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Roy's brutal murder (his wife was maimed, but survived) – together with the fatal stabbing of another atheist blogger, Washiqur Rahman, barely a month later – exposes another force at work in Bangladesh, one that is subverting the country's tradition of secularism and intellectual discourse.The change in Bangladesh is stark. Roy and Washiqur are far from the first Bengali intellectuals to face the Islamists' particular brand of censorship.The novelist Taslima Nasrin went into exile in 1994 to escape death threats from Islamist radicals; she now lives in New Delhi.For Muslim-majority Bangladesh, this struggle within Islam amounts to a battle for the soul of the country.The Islamists, however, want the government to pass a blasphemy law like that in Pakistan, which decrees death for religious dissent.If Hasina gives in to the machete-wielding Islamists, she will sacrifice the Bangladesh that her father fought to free.
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