The official blog of University of Missouri Skeptics, Atheists, Secular Humanists, & Agnostics
Hello there MU SASHA blog readers! This is my first blog post and it will be a direct quote of my recent persuasive speech given in speakers circle in support of dissident Bangladeshi bloggers.
“What is dissent?
Dissent is the disagreement through the criticisms of prevailing ideas, politics, government, or social movements. Dissent is the counter analysis of existent systems, laws and Ideas. But….
Is the freedom of dissent important?
If we are not allowed the freedom to voice our objections we are forced to, as a society, accept the belief systems in place. We are forced to abide to complacency of inequality and the illegalization of our very thoughts.
When the freedom of dissent is illegal; when thoughts are no longer considered within the free market of ideas; when criticisms of any social, cultural, or political rhetoric are deemed untouchable; when we are punished for simply questioning, not challenging, but questioning authority; we have lost our ability to attempt to foster a better society.
Dissent can foster a better society by allowing the development, and implementation of complex ideas. When Martin Luther King Jr. set foot behind a podium, he did so with the intent to change the world as he and countless others saw fit to do. Dr. King criticized the social systems and laws in place that accepted and facilitated racial inequalities. What would the United States look like if iconic figures like Dr. King were not allowed to voice their concerns without knowledge of imminent, government-facilitated retribution?
Opponents of concepts of free speech in Bangladesh have been beheading, beating, maiming, and jailing those who are dissident. Some of the dissidents bloggers have criticized leaders for crimes committed during the 1971 liberation of Bangladesh from Pakistan. During that liberation leaders have been found guilty of, and not limited to, 344 counts of murder, rape, and torture. Surely these leaders deserve to be tried for their crimes and surely no citizen of any country deserves to be killed or imprisoned for calling for the justice of murderers, torturers, and rapists.
We, MU SASHA and Columbia Atheists, are the defenders of dissidence. Our weapons are our minds. Our ammunition is our words. Today we stand in solidarity and fight on behalf of the Bangladeshi bloggers. Today we stand against human rights violations of the government of Bangladesh.”