It’s been almost six months since the horrific attacks first begin in Bangladesh. Atheist bloggers, such as Avijit Roy, Ananta Bijoy Das, and Washiqur Rahman, were killed in the streets by religious extremists wielding machetes simply because they dared to criticize religion publicly.
The attacks on atheists, humanists, and other nontheists haven’t stopped, and lists naming local atheists have even been passed around by extremists or published by newspapers, seriously jeopardizing their safety. Thankfully, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), working with our allies at the Hindu American Foundation, just introduced a bi-partisan resolution which calls on the government of Bangladesh to protect religious minorities such as Hindus and Buddhists as well as atheists from further violence.
You may remember a time when our elected leaders completely ignored the concerns of the non-religious community. But thanks to the work of our lobbying team in Washington, DC, the American Humanist Association is playing a large role in advocating for international religious freedom, holding congressional briefings in both the House and Senate and meeting with leaders in the State Department, Congress, and other government agencies to push for change. I hope you’ll stand with us to demand further action.
Religious freedom—for religious minorities and humanists—is a fundamental right. It must be protected by all governments, and especially by secular governments like Bangladesh. Together, we can demand that Bangladesh protect the freedoms of all of its citizens, not just members of the majority faith.
Thank you for taking action on this very important issue.