Avijit Roy

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Avijit Roy (Bengali: অভিজিৎ রায়; 12 September 1972 – 26 February 2015) was a Bangladeshi-American engineer, writer, blogger and secular activist. He was hacked to death in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on 26 February 2015.[1] A Muslim extremist group claimed responsibility for the attack. [2]

Avjit Roy was a U.S. citizen. He was born in Bangladesh.[3] His family is Hindu. He studied microbiology at Dhaka University. His father Ajoy was a professor of physics at the university. Avjit Roy moved to the city of Atlanta in the United States. He had a job there as an engineer.[4]

Activism[change | change source]

In May 2001, Roy started Mukto-Mona, meaning "free mind", as a Yahoo group. In 2002 Mukto-Muno became a website. Mukto-Muno started the first Bengali Darwin Day, Rationalist Day, and International Women's Day on the internet. The group worked for freedom for religious minorities and secular writers. The group discussed religious questions and LGBT issues.[5]

Avjit Roy wrote many articles, as well as books. In 2014, Roy received death threats after he wrote a book. One threat on Facebook said, "Avijit Roy lives in America and so it is not possible to kill him right now, but he will be murdered when he gets back."[6]

In 2015, Avijit Roy returned to Dhaka and was killed after leaving a book fair with his wife. Roy's wife, Rafida Bonya Ahmed, was also hurt in the attack. [7] On March 2, 2016, Farabi Shafiur Rahman was arrested for the attack. Farabi wrote on Facebook, “Avijit lives in America. It is not possible to kill him now. But he will be killed when he will be back in the country.”[8] Rahman is a blogger from the banned Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir.[9]

Selected writings[change | change source]

  • Obisshahser Dorshon (অবিশ্বাসের দর্শন) (The Philosophy of Disbelief)Text in Bengali.
  • Biswasher Virus (বিশ্বাসের ভাইরাস)(The Virus of Faith in Bengali) Text in Bengali.
  • "The Virus of Faith", Free Inquiry magazine, April/May 2015 Text in English.

Other websites[change | change source]

  • Profile on Mukto-Mona[10]
  • "Avijit Roy and His Legacy", Jahed Ahmed, Free Inquiry, vol 35 issue 4, May 19, 2015 [5]
  • "Obituary: US-Bangladesh writer Avijit Roy", BBC News, 27 February 2015 [4]

References[change | change source]