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Avijit Roy and Rafida Ahmed Bonya – These Are What Heroes Look Like

Roy and Bonya - heroes in happier times.
Roy and Bonya – heroes in happier times.
While this happened a few months ago, I happened to be pretty tied up at the time. I can not let any more time pass without a post honoring Avijit Roy and Rafida Ahmed Bonya. And it came to mind today, because finally an organization came forward trying to claim responsibility for Roy’s death and Bonya’s dismemberment.

Roy immigrated to the United States from Bangladesh, and he is precisely the kind of immigrant that fills America’s veins with much needed new blood. He embraced his First Amendment rights with alacrity, and became a prominent blogger, advocating for free expression and free thought.

And for that, some of his countrymen called for his head.

For his advocacy and for his words, he became a target. In late February, he and his wife, Rafida Ahmed Bonya, attended a book fair in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Afterward, Islamic fundamentalists attacked them with machetes, killing him and severely wounding his wife. Reportedly, police stood by and watched as the attack went on.

Michael De Dora, the director of the Center for Inquiry’s office of public policy, reacted to news of Mr. Roy’s death in a statement on the center’s website.

“Avijit was brilliant, yes, and a devoted advocate of free expression and secularism, but also just a very good person,” Mr. De Dora said. “Avijit was an inspiration to countless other freethinkers, in Bangladesh and around the world, and he was an inspiration to me.” (source)

Just today, a supposed faction of Al Quaeda claimed responsibility for the murder. (source) Strange in a few ways… for starters, did these particular savages not know that they were responsible more than two months ago? Why the delay? Oh, that fundamentalist bureaucracy.

And worse than that, I can’t imagine the depravity or lack of honor in anyone who would brag that they had any part in this cowardly attack. Mr. Roy and Ms. Bonya were (and are) the best kind of people — people who walked into danger, heads held high, for the cause of promoting freedom of thought and freedom of expression.

Mr. Roy paid the ultimate price for that. Ms. Bonya, some might argue paid even more – losing her husband and being horribly wounded in the attack.

If some goat-fucking animals want to claim responsibility for harming them, then so be it. Let the rest of us simply use the publicity stunt as an opportunity to once again raise them on our shoulders and proclaim them what they are – heroes.

And if these goat-fuckers think that claiming responsibility helps their cause, they are sorely mistaken. I have a dim view of any Abrhamic religion. But, the dimmest view I reserve for Islam. Why? Isn’t it obvious? As bad as any Jewish or Christian fundamentalist can get, it has been quite a long time since there were any serious movements within those communities that would support such a barbaric act. I’m not excusing Jewish or Christian sins here, and there have been plenty worth noting, but Islam seems to have recently given us a very special and low breed of cowardice and dishonor.

Charlie Hebdo could not possibly insult Islam as well as Muslims do on their own, in the name of their religion.

All those who attacked Roy and Bonya have accomplished is to raise their victims to hero status, while lowering themselves and bringing more dishonor to Islam than a Mohammed cartoon etched in bacon.

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