Saturday, February 28, 2009

Genocide in the Making -- and the World is Silent

For over thirty years, Islamist radicals have been engaging in a systematic program of ethnic cleansing in Bangladesh. When they began, Hindus accounted for somewhat less than one in five Bangladeshis; today they are fewer that one in ten. Professor Sachi Dastidar of SUNY has estimated that the number of "lost" Hindus (that is, those murdered and those never born as a result of the ethnic cleansing) could be as high as 35 million!

Nor is it only the radicals who are culpable. The first partner in crime is the succession of governments in Bangladesh. It did not matter if they were right of center, left of center, a dictatorship, civilian or military. Every one of them maintained a blatantly racist law that has been a cornerstone in the Islamist plan: The Vested Property Act.

Imagine if the United States had a law allowing the government to seize the land of non-Christians and distribute it to Christians of their choice. Imagine the outcry not only from Americans (Christians and non-Christians alike), but from around the world. Every NGO; every country on earth; every blogger on the internet would scream "Racism!" And they would be right. While the US has no such law, Bangladesh does, except it seizes the land of non-Muslims and gives it to Muslims close to whichever political party is in power (including the currently ruling Awami League). It has been on the books for 34 years, and there is no effort to repeal it; even though several otherwise cautious Bangladeshi officials have admitted that "it is racist and must be repealed."

But that brings us to the second partner in crime: the rest of us. For 34 years, self-styled champions of human rights have been silent. Amnesty International's web site devotes several articles to Guantanamo but not a single one to this openly racist and jihadist law. The UN, too, has been silent. As its "Durban II" conference opens, millions will be victimized by this legalized form of ethnic cleansing in Bangladesh; this proudly announced form of racism.

And we know--we know with biblical certainty--that the racists who are running Durban II will not even mention this terrible atrocity whose victims will one day dwarf in number those in Darfur, Rwanda, and elsewhere if this is not stopped. And the UN, Amnesty International, and the rest of the world will wring their hands, cry over the victims, and wonder how such a thing could have happened!

Labels: , , , , , ,

Sunday, February 22, 2009

New Bangladeshis' True Colors: Anti-Radical Muslim Attacked

Dhaka, Bangladesh (Feb. 22, 2009)—At 10am today, local time, internationally-acclaimed journalist Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, was attacked as he was working in the office of his newspaper, Weekly Blitz, by “a gang of thugs” from Bangladesh’s ruling Awami League. I spoke by telephone with Choudhury as he awaited medical treatment for eye, neck, and other injuries suffered in the attack. The renewed violence marks the first against him since he was abducted by Bangladesh’s dreaded Rapid Action Battalion a year ago. After Choudhury was released unharmed, the military was able to assure that he was not attacked--until today under the auspices of the self-styled "moderate" politicians in charge.

A large group stormed Blitz premises and attacked newspaper staff until they found Choudhury. At that point, he said, “they dragged me [and two staff] into the street” where they beat them “in broad daylight…looted my office and stole my laptop” with “all my sensitive information." According to another reliable source, the attackers held Choudhury at gunpoint. As of this writing, they continue to occupy the Blitz office.

According to Choudhury, the police were impassive and seemed intimidated when the attackers emphasized their party membership and accused him of being an agent of the Israeli Mossad. They later threatened to attack his home should Choudhury go to the police again.

Choudhury was arrested in 2003 by government agents, in cooperation with Islamist forces, because of his advocacy of relations with Israel and religious equality, and his articles exposing the rise of radical Islam in Bangladesh. He was tortured and held for seventeen months and only released after strong pressure by human rights activist Dr. Richard Benkin and US Congressman Mark Kirk (R-IL). In 2007, the US Congress passed a Kirk-introduced resolution 409-1 calling on Bangladesh to stop harassing Choudhury and drop capital charges against him after extensive evidence confirmed them to be false, contrary to Bangladeshi law, and as admitted by successive Bangladeshi officials, maintained only to appease Islamists. The Bangladeshi government continues to remain in defiance of that resolution and its provisions.

In December, Bangladesh elected a new left of center government that had promised to make a clean break from Bangladesh's corrupt past, end oppression of minorities, and stop harassment of dissidents and journalists. Thus far, its actions have been contrary to those promises. Leftist apparatchik, meanwhile, in many cases at the behest of pro-communist Shahriar Kabir, are leading a violent effort to silence Shoaib Choudhury and other rights activists who are not part of their anti-US and anti-religious cadre.

Individuals are urged to phone their representatives in the US Congress and inform them of the attack and of their outrage that Bangladesh continues to spurn House Resolution 64 and instead side with radical Islamists and anti-US communists. They also can contact Dr. Richard Benkin through this blog or at

Sunday, February 15, 2009

“The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in the stars but in ourselves.”

