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Ananta Bijoy Das

Ananta Bijoy Das 1

Ananta Bijoy Das

Ananta Bijoy Das (Bengali: অনন্ত বিজয় দাশ ) (1982—2015 [1]) was a secular blogger from Bangladesh.[2] In February 2015, he left his house in Sylhet to go to work at a bank. Four men with masks attacked him near his house and killed him with machetes.[3][4]

Das wrote about science, and he was critical of religious fundamentalism, but he was not against religion. Two other writers, Avijit Roy and Washiqur Rahman, were also killed in Bangladesh after they wrote about secular themes.[5]

Contents

Work

Ananta Bijoy Das giving autograph to Avijit Roy

Ananta Bijoy Das (left) giving autograph to Avijit Roy

Das wrote for Avijit Roy‘s blog Mukto-Mona (Free Thinkers).[6] He also was editor for a local science magazine, Jukti (“Reason”). He wrote several books, including a book about Charles Darwin.[6]

Das was an activist in Ganajagaran Mancha, a group that wanted to end Islamist parties.[7] He was also the head of the Science and Rationalist Council.[8]

In 2005, Das organized a small group of free-thinkers in Sylhet. Most of them were students of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology. They organized study groups, translated books into Bengali, and wrote essays. they talked about science, pseudo-science, religion, sexuality, politics, and world history.[1]

Many people were not happy about the free-thinkers. Homeopathy practitioners wanted to sue them. Many people were unhappy about their essays critical of Hinduism. Others were not happy about their talk of sexuality, a taboo subject in Bangladesh. Das’s book about the Soviet Union made the leftists unhappy. The Islamist students of the science and technology university were very unhappy.[1]

Death

According to Reporters Without Borders, a group called Defenders of Islam wrote a “hit list” of bloggers. There were 84 names on the list. Eight of the 84 bloggers are now dead.[6] After the attack on Avijit Roy, Das received more threats about his writing.[9] In March 2015, Ananta was on a new hit list of a group called Ansarullah Bangla Team, and he wrote to the IHEU, ““It seems to me I am one of the targets . I am not sure how long I will hide myself. But I am sure If they will find me they will do what they did with Mr. Avijit Roy. My life is seriously unsecured . I am not sure how can I protect myself & my family.” [10]

When some people attacked Asif Mohiuddin‘s house, Mohiuddin tried to help Das get out of the country. Mohiuddin helped him with his papers and gave them to some organizations to get him out. Mohiuddin was attacked in 2013, and was able to get out of the country.[11]

Das planned to visit Sweden in May 2015, for World Press Freedom Day. The Swedish chapter of PEN, an international writers group, invited him.[12] The Swedish Embassy in Dhaka refused the visa. They said he might try to stay in Sweden.[13][14] Ananta Bijoy Das and another author translated the book “Am I a Monkey?: Six Big Questions About Evolution” by Spanish-American evolutionary biologist and philosopher Francisco J. Ayala into Bengali. A few months after Das was murdered, the other writer was able to get to Sweden.[1]

Das died at the age of 32 [13] on May 12, 2016. The next day, secularists marched in the city of Sylhet to protest his death.[15]

In August 2015, Bangladeshi police arrested three men for the murder of Das and Avijit Roy.[16] Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), posted a video on an extremist website saying they were responsible for the death of Avijit Roy and others. The video said their leader ordered the deaths. The police in Bangladesh said it was probably a local group called Ansarullah Bangla Team with about 100 members.[17]

Awards

In 2006, the blog Mukto-Mona gave Das their “Rationalist Award”.[18]

Selected writings

  • পার্থিব (co-author) Worldly or Nothing is divine (2011)
  • ডারউইন : একুশ শতকে প্রাসঙ্গিকতা এবং ভাবনা (Darwin: the relevance of the twenty-first century and thought, Ed.) (2011) Text in Bengali.
  • সোভিয়েত ইউনিয়নে বিজ্ঞান ও বিপ্লব : লিসেঙ্কো অধ্যায় Science and Revolution in Soviet Union: The Lysenko Chapter (2012)
  • আমি কি একটা বাঁদর? (“Am I a monkey?: six big questions about evolution”) tr. (2014) of “¿Soy un mono?” by J. Francisco Ayala (2010)(Worldcat.) Text in Bengali.

