It was early morning of April 23. Professor Rezaul Karim Siddiquee of Rajshahi University was on his way to work. The assailants were waiting, they did not hesitate. Rezaul Karim was hacked to death only a few yards from his home. His crime? He was a lover of arts and music. He ran a small cultural organization called Komolgandhar with his students, published a literary magazine called Sundaram. Is this enough to garner the wrath of the Islamists? In this open season on freethinkers anything is possible in Bangladesh. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has declared her government would not be responsible for anything that happens to the freethinkers or rationalist bloggers.
Professor Siddique tried to bring enlightenment not only to his classrooms, but also to his village where Islamists opposed his endeavours regarding his musics projects. The ideas of music, poem, dance – any form human artistic expression run counter to the thoughts of these hard-core extremists. With his killing Bangladesh is ushered into a new era of intolerance where not only the vocal rationalist bloggers are killed, but anybody with inclination for loving the beautiful things in life are also targeted. It is with deep anguish that we condemn the murder of Professor Rezaul Karim Siddiquee.