When historians look back on our era and wonder how a relatively small group of Islamist radicals controlled the international agenda for great countries across the globe, they will ask why we failed to heed those words that William Shakespeare wrote four centuries earlier. Last week in Kolkata, India, police arrested the editor and publisher of the city’s most prestigious English-language daily for “hurting the religious feelings” of Muslims. That’s right, we now live in an age where the state can muzzle press freedom because the newspaper hurt someone’s feelings. Ravindra Kumar and Anand Sinha of The Statesman were hauled before a judge on February 11 and charged under Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code which outlaws “deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings.” The law is unclear, as one might imagine when it comes to specific and objective criteria for determining one’s intentions. It appears that Section 295A trusts this Solomon-like task to whichever bureaucrat happens to take a fancy to pursuing a case.

The Statesman’s offending action took place on February 5 when it reprinted an article that began, “The right to criticise religion is being slowly doused in acid.” Its thesis is that criticizing religion is essentially different from criticizing other ideas because its evidence is faith, which is neither verifiable nor replicable; and religion gets special treatment that erodes essential and hard-won freedoms. He cites the changed role of the United Nations Rapporteur on Human Rights who “has always been tasked with exposing and shaming those who prevent free speech.” But the UN Human Rights Council has charged the role to identifying “‘abuses of free expression’ including ‘defamation of religions and prophets’….Instead of condemning the people who wanted to murder Salman Rushdie, they will be condemning Salman Rushdie himself.”

The article’s motley collection of ideas is within the tradition of the anti-religious European left. Were it not, action of the UN Human Rights Council would have come as no surprise. No doubt, the author was not one of those people outraged by the Jew-hating fest that was the Council’s Durban Conference. He offers ideas with which I agree and those with which I disagree. And that is his point: that our reaction to words should determine their legality. But it is not mine.

The Indian government did not act because these words were particularly heinous. It has remained passive in the face of far worse. For instance, it took no action against the Mumbai publisher of “The Jewish Fifth Column in India” or against those responsible for bringing India the anti-Jewish forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The government acted in this case because Muslims made it an issue and orchestrated several days of riots—which subsided as soon as Kumar and Sinha were arrested. It did the same thing during when a paper published the famous Mohammed cartoons. It is part of successive Indian governments’ policies of appeasement and what nationalists call pseudo secularism. That refers to the fact that India is supposed to be a secular nation but out of fear places Islam in a privileged position; hence, pseudo secularism.

India is not alone in stifling free expression for fear of upsetting Muslims. When Toronto demonstrators attacked Jewish students and yelled that “Hitler should have finished the job [and killed all the Jews],” police told the Jewish students to disperse, and Canada’s “Human Rights Commission” refused to entertain their complaints. Other, mostly leftist, governments, too, are undermining their principles of free expression to appease growing Islamic populations and their countries of origin. Moreover, they are taking these actions when these populations take to the streets because, they say, they are upset. That is the very moment when doing so is most dangerous; when appeasement in 2009 could have the same consequences it did in 1937. For if history has taught us anything, it is that rewarding bad behavior produces, not peace, but only more bad behavior.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Are my Sources better than CNN's?

My news sources must be so much better than CNN’s and others’ because I keep coming across things that they do not have. The most recent item was the death of an Islamic clergyman this week in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. Moulana Hafez Hamidullah passed away quietly at his residence at the age of 63. He was an influential member of the Bangladesh Khelafat Andolan (BKA), a religious and political association of fundamentalist Muslims, very prominent Islamic clergyman, and Vice Principal of a madrassa. Despite the media’s seeming obsession with Islam, there was no mention of Hamidullah’s passing anywhere.

Yet, this very religious Muslim cleric was consistently outspoken in condemning “all forms of militancy in the name of religion.” He preached interfaith harmony based on mutual respect and was (along with the BKA) outspoken defenders of Bangladesh’s “Muslim Zionist,” Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, who was arrested and tortured after exposing the rise of radical Islam in his country and urging relations with Israel, continues to publish Bangladesh’s only openly Zionist newspaper. The BKA also joins with Choudhury in urging an end to Bangladesh’s prohibition on travel to Israel and in promoting relations with the Jewish State.

While I never met Hamidullah, Choudhury and I met with two of his colleagues in Dhaka in 2007. The first part of our hours-long meeting was rather tense and focused on our profound differences, especially about Israel and the United States’ role in fighting Islamist terror. Although we remained at odds on many points even after our uncensored interfaith dialogue, as I remarked, “Well, we’re not throwing bombs at each other, are we.” We thus “agreed to disagree” and actually found several shared values. Thus followed a warm relationship marked by rigorous honesty and mutual respect. They even published a statement that “neither the Zionists nor the Americans are the real enemy of the Believers and the Muslims.”

