Threatened with Death, Bangladeshi Blogger Gets Asylum in Germany, Helped by Center for Inquiry

May 20, 2016

By CFI Staff

A secular writer and activist targeted for death by militant Islamists in Bangladesh has been granted asylum in Germany. After receiving several threats due to her advocacy, Shammi Haque sought help from the U.S.-based Center for Inquiry, which supplied her with emergency assistance to help ensure her safe relocation.

22-year-old Shammi Haque has built a reputation in Bangladesh as a respected, outspoken, and fearless activist on behalf of secularism and free expression. On her blog, she wrote in support of democracy and human rights, and spoke against radical Islam. In public protests and demonstrations, she became a highly visible critic of religious extremism, a recognized symbol of secular resistance. This made her a target of those same militants who brutally murdered several writers and activists associated with secularism and criticism of radical Islam.

After receiving threats on her life and seeing her name appear on a public hit list of secular bloggers, Haque contacted the Center for Inquiry, a U.S.-based organization that advocates for reason, science, and secular values. The crisis in Bangladesh had become a central focus of CFI’s efforts, and in 2015 they launched the Freethought Emergency Fund, a program which lends assistance to those activists in places like Bangladesh who face mortal danger for exercising their right to free expression.

“When I was targeted, I was so afraid,” said Shammi Haque. “Every day I thought, this may be my last day, I may not see the next day’s sunrise. Connecting with the Center for Inquiry was a big opportunity in my life, for without CFI, I couldn’t have done anything. And CFI helped me immediately. Now I have asylum here, so I can live safely. So I am very thankful to the German government for giving me asylum so quickly.”


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6 comments on “Threatened with Death, Bangladeshi Blogger Gets Asylum in Germany, Helped by Center for Inquiry

  • 1
    maria melo says:

    Wish she can see many sunrises….she´s so young to die at the hands of “unhuman beings” that cannot think for themselves let others do the same.



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  • Those vicious god-delusions, which have no credible answers to criticisms, respond in typical manner with abuse, threats and personal attacks, while posturing as goody-goody proponents of “peace”!!



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  • Thank you sir, for keeping a watchful eye on humanists in places like Bangladesh, where they are most needed and yet also most under threat. Would love to interview you about the matter, and send a message out to Bangladeshi’s living in fear because of the rising extremism there. Many of us are doing what we can to curb this disturbing trend, which did not exist in secular bangladesh, to the extent it has bloomed in other societies such as Pakistan or Iran. I hope a global effort can help moderate this anti-intellectualism ant-science trend that is plagueing that region of the world, post 9-11. Please keep the great work sir. smile emoticon Cheers – Promit Adnan (Computer science MSc student, University of Kent, British/Bangladeshi)



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  • Meanwhile, right-wing German bigots are making fools of themselves as usual!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-36377394

    Members of the anti-Islam protest group Pegida in Germany have complained about images of non-white children on Kinder chocolate bar packets.

    A Pegida Facebook page in Baden-Wuerttemberg asked: “Is this a joke?”

    But after being told the photos were childhood photos of Germany’s footballers being used in Euro-2016-linked marketing, they admitted they had “dived into a wasps’ nest”.

    Kinder said it would not tolerate “xenophobia or discrimination”.

    A photograph of two chocolate bars was circulated by the person behind the Bodensee Facebook group of Pegida (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West).

    For decades, Kinder packaging has featured a blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy.

    But in a marketing campaign ahead of the Euro 2016 football tournament, Kinder has started to use photographs of the German team’s players when they were children.

    The two that the Pegida group complained about were Ilkay Guendogan and Jerome Boateng, both German nationals who play in the Bundesliga as well as the national team.

    Seemingly without realising this, the group’s admin wrote: “They’ll stop at nothing. Can you really buy these? Or is it a joke?”



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