Other websites

  • Jukti (Yukti) magazine (যুক্তি): Essays on freethought, skepticism and rationalism. (অনন্ত বিজয় দাশ সম্পাদিত অত্যন্ত সাহসী একটি ম্যাগাজিন।) ed. Ananta Bijoy Dash Archived
  • Ananta Bijoy Das profile on Mukto-Mona [1](Bengali language) Archived
  • Ananta Bijoy on Facebook
  • Profile at Center for Inquiry

References

 

“Bangladeshi secular blogger Ananta Bijoy Das hacked to death in third fatal attack this year”. Retrieved 2 August 2016.

 

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Sources for Pakistan Women Muslim League

The following examines sources taken from the press section of the organization’s official website for Pakistan Women Muslim League at http://pwml.pk/index.php/home-en/10-icetheme/features/245-news-media to see if the topic is notable per WP:NONPROFITThe images are screenshots of newspaper clippings in the Urdu language.


Non-commercial organizations

Organizations are usually notable if they meet both of the following standards:

  • The scope of their activities is national or international in scale
  • The organization has received significant coverage in multiple reliable sources that are independent of the organization.

Note: I have used  پاکستان ومیم مسلم لیگ for a search term, (see images below) but the name does not google well because the name is very similar to another organization:

 

Logo screenshots from Facebook here.

There are 11 articles from Peshawar, 2 from unknown Pakistani location, and 3 articles from sources from the capital of Islamabad, showing national scope.  A total of 12 newspapers have published articles about Pakistan Women Muslim League. One of them includes an interview with the founder.

The current article sources already show the organization is duly registered with the Pakistani government as required prior to the elections, but the photos also clearly show the organization participating as political party representatives of the political process both at Peshawar,  and the capital city of Islamabad, and in particular as a legitimate national political partner in the FAFEN consultations.

Thumbnail images are below the fold

Unknown articles:

Articles from Peshawar:

 Islamabad:

The thumbnails:
Continue reading

Fix your communities

TwoHammer_nails_smithonian links for building online communities:

Advice for the Accidental Community Manager by Jessamyn West.  West is on the WMF advisory board.

  • “Each piece of information that you make mandatory is one small piece of friction in somebody’s sign-up process. If you’re asking for information, make sure there’s a reason. And think really hard about whether you need personal information such as gender for any legitimate reason. If so, offer more than two options and ‘Other.'”
  • “The community helps with all of this through flagging tools. That is, they can indicate that something needs moderator attention. Part of the function of this feature is just that — moderators can’t be everywhere at once. Another function , however, is indicating what behaviors aren’t okay on the site. Since one of the flagging options is “offensive/sexism/racism”, that also helps set expectations about what sort of participation is discouraged.”
  • “The one other thing that I think is essential for community enforcement is having a place where the community can discuss moderator actions.”

If your website’s full of assholes, it’s your fault, by Anil Dash

  • “When you engage with a community online in a constructive way, it can be one of the most meaningful experiences of your life. It doesn’t have to be polite, or neat and tidy, or full of everyone agreeing with each other. It just has to not be hateful and destructive.
  • “You should have the technology to easily identify and stop bad behaviors…. a way for people to flag behavior that violates guidelines, and a simple set of tools for allowing moderators to respond quickly and appropriately…”
  • “You should make a budget that supports having a good community, or you should find another line of work.”

“There is a deadline”: the death of Khaled al-Asaad

Before he was killed by ISIS, the world had not heard Syrian scholar and head of antiquities in Palmyra, Khaled al-Asaad, but within a few hours, the English Wikipedia and the Arabic Wikipedia as well as the German Wikipedia had start-class articles. Which shows once again that “there is a deadline”. (and I’m indebted to Asaf Bartov for pointing out this WP essay in one of his presentations somewhere).

