I don’t know that it will help his case if Jews attempt to help Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, editor of the Weekly Blitz newspaper, but people should ask their representatives here in the US to press our State Department and Administration to try to prevent a negative outcome of his pending trial.
The Jerusalem Post reports:
Bangladesh is moving forward with plans to try Choudhury on charges of blasphemy, sedition, treason and espionage in connection with his articles critical of Islamic extremism and favorable to Israel.
After several delays, his trial is due to start in Dhaka on Thursday. If convicted, Choudhury faces the death penalty.
The charges stem from November 2003, when Choudhury was arrested at Dhaka’s International Airport as he was preparing to board a flight on his way to Israel, where he was due to deliver a speech on promoting mutual understanding between Muslims and Jews.
Choudhury’s visit to Israel would have been the first by a Bangladeshi journalist. Bangladesh does not recognize Israel’s existence.
After being held in prison for 17 months, where he was reportedly tortured, Choudhury was released in April 2005.
The article is about how a crowd entered his offices and beat him harshly. Among the crowd were some senior Bangladeshi politicians in the government. Clearly this is a brave man fighting for moderation, peace and understanding against a leadership that prefers hostility and extremism. Mr. Choudhury represents the Muslims who could be the partners to Israel and to Jews in finding compromise and peace. His treatment is shameful, but far more worrisome, it appears to be dangerous to him…and his simple but laudable idea that he can actually talk and interact with Israelis.
Turns out we’ve covered this story before when ck questioned Bangladesh’s right to exist.