic icons

Blogging is sinful to Islamists in Bangladesh, if it promotes secular thought


A publisher has now paid with his life for keeping and propagating secular thoughts in this Muslim-majority nation. 

Publisher Faisal Arefin Dipan was killed by Islamic extremists last week. Himself a secular blogger, his publishing house Jagriti Prokashoni has published books by Avijit Roy, a US citizen of Bangladeshi origin was killed earlier this year.

There have been massive protests in Bangla Desh against this attack, but like earlier attacks on bloggers, we keep our fingers crossed whether there would be any check on the attackers. In fact, they have updated the hit list they issued earlier and have threatened to kill them all.

A very popular blogger, with about a million following his social network pages, Imran Sarkar, has also received a death threat a few days back. 

One more publisher, Farid Ahmed, of Somoy Prakashan publishing house, has also received a death threat this week for publishing secular works.

American blogger promoting cartooning on Prophet gets another death notice


American blogger, Pamela Geller, is under grave threat once again from Islamic militants. Her group, American Freedom Defense Initiative, is holding a contest that offers prize for the best cartoon depicting Prophet Muhammad.

Their contest in Texas, held in May, saw a shooting in which a security officer was injured before the shooter was shot dead. Islamic organisation, ISIS has claimed responsibility for the shooting.

It is reported that ISIS has now issued an online threat to eliminate Geller and her supporters. ISIS is especially incensed with Geller and her group as Islam does not allow physical depiction of the Prophet.


Blogging gets lashes and an award too!


Remember Raif Badawi? He is the blogger whom a Saudi court has sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes. He received 50 lashes in public in January this year after which the sentence is on hold (perhaps) primarily for health reasons. It is reported in American media, quoting his wife, that he might soon get the rest of his lashes, though not in public.

Badawi's crime: insulting Islam. In practice what he did was criticizing Saudi Arabian clerics on his blog.

A piece of good news about Badawi is that he has been awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought by the European Parliament.