In an urgent post on its website, Centre for Inquiry Canada informed its members and supporters that “CFIC Implores the Canadian Government To Help Tareq Rahim“:
On October 31, 2015, religious fanatics in Bangladesh continued attacks on atheist and secularist bloggers. In the attack, Faisal Abedin Deepan, Avijit Roy’s publisher, was murdered while three bloggers were brutally injured. One of those bloggers, Tareq Rahim, is married to a Canadian citizen.
Monika Mistry is a Canadian citizen who was in contact with CFIC on the day of her spouse’s brutal victimization by people who can only be considered faith-based terrorists. During a heart-wrenching conversation full of desperate concern and worry, Monika Mistry told us about the couple’s May 30th, 2015 marriage in Bangladesh. . . .
With their marriage so recent, Mistry was reluctant to see Rahim remain in unstable and dangerous Bangladesh, but their plan was to make-do until they could complete Immigration Canada’s paperwork that would enable the couple to reunite in Canada. Unfortunately the terrorists found Rahim first.
Mistry has told CFIC, “I am so frightened for Tareq. I am most afraid that when he is released from hospital that there are people waiting in the street to attack him again.” In the hospital, Tareq Rahim has a modicum of security. On the streets and even in his home, protection is not available. We know from the murder of Avijit Roy and the brutal assault on Rafida Bonya Ahmed that police and thousands of people will stand by as machete-wielding fanatics kill a target. We also know from the murder of Niloy Neel that attackers will enter a person’s home to carry out their threats.
In the post, Eric Adriaans, CFIC National Executive Director, shares and expands on a question from one of CFIC’s Bangladeshi friends:
“Is it really so hard for a country to provide protection for 40-50 people” targeted by known faith-based terrorists?
CFI Canada goes on to ask its members and supporters
join us in calling the Canadian government to help the victimized spouse of a Canadian citizen – and to help other politically and religiously targeted members of the Bangladeshi intellectual, secularist community. . . .
and provides a Sample Letter of Support.
The constant failure of the Bangladesh government to protect its atheist citizens is a disgrace. They are a secular democracy with a constitution that includes freedom of religion, and atheists are not doing anything illegal under their laws.
This keeps happening because the perpetrators are allowed to get away with it. The Islamist groups who are committing these murders even have website in which they list the names and addresses of atheists and state they should be killed.
In 2013 when an atheist was murdered and his killer was arrested, the government ended up arresting an atheist too (on trumped up charges) to appease the protestors. In the end both were released without charge.
I hope the Canadian government can help in this situation. Rahim is also apparently a known poet, though I know nothing about his work, so would enrich the culture too.