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Islamic fanatics determined to silence their critics — stopped by hot lead and cold steel recently in Texas — managed to claim a victim in the People’s Republic of Bangladesh on Tuesday morning. Ananta Bijoy Das, a writer for the blog Mukto Mona–which publishes writing by secularists, atheists, freethinkers, and the like–was brutally hacked to death by four attackers in the Bangladeshi city of Sylhet on Tuesday morning . . .

CNN quotes Sylhet Police Commissioner Kamrul Ahsan as stating that Das’ attackers “hack[ed] him to death with cleavers and machetes.” DNA India reports that Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent is claiming responsibility for the murder and quotes sources as stating:

“Four armed assailants attacked him when he was going to the town in a rickshaw,” Airport Police Station Officer in charge Gausul Hossain said.

“They (killers) attacked him from behind…he was hit with machetes on the head and died instantly…”

Das’ death is the third this year of someone who’d posted pieces online critical of Islam, carried out in public on city streets in Bangladesh. Earlier this year, an American writer for Mukto Mona – Avijit Roy — was also hacked to death in front of his wife while the couple were visiting Bangladesh for the nation’s annual book fair. Washiqur Rahman, a writer on science and religion was killed near his home in Dhaka, Bangladesh in March. According to the BBC, two Islamic seminary students were arrested for Rahman’s murder; a Muslim fundamentalist blogger was arrested in connection with Roy’s murder.

Despite winning its independence from Britain in 1947 (and Pakistan in 1971,) Bangladesh has retained a 140-year-old gun control laws imposed by the British Raj in 1878 (when the Brits’ primary objective was to ensure that a captive subject people remained disarmed and submissive to the Empire.) The Arms Act pretty much makes sure that the average Bangladesh stays disarmed. The act regulates “fire-arms, bayonets, swords, daggers, spears, spearheads and bows and arrows, also cannon and parts of arms, and machinery for manufacturing arms…” and requires licenses simply to possess arms in the first place, let alone carry them. In fact, the law even specifies: “the Government may by a notification in the official Gazette cancel or suspend all or any licenses throughout 11[ Bangladesh], or any part thereof.”

So it was highly unlikely that these men, murdered for speaking and publishing unpopular religious opinions, could have had access to the tools that might have helped them out. Would those four assailants have been so bold knowing that their intended victim might have been armed with a semi-automatic pistol and a “high capacity” magazine or two? Maybe an “assault rifle” would’ve helped the victim? Even an old M1 Garand could have evened the playing field against the murderers.

I suppose we can play counter-factuals like this all day without achieving much — just having a firearm doesn’t make you an expert, and four against one are not odds I’d volunteer to take no matter how well-armed or trained I am. But I can draw two conclusions so far: it is a dangerous time for secular atheists or anyone who criticizes Islam In Bangladesh, and Bangladesh’s gun control laws are making Islam’s critics easy pray for gangs of murderers.


DISCLAIMER: The above is an opinion piece; it is not legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship in any sense. If you need legal advice in any matter, you are strongly urged to hire and consult your own counsel. This post is entirely my own, and does not represent the positions, opinions, or strategies of my firm or clients.

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  1. “…when the Brits’ primary objective was to ensure that a captive subject people remained disarmed and submissive to the Empire.”

    That still is the Brits’ primary objective, except their cowardly little police state is now just confined to their isle. It’s ok though, American leftists are doing their best to follow the same principle.

    Regarding the article, I’ve come to a theory recently regarding American exportation of culture. I talk to some friends in Australia and the UK often, younger guys in their low 20s, and they seem to think that the concept of “free speech” is a worldwide right. They think they have it. Because the concept it so popular here in the US and thus a part of our exported culture through movies, books, games, and so on, people abroad buy into it and are attracted to it. The problem is, they don’t have it. If their national constitutions include a guarantee of free speech, but that line is not followed by a guarantee of the ability to protect one’s own freedom of speech, then you have a brick of gold out in the open for anyone to steal.

