Tuesday, October 10, 2006


INFIDEL OF THE DAY: Shoaib Choudhury

Shoaib Choudhury goes on trial Thursday in Bangladesh. The journalist is facing the death penalty for the Sedition Charge. The accusation against him is "praising Christians and Jews." Yes, you read that correctly.

Where is the outrage? Why are our leaders silent? If we are trying to encourage the spread of democratic values in the Islamic world, if we can send our young men and women to fight and die in Iraq for this purpose, why won't the American administration and top Congressional figures speak out loudly and forcefully against this flagrant violation of human rights? Obviously, I have no expectations for any such moral voice coming from Kofi Annan and the United Nations.

One of the terrible crimes Choudhury committed, in the eyes of the Bangladeshi government, was his attempt to attend a conference in Israel in 2003. According to David Harris of the American Jewish Committee, Choudhury has been harassed by the Bangladeshi government, because "he has been a vocal opponent of radical Islam...[Choudhury] denounced the establishment of kindergarten madrassas, where the students have been indoctrinated with Wahhabi teachings promoted by Saudi Arabia that demonize Christians and Jews."

Jerry Gordon of Israpundit cites the research of Dr. Andrew Bostom, author of The Legacy of Jihad, and Jihad Watch's Robert Spencer in explaining that "the sedition charge is based on Koran and Hadith sanctions against dealing with the ‘people of the book.'" Mr. Spencer points to the Koran 5:12-14:

"Allah did aforetime take a covenant from the Children of Israel…But because of their breach of their covenant, We cursed them, and made their hearts grow hard; they change the words from their (right) places and forget a good part of the message that was sent them…From those, too, who call themselves Christians, We did take a covenant, but they forgot a good part of the message that was sent them: so we estranged them, with enmity and hatred between the one and the other, to the day of judgment."

In "praising Christians and Jews," Choudhury is being charged with having "hurt" Islam.

Just to be clear, Bangladesh thinks Choudhury should die because he "praised Christians and Jews." For having the courage to stand up for his values, despite the obvious personal danger he faces for doing so, Shoaib Choudhury is the Infidel of the Day.

Photo: Protesters across from the UN demanding Bangladesh become "a secular, democratic country." Shot by Daily Infidel.

Note: Thanks to Israpundit for making me aware of this important issue.

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