Issue 3


If we do not utilise and independently strengthen our democratic institutions, extrajudicial and unconstitutional extremism are only empowered more. Bangladesh is one of the most significant examples of this. Human rights have become a rhetorical concept now. There is systematic persecution of the LGBTQ+ community. Writers and bloggers are unable to exercise their freedoms of speech and expression. Publishers have to think twice before publishing any book lest it puts them in danger. The compromises the current Bangladeshi government is making with Islamic fundamentalists are a cause of great concern. In this situation, secularists are living in fear for rationalism and democratic values. Many other countries are similarly facing continuous attacks on their freedoms. Saudi atheist writer and activist Raif Badawi has been suffering in prison for several years. This is the reality of our modern world. This reality wounds us and fills our lives with bloodshed, anger, and protest. We want people all over the world – whether in Bangladesh, the Middle East, Europe, the Americas – to be able to speak freely, to express opinions and criticise openly.

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