Sunday, June 21, 2009

Did an anti-Hindu pogrom occur in Bangladesh?

Throughout May, numerous reports coming out of Bangladesh told of a chilling attack on Hindus in an area of the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka known as Sutrapur. Several human rights groups and small Bangladeshi papers wrote that the community of perhaps 400 Hindu Dalits (more familiarly "Untouchables") was engaged in its daily routine when "hundreds" of Muslims stormed the area, accompanied by police. They started abusing residents, according to the reports, and demanded that they quite the area, leaving the coveted land to the attackers. Several informants claim that the police stood by while residents were beaten, houses sacked and in at least three cases burned to the ground, and a Hindu temple to the god, Shiva, was destroyed. They also claim that the police cited Bangladesh's anti-minority (and especially anti-Hindu) Vested Property Act as the legal basis for evicting the families, who have resided in the area for about 150 years, paying taxes and utilities.

Others, however, claim that "nothing happened," and that the police said there was no temple destroyed "just a few deities." The police refused to investigate the matter at first but eventually relented.

What we have confirmed is that there were at least three attacks on the community on 30 March, 16 April, and 29 April. A good deal of the land was seized by attackers who claim that the land was forfeit to Muslims under the Vested Property Act, a claim supported by Dhaka police. At least a dozen Hindu families remain homeless. There are a number of other facts alleged, which I am continuing to investigate.

One fact remains clear, however: none of the bodies which shouldbe publicizing and investigating the matter has said anything, save for a few mentions in various Bangladeshi newspapers. While some have tried to justify the attack as nothing more than a "land dispute," that denial is even more damning as apologists for the current government in Dhaka seem to think it a proper way to resolve civil disputes!

Anyone who has verifiable information about these incidents or the current status of the victims, possession of the land, or the police investigation, is urged to contact me immediately through this blog, FACEBOOK, or at By doing so, you will be helping to uncover the ongoing cover-up of the ethnic cleansing of Bangladeshi Hindus.

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Truth WILL set us Free

In January, I helped force an anti-Israel conference to be canceled in Australia. As so many anti-Israel events are, this one too was cloaked in the language of human rights. In fact, the conference organizer, Maqsood Alshams, was known as a human rights activist Down Under, and the conference was to "debate" charging Israel with war crimes for the Gaza War.

A few days before it was to begin, however, the conference organizer made some blatantly anti-Semitic remarks and used them--not human rights--to explain his rationale for the conference. With the help of several Australians, we exposed him. (Now, to be sure, that faux human rights language is more times than not a fig leaf for anti-Semitism, which we exposed in this case. But it was not the rabid Israel haters (and Jew haters) who were the key. If anything, they would have cheered Alshams' remarks. The key was the academic institutions and liberal participants, including Jews who justified their participation by "compassion for the Palestinians.

Even after Alshams' anti-Semitism was exposed in one of Australia's most widely-read dailies, they were not planning to pull out of the conference. It took another day of emphasizing the poison that was the rationale for the conference before they did. "I don't want to confuse the Palestinian issues that I care about with any form of racism or anti-Semitism," said one of the academics, explaining his pullout. "As a Jew who condemns anti-Semitism I though it would be inappropriate to engage in a debate in that kind of environment," said another.

And that's the key. Regardless of how chic it has become in those circles to be anti-Israel, it is still difficult for participants to associate themselves with open and blatant "racism or anti-Semitism." As the Australian conference is far from unique (we have seen recent examples of the same in Canada, for instance), Israel's supporters world wide should be vigilant and ready to act in similar situations. It is not all that difficult if we (1) have truth and justice on our side; (2) are active in smoking out these things; and (3) have an organized effort ready to act whenever we do.

The elements are all there, too, and I offer to work with anyone who wants to see the same results we gained in Australia this January.

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Thursday, June 04, 2009

Pro-Peace Muslim threatened the day President Obama speaks to the Muslim world of peace

CONTACT: Richard L. Benkin, Ph.D.; +1-847-922-6426;;

Dhaka, Bangladesh—The Bangladeshi government resumed its harassment of pro-peace journalist Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, despite repeated promises not to. Intelligence agents have been staking out his house “past few days,” according to neighbors; and the family cornered a man insisting that he was from Bangladesh’s DGFI intelligence service. “Sergeant Rafiq” was ask when Choudhury left and returned home, his license plate, and so forth. Choudhury called numerous government agencies, but only one replied, denying it had sent anyone. With crimes by persons claiming to be from the government increasing daily in Bangladesh, the family was concerned. Ultimately, however, the agent admitted being charged with investigating five dissidents, including Choudhury. Bangladeshi’s Washington Embassy agreed that our concern was especially justified Choudhury’s tenuous position. Such visits often are meant as threats in Bangladesh. As of tonight, the police refuse to take any action in the matter or even accept Choudhury’s complaint.

The Muslim world’s only self-proclaimed Zionist, Choudhury was arrested in 2003 by government agents and Islamist forces after advocating relations with Israel, religious equality, and 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). The government then charged Choudhury with the capital offenses of sedition, treason, and blasphemy “for praising Christians and Jews,” regularly admitting that the charges are baseless and maintained to appease radical Islamists. Though the government has not produce a single piece of evidence for the charges, and its sole witness keeps refusing to appear, the government continues the case in an effort to intimidate him into Choudhury and to drain his financial resources. As one DC insider put it, “They’ve made the process the punishment.”

The life of this courageous dissident journalist is in danger unless the world renews the protests it lodged during previous governments.

For further information, contact Dr. Richard Benkin at the telephone or email above.

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