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And They Wish To Shut Our Voice

By Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

27 April, 2007

Intolerant are the Islamist radicals. They don’t want anyone to raise voice and say -enough to the increasing trend of spreading religious hatred and provoking people with the false interpretations of Koran, saying “Jews and Christians are your enemies, go for jihad (holy war) against them”. When the Islamofascist clerics openly give sermons saying, “O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people”, Islamic scholars like Imam Sheikh Abdul Haadi Palazzi, terming the interpretation of this verse of Koran said, “This quotation is based on a false translation, since the word "Awliya'", does not mean "friends", but rather "tutors". A correct translation is "O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for tutors. They are respectively tutors to each other. And whoso among you takes them for tutors is indeed one of them. Verily Allah guides not the unjust people".

The verse refers to a time when Islam was developing, and is an appeal to avoid considering it as a sort of sub-sect depending on Judaism or Christianity. "Do not take as tutors" means "Do not depend on them for your understanding of religion, for guidance in theology and ethics, etc." Apart from this, Islam surely does not forbid friendship between Muslims and non-Muslims, to the point that a Muslim man can take a Jewish or a Christian woman as his wife and mother of his children.

The Qur'an describes marriage as a relation of "intimate love and mercy" and explains that this same relation can actually exist between a Muslim man and a Jewish or Christian woman. Were ordinary friendship with Jews and Christians forbidden, the Qur'an itself could never permit a relation of "intimate love and mercy" with those with whom friendship is not permissible.”

Certainly there are thousands of hidden axes of the Islamist radicals, waiting to execute voices like Imam Palazzi at the first chance, because, if such noble message will get spread, possibly in a very near future, blood-monger Islamofascists will not find any more innocent pray to fall into their traps of so-called holy war.

This had been quite a regular experience for me and my family since 2003, when for the first time, I wrote in my own newspaper, Weekly Blitz, about how the jihadist were being bred in madrassas and kindergarten madrassas. We wrote that, cadres for the militant organizations have been recruited from the thousands of madrassahs (Islamic schools), that have mushroomed throughout the country. Many are located along the Indian border in the west and north, where young radicals from both countries are taught the virtues of orthodox Islam. Funding for the madrassas comes from donations from local communities and international Islamic charities, such as the Saudi Arabia based and immensely wealthy Rabitat Al Alam Al Islami.

The madrassas fill an important function in a country where basic education is available only to a few, especially in the impoverished countryside, but, as Bangladeshi journalist Salahuddin Babar said: "Once the students graduate from the madrassas, they either join mosques as imams or similar religious-related jobs. There are hundreds of thousands of mosques, so there is employment in that field. But they find it difficult to get employment in secular institutions. Certain quarters grab this opportunity to brainwash them, make them into religious fanatics rather than modern Muslims."

A retired civil servant has called the madrassahs a "potential political time bomb". According to latest estimates, there are at least 64,000 in Bangladesh, most of which are beyond any form of governmental control or supervision. Moderate Muslims note that the Taliban was born in similar madrassahs in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province and in Afghan refugee camps, where they promoted a new radical and extremely militant model for 'Islamic revolutions'.

Evil forces became active in suffocating my voice by bringing extremely ridiculous false sedition, treason and blasphemy charges. To justify their notoriety, they said, “By praising the Jews and Christians, by demanding relations between Bangladesh and Israel and by forecasting the so-called rise of Islamist militancy in this country” I have tarnished the image of Bangladesh in the international arena. Almost each month, I have to face a radical inclined judge in Dhaka, who has the absolute power to award me capital punishment for my ‘crime’ mentioned above. Only during 2006, they tried twice to kill me, while each of the moment, my family and I live in extreme danger.

Radical Islamist leader, Noor Hussain Noorani, personally threatened my life terming me as an ‘agent of Ahmedias’. Noorani heads the radical Khatmey Nabuat Movement (KNM), which clashed with police several times when it tried to attack the Ahmadi prayer services in Bangladesh. The Ahmadi are a Muslim group that has angered fundamentalists by its belief that Muhammed was not the final prophet, and for their belief in the crucifixion of Jesus. KNM and others have been demanding that the government declare the Ahamadi non-Muslim. They are allied with various Muslim extremist groups in pressing that agenda and the imposition of Sharia (Muslim law) throughout all of Bangladesh. The reason behind Noorani’s anger was publication of a number of articles and editorials in Weekly Blitz exposing the nasty attack on the Ahmedia community by Islamofascists. Although, these threats were not new to me. Wgen I was arrested on 29th November 2003 and sent to prison, some of the prisoners, who were considered to be fans of Saddam Hussain or Ossama Bin Laden tried to physically assault me or even kill right inside the prison. They were instigated by several notorious elements in doing this.

Some of my friends abroad several times suggested me to leave Bangladesh and take asylum abroad. But, to me, there is no dignity or honor in retreating from my mission of peace. I know for sure, if I will retreat from this very ‘battle field’, which is filled with religious fanatics or abandon my mission, anyone else might think twice before raising a strong voice to say no to jihad.

Thanks to my Jewish brother Dr. Richard Benkin, thanks to US Congressman Mark Steven Kirk and Nita Lowey, thanks to European Parliament, thanks to Senator Ursula Stephens and many more esteemed people and my friends, admirers and supporters around the world, who are kindly putting their extremely important support to my mission. Although such substantial international concerns are yet to raise the Bangladesh authorities from their state of virtual demise in fear of Islamist radicals. The case brought against me possibly stands as witness that, Bangladesh at least does not deserve to claim as a moderate Muslim nation.

Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is the Publisher & Editor of Weekly Blitz published from Dhaka, Bangladesh. Internet edition of this newspaper is available on

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