by Vijeta Singh
It’s not about molesting a girl in the slim corridor of a moving train. It’s also not about gangrape of a college student inside a bus. Absolutely it’s not about hard-rock or heavy metals or any rock n roll music. It not about strip dance or nude show or even beyond. It’s all about our lives – our fear and concerns, which makes us scream almost every now and then. It’s a real-life-story of an individual – better call him a hero, who is not in any less pains and ordeals than those innocent people pushed inside Hitler’s concentration camp. And I feel terribly ashamed seeing this hero is being totally ignored or abandoned by the so-called civilized societies and powerful people for years. When my eyes got struck – first into the online edition of Weekly Blitz and then into several opeds on the horrifying ordeals and sufferings of a man named – Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury – a forgotten hero of our time.
I spent few hours, surfing on the internet to know more about this man. From Wikipedia to some old files of Gatestone Institute, from New York Times to Wall Street Journal – from US Congress website to the Washington Times. What I learnt in my own research is, Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, award winning anti-militancy journalist has been languishing in the prison since 2012 in Bangladesh, serving rigorous imprisonment in sedition, treason and blasphemy case for denouncing anti-Semitism, confronting radical Islam and jihad, promoting interfaith harmony, and for standing against Holocaust denial.
He received ‘Freedom to Write Award’ from PEN-USA in 2005; ‘Moral Courage Award’ from American Jewish Committee in 2006; ‘Monaco Media Award’ from HRH Prince Albert – II of Monaco in 2007, and many other awards internationally. He has authored many books and is the only Bangladeshi journalist whose book was translated in Italian (Non Sono Colpevole) and published by Neftasia, Italy.
United States Congress in 2007 passed a bi-partisan resolution (HR-64) in his defence, which has been completely disrespected, dishonoured and ignored by the Bangladesh authorities.
Mr. Choudhury is enduring extreme sufferings at a time when the entire world is united against radical Islam and militancy. From President Donald Trump to Prime Minister Theresa May – from President Vladimir Putin to HRH King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud - everyone is expressing firm determination of eliminating radical Islamic terrorism from the face of earth. But unfortunately, Bangladesh authorities are possibly giving an audacious and extremely alarming message of it’s unwillingness in genuinely fighting militancy. Otherwise -they won’t keep Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury in jail for years. Someone told me, Bangladesh government too are against militancy but not against anti-Semitism. I actually doubt – they aren’t against militancy or radical Islam. Rather they are behaving as cohorts or patrons of radical Islam, jihad and anti-Semitism.
I would definitely like to draw the attention of President Donald Trump and HRH King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in particular as well as of the esteemed members of the United States Congress, British House of Commons, Australian Senate, Canadian Parliament, USCIRF, PEN, CPJ, RSF, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, retired General Jim Mattis, Reince Priebus, Nikki Haley, Sean Spicer, Kellyanne Conway, David Friedman, Nina K Rosenwald (Gatestone Institute), Rebecca Chatham, Nicole Simon, David Harris (American Jewish Committee), Naomi Ragen and others to this important matter. Can we tell the Bangladesh authorities to stop this nonsense and immediately release Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, please?