People to support, Fundraising, Refugees

Shadhin is under threat from jihadis in Bangladesh

3 mn read

“I get constant threats from the jihadis on the phone/social media. I’m hiding from them all these years. What if they get to know my location because those people whom we used to trust are even against us now. I’m sick of dealing with them already. I can’t take all these stresses anymore. It has been ongoing for five years now. I am living without freedom and peace and I need to leave this place as soon as possible.”

In our adoption program we connect sponsors to individual clients. For many of the individuals we helped to escape persecution, a long journey starts to get asylum or a resident permit. Not all the countries they flee to, give support to asylum seekers. In the meantime they face obstacles getting paid work and becoming self-supporting. Forming support groups around them to follow help them with some basic income and some moral support they get a fair chance to build up a new life. For as much as 5 USD or EURO per month you can support a client and connect to him or her personally to get regular updates.

Shadhin from Chittagong, Bangladesh grew up in a Muslim family along with his two brother. They had a regular Muslim upbringing earlier in their lives. In the 9th grade, Shadhin was introduced to the late writer Humayun Azad. Shadhin was really fascinated by his bold writing and started reading his books. Azad’s influence made Shadhin an atheist and in his 10th grade, he decided to change his name to Shadhin. Due to this, he had to face many problems from the education board to family members, finally forcing him to drop out of school.

Shadhin is under threat from jihadis in Bangladesh

Shadhin is a secular atheist who supports LGBTQ+. He has a blog called ‘Bangladeshi Atheists’. Both Shadhin and his brother Fahad, who is also an atheist, actively participate in discussion groups and forums related to atheism. Their discussions revolve around atheism and achieving world peace without any religions. In fact, they even influenced their mother to become an atheist that she stopped wearing the hijab, and burka, and stopped practicing Muslim religious traditions.

On 1st October 2017 local jihadis attacked Fahad for writing and sharing anti-religious content. Those jihadis’ sole purpose was to kill Fahad that day and stabbed him severely with a sharp knife leaving him to die. Luckily, he survived. The jihadis wanted to attack Shadhin also but couldn’t find Shadhin that day. Since then, the threats from jihadis toward Shadhin and his family have increased. Fahad filed a police complaint against the attackers but no arrests were made as the jihadis have powerful connections.

Eventually, Fahad had to leave Bangladesh for India for safety and better treatment. Shadhin stayed back to support his mother and younger brother. But the jihadis were still looking out for Shadhin to kill him. To make matters worse, right after the attack on Fahad, their father abandoned them because he was unable to accept the idea of atheism. Raising a family as a single mother who is an atheist is a very challenging task in an Islamic country like Bangladesh. Yet, they somehow found the strength to survive. Shadhin chose to live in the town and village by switching every week for his safety. He was living with his mother’s family in the village. 

But things took a turn for the worse last week when his mother asked for her share of the property from her maternal grandmother. They had a huge argument and Shadhin’s maternal aunts and uncle were denying to give his mother her share of the property saying that they are an apostate family. His aunt’s husband, a mullah, threatened Shadhin about reporting to the police or to the jihadi leaders if his mom or Shadhin seek shelter there again. Shadhin is not safe in the town as well. They have a pet dog at home which is considered haram in Islam. 

Shadhin says, “I get constant threats from the jihadis on the phone/social media. I’m hiding from them all these years. What if they get to know my location because those people whom we used to trust are even against us now. I’m sick of dealing with them already. I can’t take all these stresses anymore. It has been ongoing for five years now. I am living without freedom and peace and I need to leave this place as soon as possible.”

Shadhin wants to leave Bangladesh as soon as possible. He is planning to move to India. But he needs money for a visa and travel. Any delay in getting help to Shadhin can make a difference in life and death. Please help Shadhin in this situation.

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