A popular Bangladeshi online bookstore has stopped selling books by a well-known writer after an Islamic militant issued death threats on Facebook to the website's owner.
Rokomari.com said in statement that it has stopped selling books authored by Avijit Roy, a Bangladesh-born engineer and author who is currently living in the United States. Roy pioneered the popular Bangladeshi online blogging site Freethinker and rose
to prominence with his books on philosophy, scientific thought and human rights issues.
The decision to withdraw his books was prompted by death threats posted to Facebook by Farabi Shafiur Rahman, an Islamist extremist allegedly linked to the hardline Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami.
Farabi accused Roy of defaming Islam and the religious character Mohammed and accused Rokomari.com chairman Mahmudul Hasan Sohag of promoting atheism by selling Roy's books. In his Facebook post, Farabi specified the office address of Rokomari.com
and called upon his Islamist friends in the adjacent locality to attack. He also told Sohag that he would suffer the same fate as Ahmed Rajib Haider, a popular blogger known by the psuedonym Thaba Baba, who was hacked to death last year by machete-wielding
Rokomari.com released a statement saying:
A review committee has already started working to shape a policy under which no book that raises controversy will be shown on our site.
My books are mostly on modern science and philosophy. These are not the books criticizing religious scriptures or any particular religion. They are mainly scientific books having references from reputed journals, books and newspapers.
He added that his books have never generated complaints over their content and that one of his books was on Bangladesh's annual best sellers' list.