‘Dad taught me to be informed and bold,’ says slain blogger’s kin

(From PTI)

Slain Bangladeshi-American secular blogger Avijit Roy’s step-daughter said her father  taught her to be “informed, bold and unafraid” as she penned an article to mark the first anniversary of his death.

Avijit Roy pictured with wife Rafida Ahmed Banya and step-daughter Trisha Ahmed

Avijit Roy pictured with wife Rafida Ahmed Banya and step-daughter Trisha Ahmed

In a moving piece that Trisha Ahmed, a second-year student at Johns Hopkins University wrote for CNN, she recounts the father she remembers and the brutal attack she is trying to forget.

“Though my dad worked as a computer programmer during the day, he was a writer when he came home. His books were about the science behind homosexuality and the virus of religious extremism. His goal was to incorporate more secular discussion into mainstream Bangladesh,” she wrote.

“He and my mom started dating when I was six years old. In the 12 years that followed, he became my friend, my hero, my most trusted confidant. Not once did he tell me to simmer down or be more polite, he taught me to be informed, bold, and unafraid,” she wrote.

Roy, 43, was hacked to death by radical Islamists on February 26, in 2015 in Dhaka, in which Ahmed’s mother Rafida Ahmed also suffered head wounds and lost her left thumb.

On May 3, the al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent claimed responsibility for the attack.

Trisha recalled her parents visiting her at the university before flying to Dhaka.

Thirteen days later, she received messages informing that her father was dead and her mother was in the ICU in Bangladesh.

That afternoon, she posted on Facebook: “My dad was a prominent Bengali writer, most famous for his books about science and atheism. Fifteen hours ago, Islamic fundamentalists stabbed my dad to death. My mom was severely wounded from the attack and is still in the hospital.”

 Recalling her struggle to fight with the memories of her father and his brutal murder, Trisha said: “To say that I’m furious or heartbroken would be an understatement. But as [screwed] up as the world is, there’s never a reason to stop fighting to make it better. I’ll carry the lessons he taught me and the love he gave me forever.”
She recalled taking sleep medicine every night, so she wouldn’t dream of her father lying in a pool of his own blood and the reason for her to come out in the open.

“By dying for his cause, he (Roy) gained worldwide attention to the oppression and murder of scientific thought in Bangladesh — a country that claims to be governed by secular principles.

 “I know that al Qaida, IS, and other manifestations of religious extremism are alive and well. But by writing and sharing my story, I am making my impact. I — and so many others — am slowly, thoughtfully, and certainly chipping away at the ideologies that seek to destroy us,” she wrote in the blog-post.

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