Things we don’t write: K Anis Ahmed on the murdered writers of Bangladesh

Kazi Anis Ahmed in The Guardian:

ScreenHunter_1554 Dec. 12 16.19Things we don’t write about: The Prophet. The Quran. The mosque. The hijab. Indeed, anything to do with Islam that might offend anyone willing to kill. The problem is that we can never be certain what will offend them. The killing types are no longer visible, wizened old men who regularly announce where the red line lays. The mantle has passed onto teenagers wielding machetes, belonging to secret cliques, guided by international ideologies with vicious local consequences.

In a bewildering new trend, it is young rationalist bloggers in Bangladesh who have emerged as the primary target of Islamic extremists. How peculiar indeed, that killers espousing a retrograde vision of the world should be so obsessed with the most twenty-first century of media: the blog. Four bloggers have been hacked to death since the beginning of this year, and dozens more live in fear of becoming the next victim.

There is a specific history at play here. The secular bloggers of Bangladesh led a mass secular movement in 2013 demanding the death penalty for war crimes committed during Bangladesh’s 1971 war of independence. What’s unfolding now is in great part payback for the “insolence” of those seeking belated justice for a long-ignored genocide.

More here.