Speakers

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Asif Mohiuddin_275x257
Asif Mohiuddin
Liberal humanist, free thinker, blogger

Asif Mohiuddin is a Bangladeshi liberal humanist, free-thinker and a prominent blogger. He writes especially against religious fundamentalism, religious terrorism, religion-based education system, religion-based politics, religious institutions, oppression of women, and Sharia law. His pieces have to do with politics, secularism, human rights, rights of homosexuals, right of education, freedom of expression, etc. Though he longs for a society free from religious superstitions, racism and fundamentalism, his prime focus is on human rights. He is not only an activist online but also offline, organising demonstrations for human rights. He was the first blogger in Bangladesh to be arrested for blogging against government policy: Asif, along with many other bloggers, had organized an offline protest for the education rights of poor students at Jagannath University. When police forces suggested that he stop writing because his writing was against the government and the state policy, he refused. This action led the government to change their policy. Asif was also one of the organizers of the Shahbag Ganajagaran moncho movement against the religious political party Jamaat e Islam and other Islamic political parties. On January 14, 2013, he was attacked and brutally stabbed in the back, shoulder, and chest by a group of radical religious fundamentalists affiliated to Al-Qaeda because of his criticism of Islam, and Sharia law. A month later the Bangladesh government banned his highly popular blog on the basis that it was hurting the religious sentiments of the Muslims in the country. His name appeared at the top of ‘hit lists’ published by a number of Islamic fundamentalist groups, and another atheist blogger was murdered. There were calls for him and others to be prosecuted for blasphemy and a march of one million madrassa (Islamic school) students demanded the death penalty for them all. Bangladesh’s government responded by arresting him on April 3, 2013. After three and half months, he was released on bail. Now he is in Germany and writing to support freedom of expression on blogs and Facebook.