There is an article, Destruction of cultural heritage by ISIL. Where are the photos of the destroyed works? Is there anything in the public domain? There is also a category for “Monuments destroyed by ISIL“.

In the meantime, the Guardian has published photos of Palmrya, as it appeared before it was seized by the Islamicists.

And for anyone looking to flesh out Khaled’s Wikipedia articles, plenty of reliable sources have now published obits:

    • The Guardian “The archaeologist and scholar, who held a diploma in history and education from the University of Damascus, published many books and scientific texts. Among his titles are The Palmyra Sculptures and Zenobia, the Queen of Palmyra and the Orient.”
    • The Telegraph “The archaeologist had been detained and interrogated for over a month by Isil, Mr Abdulkarim told Reuters.”
    • NYT “In 1963, he was appointed director of antiquities for Palmyra as well as director of its museum, positions he held until his retirement in 2003, when his son Walid took them over.”
    • Lion_in_the_garden_of_Palmyra_Archeological_Museum,_2010-04-21The Times of Israel (citing Syrian state news agency SANA and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights) “Since falling to IS, Palmyra’s ancient site has remained intact but the militant s destroyed a lion statue in the town dating back to the 2nd century. The statue, discovered in 1975, had stood at the gates of the town museum, and had been placed inside a metal box to protect it from damage.” [Lion image on Wikimedia Commons]
    • BC News “Syrian antiquities chief Maamoun Abdulkarim told AFP that Mr Asaad’s other son Mohammed and his son-in-law Khalil actively participated in the rescue of 400 antiquities as the town was being taken over by the jihadists in May.” and here:
  • Born in Palmyra in 1934
  • Served as director of antiquities of Palmyra from 1963 to 2003 until his retirement
  • Worked with Unesco and the European Commission on Palmyra-related projects
  • Most important discovery was that of the largest part of the city’s major intersection and a number of tombs around the ruins
  • Reported to have written more than 20 books on Palmyra and the Silk Road
  • Said to be fluent in Aramaic and translated texts from the language up until 2011
  • Received honours from France, Poland and Tunisia
  • Spieigel (German)
  • Wall Street Journal ““City residents and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based group that monitors the conflict via a network of activists, confirmed it was Mr. Asaad’s remains. The group said he had been held by Islamic State for more than a month before he was killed. His work will live on far beyond the reach of these extremists,” Irina Bokova, director of the United Nations’ cultural agency Unesco, said Wednesday. “They murdered a great man, but they will never silence history.”Locals loyal to Islamic State accused Mr. Asaad of making contact with regime officers, the Observatory said, including his brother, a senior government security officer. Islamic State had promised to release him, it added, citing people close to Mr. Asaad. Those people called his execution a shock.

Stand.

Sly and the Family Stone live 1974

Stand
You’ve been sitting much too long, there’s a permanent crease in your right and wrong
Stand.
There’s a midget standing tall, and a giant beside him about to fall
Stand. Stand. Stand.

Stand.
They will try to make you crawl, and they know what you’re saying makes sense and all
Stand.
Don’t you know that you are free…if you want to be.

(rap) “Seems like every time you get a whole bunch of lights on ya, people have a tendency to want to sit down, and check it out you see, they want to sit down and check it out. So they go home and say, man, that wasn’t nothin’. Shoot, they ain’t did nothin’. You’re in it too, the song is about all of us. You know what I mean. If you believe in anything at all, what do you believe in? What. Well, then, stand on up for it, what’s wrong with ya. Stand up for whatever you believe in, that’s what it is. That’s what I’m talkin’ about.” (Na na na na na na na na.)

[For vintage Sly, at the peak of his game, see Sly and the Family Stone live at the Harlem Cultural Festival, Mount Morris Park, Harlem, NY June 29th, 1969.]