Yet prominent media and organizations do not even mention these or other Muslims who have stood against terrorism carried out in their name. For if they did their agenda of what Judea Pearl called “normalization of evil” fails. Like President Obama’s pledge to speak respectfully with Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, who espouses goals that are contrary to the principles of freedom and justice for which people have struggled for centuries; that agenda is premised on accepting those goals as a reality we must acknowledge. It is the same philosophy that attempts to turn Hamas into a legitimate player in the Middle East. Those who push dialogue with the world’s Ahmedinejads have, by doing so, turned any war on Islamist extremism into a war on Islam itself by incorrectly accepting extremism as basic to Islam. The existence of Muslims—especially highly religious Muslims—who are fighting that extremism, upsets their ideological apple cart.

So, is it the media’s and their political cronies’ ideological agenda; or does my unfunded, one-man operation just have far more extensive news resources than CNN, the networks, AP, and everyone else put together?

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Victory over Anti-Semitism!

An anti-Israel conference scheduled for an Australian government building was canceled after a several individuals revealed its leader’s anti-Semitic motives. Maqsood Alshams, an illegal immigrant from Bangladesh, planned the conference to debate charging Israel with war crimes for its recent actions in Gaza. Alshams has become known Down Under as a “human rights” advocate, his stated context for relentless anti-Israel venom. On December 30, he circulated an email, calling Israel’s defensive war a “crime against humanity” and demanding international intervention to “stop the Israeli carnage.” In an email response, I asked Alshams why he did not call for “international intervention when Palestinians--and Hamas in particular--thanked Israel for leaving Gaza by making it a terrorist base to lob missiles onto civilian populations in Southern Israel?”

Alshams replied, “The simple answer is that you the Jews are real motherf***ing bast*rds.” He claimed the Mossad abused him in Turkey’s “Jewish Consulate” and told me to “keep your dirty mouth shut calling any Bangladeshi a brother, you guys are simply as*h*les….keep your dirty mouth shut…I wonder why God himself (sic) hate the Jews…” Now Alshams did not share these sentiments with the larger group as it would sully his carefully crafted image and reveal his actual motives; so I did.

I also asked Bangladeshi journalist, Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, to investigate Alshams’ claims of being a persecuted journalist in need of asylum, which many Australians believed. Choudhury found no one at the National Press Club who knew of Alshams or could verify that he “ever worked with any newspaper here.” He did, however, find a connection between Alshams and the radical Jammat e-Islami. Choudhury, the Bangladeshi Alshams told me not to call brother, was imprisoned and tortured for writing pro-Israel, anti-Islamist articles. While I led the campaign that freed him, Alshams and his ilk did nothing. So when he emerged from the hell of that confinement, it Choudhury who said, “When my own people abandoned me, my Jewish brother protected me, stood with me.”

Anna Berger is a child of Holocaust survivors, outraged by Alshams anti-Jewish tirade and again when he called Israel’s actions worse than the Nazis’. We exposed him to others, including the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies. Soon, the Sydney Morning Herald, one of Australia’s largest newspapers, picked up the story. They verified my accusations, and I sent them Alshams’ damning email. The next day, it ran the story exposing Alshams. He first defended the hate-speech as private then claimed “I have many Jewish friends.” When he saw that no one was buying his “some of my best friends” defence, he blamed his tirade on being “intoxicated and angry.” While that might explain Alshams’ bad judgement in revealing his motives, it would not explain away the motives themselves. Conference participants distanced themselves from him, and the conference was cancelled. The revelations spoiled its public façade of being s fair debate engaged of the purest of motives.

Israel’s enemies have successfully—and fallaciously—appropriated the human rights high ground. Talking heads in academia, the media, and government have allowed them to engage in the worst sort of illogic and bigotry by adopting their version of history and morality. No hyperbole is out of bounds for them. They compare Israelis to Nazis and Palestinians to Jewish holocaust victims, though there is no similarity between the two. They have so terribly skewed the ideological playing field that Hamas can use Arab civilians as human shields then accuse Israel of human rights violations when those civilians become casualties of war. This incident exposed the Israel-bashers’ real motivations by stripping away its cynical use of human rights language.

This lesson must not be lost. We were just a group of individuals--no different from so many other people on just about every continent--who encounter the hate-filled and often genocidal words of the Israel-hating crowd. But how often are people silent? More to the point, how often do people take their outrage to lengths that expose the truth of so many in the anti-Israel crowd? And so many of them would do so if the hatred was about any group other than their own. Good for them, but not good for us. Those who engage in honest debate and dialogue are welcome to join verbal battle with us. As my fundamentalist Islamic friend and brother say, we "agree to disagree." And because of that, Bangladeshi Kazi Azizul Haq and I have found many points on which we do agree.

But those who cloak genocidal aims in false human rights language must be exposed for who and what they are and for the danger they represent. The media does not do it, so we must.

Labels: , , , ,