    The old saying “The 2nd Amendment protects the 1st” is true, and is proven the world over. Importing America culture does not give foreign people the same freedoms. Being born with a natural right and having that right protected are two different things. You can think you have freedom of speech because you live in a subtle tyranny, but when the Islamic fanatics or government drones come breaking down your door, you’re just as helpless as any slave state subject.

  2. Meanwhile in America, the biggest problem is evil Christians haters cruelly refused to make a cake.

    • Or it could be the evil gay haters who cruelly used the government to deny basic civil rights to a group of people they happen to dislike.

      Hmmm, sounds just like the anti-gunners!

      Nice try, cakeboi.

        • @Sexual Tyrannosaurus

          Freedom of association has zero to do with marriage. Nothing in the entire constitution says anything about marriage. Marriage is not a civil right. Marriage is a legal contract. Don’t believe it? Lookup Divorce law. It is a stupid interpretation twisted like they do for firearms. Two people can decide to associate with each other without a “license” — which is permission from the state. “By the power vested in me by the State of _______, I now pronounce you husband/wife and husband/wife. You may now kiss the bride/groom”.

          Two people who love each other can live together and do whatever they want without permission from the government. The only reason we have marriage contacts is to divide the stuff in court and so lawyers can make lots of money.

          Marriage licenses have been required since 1639 in Massachusetts, with their use gradually expanding to other states. Why? Taxes and how to divide property should one of the partners die. Before that it was simply a hand shake between two families and at least one witness. That was it.

          There are 50 states and each state should decide what they want to do with the “contract” instead of some unelected judges. At the Federal level, the Fed should honor whatever each state wants to do. There is no Federal standard for a marriage license nor is there one for divorce.

          That said, as far as I am concerned, the government should be out of the business of telling anyone who they should be with. The only reason they are in this fight to begin with is property and taxes that is all.

          The religious fight to me is just stupid.

        • Yes, the role of government and religion in marriage is dumb, but as long as the government maintains laws that grant financial privileges based on marital status, gay marriage is a civil right.

      • Lovely, another mindless statist who thinks it’s the government’s job to legislate how private citizens do business and who they’re allowed to like or dislike.

        Hmmm, sounds just like the anti gunners. Nice try, fascist.

        • Implying criticism of gay marriage bans is the same as supporting unjust abuse of small business owners.

          This is what social conservatives actually believe. 🙂

        • SexualCockroach:

          I’m a libertarian, far from a social conservative. I believe in freedom from government intrusion. I support gay marriage and equality. I also support private business owners being able to do business with whomever they wish. I do not support anyone using government oppression to further their own agenda, whether that be banning gay marriage or forcing private citizens to run their businesses as the government sees fit. I do not support perpetually offended fascists forcing others to behave and think as they see fit. By criticizing someone who points out the ridiculousness of the “cake” debacle, you enable those fascists who support it.

          Nice try though, trying to lump anyone with one viewpoint into a collective. You leftists crack me up, projecting your propensity for fascism onto everyone else.

        • @ Silver,

          I’m a libertarian, far from a social conservative. I believe in freedom from government intrusion. I support gay marriage and equality. I also support private business owners being able to do business with whomever they wish. I do not support anyone using government oppression to further their own agenda, whether that be banning gay marriage or forcing private citizens to run their businesses as the government sees fit. I do not support perpetually offended fascists forcing others to behave and think as they see fit.

          Well … except for your accidental offenses towards one another due to assumptions made, it looks like you and sexy TRex could be best friends with minimal effort.

        • @Silver One wonders why a “libertarian” cannot spot obvious troll-bait directed at the social conservatives 🙂

        • If I kneejerked to trollbait, then that’s one on me. I lost my internet sense of humor years ago. It was when I realized I could no longer distinguish satire and trollbait from actual opinions because people had just gotten that incredibly stupid, evil, and ridiculous.

