September 22, 2006, - 3:37 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Our friend, inimitable Jerusalem Post investigative reporter Michael Freund, has a piece in the paper about Bangladesh’s continued persecution of rare moderate Muslim Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, a courageous Muslim newspaper editor with incredible principle.
Choudhury’s crime is advocating ties with Israel and peace with the Jewish people. More from Michael’s article:
A Bangladeshi Muslim journalist arrested in the past for advocating ties with Israel now faces charges of sedition, a crime punishable by death in Bangladesh, and will likely be put on trial by the end of the month, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
In a court session on Tuesday in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, a state-appointed judge ruled that the government’s case against Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury could proceed to trial and that the hearings would commence within 15 days.
As editor of The Weekly Blitz, an English-language newspaper published in Dhaka, Choudhury aroused the ire of Bangladeshi authorities after he printed articles favorable to Israel and critical of Muslim extremism.
Bangladesh does not recognize Israel’s existence and refuses to establish diplomatic relations with the Jewish state.
In November 2003, Choudhury was arrested at Dhaka’s international airport just prior to boarding a flight on his way to Israel, where he was scheduled to deliver an address on promoting understanding between Muslims and Jews. His visit to Israel would have been the first by a Bangladeshi journalist.
Choudhury was charged with sedition, held in prison for 17 months and was reportedly tortured before being freed in April 2005. But the authorities in Bangladesh, which is ruled by a coalition government that includes Islamic extremists, decided to continue pursuing charges against him. . . .
In a May 20, 2005 opinion piece published in the Post, Choudhury wrote: “As a journalist, I counteracted the biased ‘news’ that promoted hatred of Israel and Jews, condemned terrorism, promoted the free exchange of ideas and urged Bangladesh to recognize Israel.”
Describing the moments immediately before his 2003 arrest, he wrote: “Though physically still in Dhaka, my heart ached to kiss Israel’s holy soil.”
Hmmm . . . Sound like a “Religion of Peace” to you? This guy, Choudhury, is a Muslim hero. But predictably, the fake “moderate” Muslims in the U.S. are completely silent about Choudhury’s plight because they aren’t, in fact, moderate at all and support this extremism.
Read the rest. Visit Free Choudhury. Choudhury can be e-mailed here, here, or here. Visit Michael’s insightful blog.
Tags: Bangladesh, Choudhury, Dhaka, Dhaka's international airport, Israel, journalist, Michael, United States