Monday, March 10, 2008

Salah Choudhury back in Bangladeshi court

From Naomi Ragen -

March 12, 2008
On March 12, Salah Choudhury, the brave Bangladeshi journalist who calls himself a Muslim Zionist, will be forced to return to court to face the trumped up charges brought against him by the Bangladeshi government. His crime: attempting to attend a conference in Israel (read the charges below and weep.) For this, he faces a potential death penalty for treason and sedition! I have met Mr. Choudhury and he is an amazing human being who has bravely resisted attempts to silence him from speaking out about Muslim anti-Semitism in his native land. He is now in real physical danger should this turn into a show trial. Please alert your Congressmen and Senators (nothing better than an election year) and ask that they closely monitor this trial and that they do whatever they can to see the charges against Salah are dismissed. If you don't know how to contact your Senator or Congressman, it is easy to simply google their name and get that information. [ DBA - Here's an easier way] Please send Salah a message of support.

From: Salah Choudhury
Sent: 10 March, 2008 7:49 PM
March 12th may be an ordinary day for most of my friends and supporters around the world, whose support, patronization and prayers kept me alive till today despite the fact of continuous state repression and harassment. But, for my family and me, it is another day of unknown horror. It is the day when Bangladeshi court is willing to begin trial of the false sedition, treason and blasphemy charges previous Islamist alliance government in Bangladesh brought against me. Why? According to the charges [the court said]:

Metro Session Court Case Number 377/05
Date of Charge Framed: 13.11.2006
I, Md. Momin Ullah, Metropolitan Session Judge do here by accuse you Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury for the following reasons:

The State Prosecution has brought allegation against you, Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury stating that, being the editor and owner of Blitz newspaper, you sent an article titled 'Hello Tel Aviv' to USA Today newspaper published from Washington. Furthermore, in 2003, while attempting to travel to Israel to attend a conference titled 'Education Towards Culture of Peace, organized between 1st December to 3rd December 2003, you appeared at the Zia International Airport on the 29th November 2003 and the Immigration police arrested you and found the copy of the speech you prepared to deliver in the conference. In that speech, you have made offensive comments on Muslim world, Islam and Muslims in Bangladesh and commented about existence of Al Qaeda and other Islamist militant groups, by which you have tarnished the image of Bangladesh in the outside world. Furthermore, you have made conspiracy of spreading anti-state news through that speech and you by sending that speech to outside world, you have played offensive role to Bangladesh's security, public discipline and adverse role towards Bangladesh's relations with the outside world. In you report, you have mentioned about guerilla training in the Bangladeshi madrassas, by which you have influenced the religious sentiments and made imaginary stories abroad about jihadist training in favor of Laden, Arafat and Saddam, by which you have put Bangladesh's foreign relations to threat and through this you have caused offense under Penal Code Section 505 (A), 295 (A) and 120 (B).
The allegations were read before the accused and he claimed to be innocent (not guilty) and prayed for justice.
Md. Momin Ullah
Metropolitan Session Judge

My response:
It is well known to the international community and even the Bangladeshi government that there are guerilla trainings in various Madrassas in the country. Previous government captured a few hundred such elements from various Madrassas belonging to Islamist terror group named JMB. Kingpins of this group were accorded death penalty by Bangladeshi courts and subsequently they were hanged. But, I am facing the charges of forecasting the existence of such elements in Bangladeshi Madrassas. Why? I have never sent any article titled 'Hello Tel Aviv' nor it was ever printed in any US or international newspaper. This is a bogus and imaginary allegation brought against me by the government. The prosecution does not have any evidence of such allegation. I made comments about existence of Al Qaeda and other Islamist militancy group in Bangladesh. Bangladesh government already banned the activities of Al Haramine Institute [which was having active bases in this country] for their alliance with Al Qaeda.
Moreover, the government has acknowledged the existence of JMB and other Islamist militancy groups like Harkatul Jihad [recently black-listed by the US State Department], Hizb Ut Tahrir. But, the court is continuing charges against me. Ridiculous indeed! How many more years I will have to suffer from this false and
ridiculous charge? I am continuing to spend money and energy in this case since 2003. Is it justice to let an innocent journalist suffer for years, just because he forecasted the rise of radical Islam and confronted it?
Hundreds of hours are already spent in the court premises while I can not figure out the degree of pain and sufferings I have been facing.
What the Bangladeshi government wants? They want to appease the Islamists by continuing the case and even by convicting me. Many of the top policymakers of the governments are angry on me because I am a Zionist and I continuously defend Jews and Christians as well as combat radical Islam. They are also angry on me because I demand relations between Israel and Muslim nations. Please pray for me on 12th of March 2008, when I must be in the court premises to face trial.

Journalist, Columnist, Author & Peace Activist
Editor & Publisher, Weekly Blitz <>
PEN USA Freedom to Write Award 2005; AJC Moral Courage Award 2006
Key to the Englewood City, USA [Highest Honor] 2007; Monaco Media
Award, 2007
I had corresponded with Salah Choudhury shortly before his life-threatening troubles with those who oppose peace with Christians, Jews and Israelis. May our Great Creator God, the God of the Bible, the God of Jacob - bless the man and his family with strength, courage and whatever assistance they need.

David Ben-Ariel

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