Bloody Bangladesh: Michael De Dora on the Attacks on Secularists
Point of Inquiry
Secularist bloggers, writers and LGBT activists are being hacked to death in the streets of Bangladesh by militant Islamic groups. To help us get to the bottom of why there needs to be no end in sight to the violence is the Center for Inquiry’s Office of Public Policy Director, Michael De Dora. Starting in April of 2013 when secular activist Avijit Roy reached out to De Dora, the Center for Inquiry has worked closely with threatened individuals like Roy to move writers and bloggers in Bangladesh to safety. Roy was himself murdered in Dhaka in February of 2015, beginning the current wave of attacks. De Dora, who is also CFI’s main representative to the United Nations, explains that many of these champions of free speech in Bangladesh have no other choice but to leave their home country, as the Bangladeshi government refuses to come to terms with the threat, and instead directs responsibility to the dead for their writings. While the current government in power is ostensibly secular and considered the more liberal of the two powerful political parties in Bangladesh, they have been reluctant to make a show of support of the victims, protect their citizens. De Dora suggests that it’s because many of the people being attacked are criticizing the government, and as a result the only action being taken is victim blaming. Note: Over the weekend, Bangladeshi authorities arrested thousands people said to be connected to extremist groups responsible for the attacks.
Ep. 85 - Michael De Dora, CFI Public Policy Director and UN Representative
Friendly Atheist Podcast
Michael De Dora is director of the Center for Inquiry’s Office of Public Policy and he’s also CFI’s representative to the United Nations. He’s currently the president of the UN’s NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief. I spoke with him about what we can do about the bloggers currently under attack in Bangladesh, whether our government is doing anything to protect atheists overseas, and what his conversations are like with the Saudi Arabian representatives at the United Nations.
Ronald A. Lindsay and Michael De Dora - Mr. Science Goes to Washington
Point of Inquiry
Host: Chris Mooney We usually record Point of Inquiry at a distance. Over the phone. Skyping. But for this show, I packed up my gear and hailed a cab—to the Center for Inquiry's brand new Office of Public Policy in downtown, Washington, D.C. The Center for Inquiry is here to literally make this country listen to reason... and science. It's a sensibility that is simply in far too short of a supply in this town. So I sat down with Ronald A. Lindsay, CFI's president, and Michael De Dora, head of the Office of Public Policy, to talk about their plans to make our legislators and leaders just a little more rational and science based. Ronald A. Lindsay is president and CEO of the Center for Inquiry and its affiliates, the Council for Secular Humanism and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He has led the organization since 2008. Michael De Dora is director of the Center for Inquiry Office of Public Policy and its representative to the United Nations.