The protest is backed by the Jamaat-e-Islami party and Hefazat-e-Islam, Islamic groups that enjoy wide support among the poor and uneducated. The extremists are advocating for a 13-point plan which includes the enactment of a blasphemy law to prosecute and hang atheist bloggers.
Last Friday, March 29, tens of thousands of Islamic extremists took to the streets of the Bangladeshi capital calling for the introduction of blasphemy laws and demanding the arrest of “atheist bloggers who insulted Islam”
In a move to appease the Islamists, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has promised to punish atheist bloggers found guilty of defaming Islam and “hurting people’s religious sentiments.” Four online writers have already been arrested on charges of hurting religious sentiment through their Internet writings against Islam. And according to reports, the Islamic extremists have a list targeting 84 additional bloggers.
BY: MICHAEL STONE