    • You can’t get along with Fascists which is who these people really are. Fascists with a religious face. Likely the folks behind the smoke and mirrors are manipulating others for power and money. They have convinced the lower echelons to sacrifice themselves for the faith. When really are they are doing is committing murder and suicide to help the higher ups achieve power over them and their families. Too bad that the foot soldiers in this movement don’t know what is really going on. If they did, they may not be so quick to do harm to others.

  3. This really is a bad sign. It shows the increase in radicalization going on in the world. Generally speaking, the people of Bangladesh tend to be relatively moderate peaceful Muslims. The fact that three people have recently been murdered for daring to speak against the religious establishment, may indicate that the Bengali culture is changing, and not for the better.

    This case really does show that the right to bear arms serves to protect freedoms of the press, of speech, and religion.

    Terrorists (like tyrants, and street criminals) love to feed on a disarmed populace.

    Armed men may be killed by terrorists, but they will never be “TERRORIZED AND SLAUGHTERED” by them.

  4. Interesting that Bangladesh is so restrictive. In Pakistan, damn near everybody who wants a gun has one. Or several. Lots of AKs in lots of closets.

  5. Allah acura…I guess it’s not enough to live in one of the poorest countries in the world. Ban Machetes!

  6. The use of an example from Bangladesh is really pretty useless in the arena of debate over gun control in the USA. Having worked providing security for Western expats in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Kenya, etc, etc., I can tell you that they are so different from the US that this story has no bearing on our own struggle to maintain our Constitutional rights.

    Beyond that, countries like this do everything possible to maintain a tight control over the population because no one is happy with the government. Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, has so many demonstrations and strikes and fire bombings of buses, and violence because the people hate the government that they try to repress the people as much as possible. And before anyone says the people need to “be armed and rise up,” let’s take a look at Afghanistan, the FATA region of Pakistan, and Somalia. Everybody there is armed and they all shoot and blow each other up daily.

    My point is not that people shouldn’t be armed, they should. My point is that trying to use an example from a cesspool like Bangladesh to make a point about US gun control is ridiculous. We, in America have a totally different perspective and live in a totally different reality from the Third World, and there is no comparison. Besides, the guy was attacked from behind and was dead before he even knew what was happening. A gun would have done him no good.

  7. This is why we don’t appease people’s sensitivities by social censorship (like the people trying to blame the Texas woman for the shooting there at the Muhammed cartoon contest. If you give them a cartoon they’ll take the newspapers next.

    (the glorious stick figure prophet, may peace be upon him)

    • The glorious stick figure prophet’s formatting was slightly lost in translation.

    • No worries, the message got through. I’ve traveled widely through the Mideast, Africa and West Asia. Trust me, they don’t care what anyone else thinks or believes, to them it’s believe as they do or die.

  8. Reports are the police just stood there and did nothing when he was attacked. Since he had been a critic of the police doing their duty by just standing around when citizens were attacked and raped one imagines the “only ones” were more than happy to stand idly by.

  9. I was one of the moderators of the Mukto-Mona forums and website until about six years ago. I knew the murdered individuals personally, and have stayed as a guest at Avijit and Bonna Roy’s home near Atlanta GA. Neither his murder, nor Ananta’s could have been a DGU as both men were extreme leftists, and fundamentally opposed to the private ownership of guns. A senior politician in Bangladesh – S A M S Kibria – was similarly murdered when I was associated with the group, and a US academic who is still associated with the group, advised the murdered gentleman’s children to arm themselves. They refused to do this.

    Yes, these horrific murders could have been prevented if the murdered gentlemen had armed themselves. That was hardly possible for Avijit, a foreign citizen traveling in Bangladesh on holiday. In Ananta’s case, too, it would have been unlikely because of the anti gun ideology that he espoused. A sad fact, and one that just might get more people who choose to be hoplophobes, killed in the future as well.

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