In the past eight months, five people have been hacked to death by Islamic extremists associated with terror groups such as Ansar Bangla and al-Qaida. Each victim was targeted for writing or publishing works that advocate for secular democracy and criticize religion and fundamentalism. Many other writers have been injured in these attacks.
While this terror campaign has become a flashpoint for protest and political gamesmanship in Bangladesh, few outside the country have addressed this human rights crisis. Secularist and humanist groups in the U.S. and elsewhere have been among the few to take up the cause….
But, as serious as the bloodshed and terror in Bangladesh is, we have heard little to nothing from many of the major American conservative religious organizations that claim to care so deeply about religious freedom. . . .
As I read the Canadian conservative religious organizations just by changing the words American and U.S. to Canadian:article, it occurred to me that I could send Fidalgo’s message to
the [Canadian] secular humanist [and atheist] community [is] doing all [it] can to save lives and change the course of events in Bangladesh, from the grass roots to the halls of [Canadian] and international diplomatic power. Our resources and reach are limited, and frankly dwarfed by those of [Canadian] churches and conservative Christian organizations.
So we’re asking for their help. Join us in confronting this human rights atrocity. Use your political influence to demand that the [Canadian] government pressure Bangladeshi authorities. Use your resources to save the freethinkers and religious minorities running for their very lives. Use your cultural influence to rally grass-roots support from your own legions of supporters. These persecuted need you now.