Subscribe to Secularism is a Womens Issue

Secularism is a Women’s Issue

Home > fundamentalism / shrinking secular space > Bangladeshi Atheist Blogger Faces Up To 14 Years for Hurting “Religious (...)

Bangladeshi Atheist Blogger Faces Up To 14 Years for Hurting “Religious Feelingsâ€

Thursday 28 December 2017, by siawi3


Bangladeshi Atheist Blogger Faces Up To 14 Years for Hurting “Religious Feelingsâ€

December 27, 2017

by David G. McAfee

An atheist blogger in Bangladesh was arrested at an airport on Monday, and he could get up to 14 years in prison because he “hurt religious feelings†with his social media posts criticizing Islam.


Immigration police detained 25-year-old blogger Asaduzzaman Noor, known as Asad Noor on Facebook and YouTube, at the Dhaka airport on Monday. Inspector Mohammad Shahidullah said hundreds of Muslims had staged demonstrations against Noor, which apparently is cause for prison time there.

‘The charge against him is that he hurt religious feeling[s] by mocking Prophet Mohammed and made bad comments against Islam, the prophet and the Koran on Facebook and YouTube,’ he said.

Noor is now facing up to 14 years in prison because a group of people were upset by his religious criticisms and rhetoric online. If I was arrested every time I offended some religious people, I wouldn’t be able to write this right now.

Noor’s arrest comes almost a year after the head of an Islamic seminary filed a case against him, according to local news reports.

Mr Noor was charged under Bangladesh’s strict internet laws and could face up to 14 years in jail if found guilty.

Hundreds of Muslims had staged demonstrations against Mr Noor this year after Bangladesh Islami Andolon Amtali unit President Mufti Omar Farooq filed the case against him.

There is no fairness or justice associated with this arrest, but realize that things could always be worse. If those mobs of Muslim extremists had turned into vigilantes, Noor may be dead instead of facing a lengthy prison sentence. It’s not much consolation, but it’s somehow better than before.

In recent years, Islamist extremists have hacked to death a dozen bloggers, publishers and activists, and forced several others to flee the country.

Following the attacks, the government launched a crackdown on extremist groups.

This is an ongoing problem in several countries, and it is showing no signs of stopping. If atheist bloggers aren’t hacked to death, they are arrested for thought crimes or because other people were offended by their criticisms.

But at least Christians can say “Merry Christmas†in the U.S., right?



12:00 AM, December 27, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:53 AM, December 27, 2017

Blogger lands in jail in a case under ICT act

Staff Correspondent

A Dhaka court sent a blogger to jail yesterday, a day after he was arrested from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in a case filed under the Information and Communication Technology Act.

Immigration police detained blogger Asaduzzaman alias Asad Noor around 10:00pm on Monday at the airport when he was leaving for Nepal. He was later handed over to Airport Police Station, said Nure Azam Miah, officer-in-charge of the station.

Metropolitan Magistrate Muhammad Mazharul Islam sent Noor to jail and asked the police to send the case documents to Dhaka Cyber Tribunal.

On January 11, 2017, Mufti Omar Faruq, president of Amtali unit Islami Andolon Bangladesh, lodged the case against Noor and another blogger Limon Fakir with Amtali Police Station in Barguna over “writing defamatory words” in social media against Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH).

Noor and Limon are residents of Uttar Tiakhali village of Amtali union of Barguna.

Noor went into hiding after police had arrested Limon in March, said Shahid Ullah, officer-in-charge of Amtali Police Station. Limon is now in prison.

He added that they submitted a charge sheet in the case against the two in August.

Bijoy Bosak, superintendent of Barguna police, told The Daily Star that they earlier sought help from the Special Branch of police to arrest Noor.



Bangladeshi blogger held for anti-Islamic Facebook post

December 26, 2017

Author: CanIndia New Wire Service

Dhaka, Dec 26 (IANS) A Bangladeshi blogger accused of posting a message on Facebook allegedly offensive to Islam and the Prophet Muhammad has been arrested by the police.

Immigration authorities detained the writer and youtuber identified as Asaduzzaman Noor alias “Asad Noor†at Dhaka airport while he was trying to leave the country on Monday, Efe news agency cited an airport official as saying.

“He had an open case in Amtoli area in Barguna district under the Information and Communication Technology Act. Today we handed him to a cyber tribunal,†said the official.

Barguna police superintendent Bijoy Bosak confirmed that the case against Noor had been filed in January after the accused published a Facebook message considered blasphemous and since then there has been an arrest warrant pending against him.

Residents of Barguna held demonstrations in January following the publication of the post, according to Amtali police spokesperson Amirul Islam, who said that the accused had been on the run since the beginning of the year.

Bangladesh, a Muslim-majority country, witnessed a spate of Islamist attacks between 2013 and 2016 targeting members of religious minorities, foreigners, homosexual activists, thinkers and secular bloggers critical of fundamentalism.

Almost 90 per cent of the 160 million inhabitants of Bangladesh are Muslims, who have traditionally been moderate.