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.
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.”
“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.