On July 7, 2010, Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, publisher of the anti-Islamist newspaper the Weekly Blitz, strode into court in Bangladesh. He was there to argue his case; this was his 150th appearance in court. He is charged with blasphemy, treason, and sedition for attempting to fly from the Zia International Airport in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka, to Tel Aviv, Israel, to attend a peace conference in 2003. Choudhury is a self-proclaimed Muslim Zionist and is ardently pro-American. He is a true Muslim moderate. For his courage, he has been beaten by a Muslim mob, including Bangladeshi police officers, robbed, imprisoned and prosecuted.
The government threw Choudhury into jail for 17 months, deprived him of medical treatment, and tortured him. Only after the United States House of Representatives passed a near-unanimous resolution calling on Bangladesh to drop all charges against Choudhury did the government release Choudhury -- without dropping the charges.
Dr. Richard Benkin, an American Jewish international rights activist who helped secure the House resolution, approached countless congressmen and senators about Choudhury's plight. He encountered only one representative who was utterly apathetic about the situation. "Who was the one lawmaker that took a pass on saving the life of an imprisoned U.S. ally and opponent of Islamic extremism?" Benkin later wrote. "That's right, my own Illinois Senator Barack Hussein Obama."
There's a reason President Obama is uninterested in the Choudhury case: Choudhury represents the true face of moderate Islam. He doesn't shilly-shally on terrorism -- he condemns it. He doesn't waver on Sharia law -- he opposes it. He doesn't support the jihad against Israel -- he stands with Israel. That isn't the kind of Muslim Barack Obama likes. He's more fond of the two-faced Muslims who pretend to oppose terror while secretly aiding and abetting it. He likes Muslims who seek Israel's destruction while babbling about apartheid. Choudhury is an unpleasant inconvenience for Obama: He tells the truth about the nature of political Islam and offers a realistic way forward. Obama prefers to live in Cloud Cuckoo Land where radicals are moderates and moderates are outcasts.
I had the opportunity to speak with Choudhury this week from his offices in Bangladesh. "Only a small segment of the Muslim population is inclined to political Islam," he reassured me. "Unfortunately," he continued, "they are those in power and policymaking positions." What's worse, he said, "those supporters or preachers of political Islam are extremely loud. They have the media and they use them as tools in brainwashing people."
The biggest problem for the West, Choudhury stated, was that we have "failed to identify and support the moderate Muslims. You will see, in most cases, true moderate Muslims are either ignored or abandoned both by Western policymakers and the so-called mainstream media." By refusing to acknowledge true moderate Muslims, the West ends up catering to political Islamists. "You cannot, for example, speak against jihad and terrorism on one hand, and send secret envoys to terror outfits like Hamas with the hope of establishing hidden relations," Choudhury told me. "Western nations should ... handle Muslim nations, which are under the leadership of political Islamists, in a tougher manner. None of the Muslim nations giving refuge or shelter to jihad or Islamist militancy deserve any right to gain economic benefit from the West from export trade."
Choudhury goes even further. As a practicing Muslim, he recognizes the conflict between the Koranic text and the modern world. Unlike President Obama, he refuses to gloss over that conflict. "Political Islam should definitely be rejected by the Muslims," Choudhury explained. "The Koran should not be a guiding book for any Muslim nation. This is the best way to put aside the Koran, which is a highly political text. Islamic political parties and Islamist politics should be banned in every Muslim nation."
Choudhury even puts the lie to Obama's pathetic belief that Islam requires hatred of Israel "Religious Islam surely can accept the existence of the State of Israel," Choudhury said. "The obstacle in relations between Muslim nations and Israel is again political Islam. Israel is the land for the Jews. No good Muslim will ever ignore this."
Ironically enough, by being a true moderate Muslim, Choudhury makes multicultural liberals like President Obama uncomfortable. He presents them with a stark reality: that the leadership with which he would prefer to deal is in fact immoderate and radical. Choudhury sets a standard for Muslims that Obama would prefer did not exist.
Obama will not support Choudhury in any real way. That shows how important Choudhury is. We must identify and support the true moderate Muslims like Choudhury -- and that entails rejecting false suggestions that anti-Israel, pro-Sharia Muslims are moderate. They are not. We can never make peace with them. Only if Islam embraces the ideas and ideology and religious philosophy of Choudhury will the West ever be able to live in peace.
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