Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, and Yemen have many similarities. They are states that are creations of the US and the UK, using diplomacy and brute force as required to further self-serving, imperialistic goals in the post-colonial, post-World War world.
They are states where, as in Qatar and Malaysia -- the Southeast Asian Muslim success story that many quarters of Bangladesh aspire to -- child marriage is acceptable and prevalent.
They are states where, as in the aforementioned duo and Maldives, Nigeria, Sudan, and the UAE -- the shining jewel of the Middle East that Caucasians love, sometimes even more than their homelands -- people who do not have religious beliefs can be sentenced to death in accordance with the law.
They are all states that, judged by the Western principles of human rights that a world desperate to become Western in an attempt to be labelled developed and modern, are in flagrant violation of universal, fundamental, and irrefutable legal tenets.
That is a lie. They are not condemned. The Western governments have increased the levels of oxygen rather than stopping the supplies at crucial intervals that have created a reality in which these states cannot be condemned.
The loose and subjective definitions of what constitutes atheism, blasphemy, and apostasy allow individuals to decide for themselves and unleash their righteous fury on those deemed to be deserving of punishment.
Should it happen on Western shores, millions of hypocrites march, to show solidarity, to show vigilance, to show that they cherish the freedoms of speech and expression above all else. In the event of a brown man dying on brown land, the white man breathes a sigh of relief, pretends to be indignant if the victim had a Western passport and does not concern himself with the barbarism if he did not, and wonders why the fallen did not exercise self-restraint and self-censorship.
Murder is wrong. It is a cowardly act that some seek to justify as being a divine right. There are nations in this world, directly shaped by the Western values that the US and the UK use as standards to measure all nations, which agree with, endorse and implement the virtues of murder.
It should not shock anyone when such ethics are promoted to individuals, who, upon believing become zealots. They do not argue their thoughts on heretical platforms populated by liberals who denigrate and dismiss them. Possessed by their beliefs, they arm themselves with machetes, guns, and bombs to fulfil their duty.
The liberals express their outrage in the aftermath, misquoting Voltaire and misunderstanding Orwell, erecting stone walls on lines in the sand. In so doing, they blur the meanings of the undeniable rights of free speech and expression with their own brand of militancy, a fact to which they are no doubt oblivious.
They fail to understand or even empathise, yet expect it of those holding contrary and extremist views. People point with their forefingers, not open fists. Human anatomy and the judgemental nature of the human race ensure more fingers pointing back at those who point at others derogatorily.
Human beings, who build countries in their image, are prisoners of ego. Agreeing with others, therefore, is a chore, since it requires the high ground to be conceded. Appreciating and respecting different perspectives is also difficult, since debating or discussing takes more work than being consumed by dogma when disagreements arise. Hence, the clash of ideas and beliefs expend lives as well as futile words.
Avijit Roy, a human being, was murdered for his thoughts and his words in a country that muzzles people, and where other lesser men and women indulge in self-congratulatory orgies of moral superiority whilst censoring themselves.
Outrage is not in short supply from a literate class that was Charlie not too long ago. Justice for him is expected from the same country that imprisons individuals for words and tunes, but has failed to hold those responsible to account for the building of the death-traps of Tazreen Fashion and Rana Plaza -- a process that includes everyone involved with permitting and granting of permissions, monitoring, and auditing, and owning -- the attack on Humayun Azad, the butchering of Ahmed Rajeeb Haider and Sheikh Nurul Islam Faruqi, the killing of Sagar Sarowar and Meherun Runi, the daily murders in the name of politics.
Waiting for justice with breath held will soon lead to suffocation becoming the leading cause of death in Bangladesh. It is a land that agrees with the West, but shuns its hypocrisy. Thus, words, thoughts, and knowledge are the real crimes, a truth Giordano Bruno discovered centuries ago.