Justice for Murdered Atheist

Target: Prime Minister of Bangladesh Shiekh Hasina

Goal: Catch and prosecute the people responsible for an atheist activist’s brutal murder.

A 26-year-old law student in Bangladesh has been brutally murdered, the latest in a string of horrific violent crimes perpetrated against Bangladesh’s growing secular community. The people who carried out this disturbing murder are still unknown and no group has claimed responsibility for the murder.

Syed Nurul Islam, deputy commissioner of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police, described to the press the sadistic murder of 26-year-old law student Nazimuddin Samad, an atheist who had spoken out against Islam on social media and had taken part in protests against Islamic leaders. Mr. Islam said Mr. Samad’s murder was a “targeted killing.” Rights group Amnesty International condemned Mr. Samad’s murder, calling the killing a “blatant attack on the right to freedom of expression.” They are urging Bangladesh to take action.

Conflicts between the religious and non-religious worldwide are intensifying as more and more people adopt a more secular, and thus less traditional, point of view, especially in terms of social attitudes. Growing worldwide secularization has led to religious groups reacting in different ways, with some taking a position that the religious are being “persecuted” by secularization, while others are taking a more offensive approach.

The murder of Mr. Samad is the sixth such killing in the last 15 months in Bangladesh, prompting protests in Dharka. More than 1,000 students have blocked roadways in the city, demanding the killers be found and brought to justice. There has still yet to be a single prosecution for the deaths of several atheist bloggers and a secular publisher, all of whom were hacked to death last year by alleged members of a banned group called the Ansarullah Bangla Team.

Although the population is majority Sunni Muslim, Bangladesh is officially a secular society, meaning men and women in Bangladesh are free to be as religious or irreligious as they wish. What’s happening in Bangladesh is tragic and has worldwide implications, especially in terms of the brewing conflicts resulting from the growing secular population. Urge the government of Bangladesh to prioritize incidents like the murder of Nazimuddin Samad and bring these killers to justice.


Dear Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina,

Despite the majority population of Bangladesh being Sunni Muslim, the nation is officially a secular one. Everyone in Bangladesh has the right to worship or not worship as they see fit, so acts like the murder of Nazimuddin Samad are particularly harrowing for he was targeted and executed because of his opposition to Islam.

This is the very nature of terrorism and in a secular society, acts like these are beyond not tolerated–they also catch the attention of, and subsequently are targeted by, the nation’s government. Because these religiously-motivated hate crimes are taking place in the nation in which you are the leader, we respectfully urge you to use government resources to stop the violent opposition to secularism within your nation.

You have the power to bring peace where there is none.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Mehdi Hasan Khan

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  1. Robert Ortiz says:

    Freedom of speech and expression are human rights that should be universally recognized and respected. Mr. Nazimuddin Samad’s brutal murder (he was hacked by a bunch of machete wielding thugs then shot) must be avenged and his attackers punished. This is has been commonplace in Bangladesh but that doesn’t justify it by any means. Religious extremism anywhere must stop! There have also been attacks on members of religious minorities including Shia, Sufi and Ahmadi Muslims, Christians and Hindus. Last year two foreigners, an Italian aid worker and a Japanese man, were also shot dead in seemingly random attacks but I doubt they were so much random as planned since the men probably were probably targeted not only for being foreign but for not being Muslim.

  2. Steven Kostis says:

    The Bangladeshi authorities better get it into their skulls that God is dead and Alvin has killed him.

  3. I rarely sign for human rights, but come on he has the right to be Atheist so i sign i’m non-religious too. It’s still a savage country. WhAT THEY DO TO COWS ESPECIALLY YOU WILL BURN IN HELL

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