Bangladesh intellectuals appeal to save the life of Dr Shaikh
Dr. Ajoy K. Roy
Bangladesh intellectuals has issued a press statement appealing to the Pakistani President General Musharraf 29th August to save the life of Dr Shaikh. Following is the English version of their statement which was issued originally in Bengali (see attachment)
Professor Ajoy Roy,
Press statement of a group of intellectuals from Bangladesh
" We learned with deep anxiety and concern that a lower court in Islamabad has pronounced death penalty on Dr. Younus Shaikh under the blasphemy law prevailing in Pakistan. Forty-five years old Dr. Shaikh, an UK trained medical doctor is a teacher of Physiology in a Medical College in Islamabad. His offence was that about a year ago, during a routine class lecture he allegedly said that until Prophet Muhammad (Sm.) received the message of Islam from Allah through Gibrail at the age of 40, he and his parents were non-Muslims. This utterance of his, to the Mullahs and Islamic Fundamentalists, appears to be blasphemous and derogatory to Islam and the Prophet. We wonder what is happening in the so-called Islamic State of Pakistan - where the words: freedom of speech, religious tolerance, freethinking and secularism are taboo. The offence that Dr. Sheikh has committed in the eye of the Mullahs is that he nourishes and nurtures the noble concepts of freethinking, liberal democracy, mutual tolerance and respect among peoples irrespective of their religious faiths, and freedom of speech. He is the founder President of the organization "Enlightenment", a centre for cultivating freethinking and rationalism coupled with humanism. This is a member organization of Pakistan based International Humanist and Ethical Union -through which Dr. Shaikh has been propagating his humanistic ideas and ethics of human rights. These activities of Dr. Sheikh are the real offences to the eye of the theocratic Pakistani Government which more or less represents fundamentalists; - the alleged remarks against the Prophet is a mere plea to put him to trial.
We have no language to deplore the verdict of the lower court; -this verdict of the court we regard is a judicial murder. We appeal to Pakistani President General Musharraf to drop this so-called blasphemy case against the innocent victim and urge upon for his immediate release. We also urge upon the Pakistani Government to repeal this malicious and ill-defined law(s) and release all the convicts & accused under trial forthwith.
We also appeal to our President and the Chief Advisor to the President to take up the matter with Pakistani Government at the highest level to secure immediate release of the dedicated humanist Dr. M. Younus Shaikh of Pakistan. "
Professor Kabir Choudhury, National Professor, Writer, Dramatist, Intellectual,
Cultural Personality, Educationist
Professor Zillur Rahman Siddiqui, Ex Vice Chancellor (J.N.U), Professor, Writer,
Professor Salahuddin Ahmed, Historian, Professor, Intellectual, Educationist
Professor Ajoy Roy, Scientist, Professor, Writer, Intellectual, Educationist
Professor Anisuzzaman Professor, Writer, Intellectual, Educationist, cultural personality
Professor Sirajul Islam Choudhury, Professor, Writer, Intellectual, Educationist
Professor A.M.M Harun ar Rashid, Scientist, Professor, Intellectual, Educationist
Professor Akhteruzzaman, Botanist, Professor, Educationist
Professor Rangalal Sen, Social Scientist, Professor, Educationist
Mrs. Rezoana Choudhury Banya, Singer (Tagore songs), Cultural Personality
Shri Ramendu Majumdar, Dramatist, Actor, Cultural Personality
Mr. Jamil Choudhury, Linguist, Vice President, National Tagore Songs Conference
Association, Cultural Personality
Poet Shamsur Rahman, Poet, Writer, Cultural Personality
Sayed Shamsul Huq, Novelist, Poet, Dramatist, Cultural Personality
Shri Santosh Gupta, Journalist, Columnist, writer
Shahriar Kabir, Journalist, writer
Mr. Wahidul Haque,Tagore songs Specialist, President, National Tagore Songs
Conference Association, Cultural Personality
Rokeya Kabir, President, Nari Pragati Shangha (Women Progressive Society),
Mrs. Sanjida Khatun, Tagore songs specialist, Cultural Personality, Vice President,
National Tagore Songs Conference Association.
Mrs. Shyamali Nasreen, Teacher, Educationist.
Mr. Badruddin Hosain, Columnist, writer, Educationist