Friday, February 06, 2009 4:55:48 AM

Those anti Semitic people and elements

Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
I am sure; no journalist in Bangladesh ever heard the name of Maqsood Alshams. This man sought political asylum in Australia in 1990 claiming him to be an investigative journalist in Bangladesh and the reason behind asylum petition, Maqsood claimed that his life was in danger in his own country [Bangladesh]. I tried to find out any information on this man from my colleagues and friends in Dhaka press. But, none ever even heard this name. So, it was crystal clear that Maqsood Alshams cooked the story of him being a journalist and in trouble in Bangladesh just with the goal of getting political asylum in Australia. Any human being with minimum sense of dignity will never do so especially in today┤s world of advanced technology as any such information can always be verified by most of the people.

The reason I tried to know the back ground of this man is he sent an email to my Jewish brother Dr. Richard L Benkin on December 31, 2008 stating "The simple answer is that you the Jews are real motherfucker bastards. In 1990 I myself entered in to the Jewish Consulate in Istanbul in Turkey as a law abiding citizen, met two Jewish Diplomats named Hayim Hosen and Eli Lev, I was stripped searched, sexually harassed, personally humiliated by Mohsad agents, you should keep your dirty mouth shut calling any Bangladeshi a brother, you guys are simply assholes. I don┤t want to make this an international issue being secured in Australia. But simply Jews like you are the dirty scums… Stop playing the bloody victim games. You scums need to leave Palestine ASAP and give world a bit of peace… and keep your dirty mouth shut…I wonder why God himself hate the Jews…"

And, I know, my brother, Dr. Benkin more than anyone else. He will never retreat from giving a proper lesson to such nasty elements like Maqsood Alshams. Describing the entire matter, Dr. Benkin wrote in a number of newspapers in the world, where he said, "An anti-Israel conference scheduled to be held in an official Australian state building was canceled after a small group of dedicated individuals revealed the conference leader┤s anti-Semitic motives. Maqsood Alshams, an illegal immigrant from Bangladesh, planned the conference to debate the issue of charging Israel with war crimes for its recent actions in Gaza. Since arriving Down Under in the 1990s, Alshams had become a darling of the Australian left and became known as a "human rights" advocate. It is within that context that spews his relentless anti-Israel venom.

"On December 30, I received one of Alshams┤ emails, which quoted Malaysia┤s Foreign Minister condemning Israel for "disproportionate, indiscriminate and excessive use of force in Gaza and… collective punishment imposed by the Occupying Power on the Palestinian people." The email fell back on the usual illogical set of human rights accusation against the Jewish state, including the allegation that Israel┤s defensive war was a "crime against humanity." There was nothing remarkable about the email, and I normally do not bother responding to them. But this one came from Australia where the anti-Israel propaganda war--largely over in Europe and in its infancy in the "United States—is in full swing. Moreover, email recipients included members of the Australian media who seemed to believe that Alshams┤ pro-Palestinian passion was prompted by nothing more than a morally pure commitment to human rights. So I responded. What I sent was this.

"Why didn┤t these same people cry for ┤international intervention┤ when the Palestinians--and Hamas in particular--thanked Israel for leaving Gaza by making it a terrorist base to lob missiles onto civilian populations in Southern Israel? Where were these same people when Israeli civilians were facing constant rocket attack from Hamas and its allies?"

"What I got back was as much a surprise as it was a gift.

"The simple answer," Alshams wrote, "is that you the Jews are real motherfucker bastards. In 1990 I myself entered in to the Jewish Consulate in Istanbul in Turkey as a law abiding citizen, met two Jewish Diplomats named Hayim Hosen and Eli Lev, I was stripped searched, sexually harassed, personally humiliated by Mohsad agents, you should keep your dirty mouth shut calling any Bangladeshi a brother, you guys are simply assholes. I don┤t want to make this an international issue being secured in Australia. But simply Jews like you are the dirty scums… Stop playing the bloody victim games. You scums need to leave Palestine ASAP and give world a bit of peace… and keep your dirty mouth shut…I wonder why God himself hate the Jews…" (The dots are not of my doing. I have replicated Alshams┤ email exactly as I received it.)

"Not surprisingly, Alshams did not share these sentiments with the larger group; so I did. I also decided to find out more about him. Alshams has convinced Australians that he was a journalist in Bangladesh who had to flee for fear of his life. He alleges that he worked for a paper owned by one powerful party and was threatened by their political opponents. That would suggest he was pretty important. Yet, when Bangladeshi journalist Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury investigated, he found no one who could say if Alshams "ever worked with any newspaper here." He also said that nobody at the National Press Club ever heard of Maqsood Alshams. Choudhury, by the way, is the Bangladeshi who Alshams did not want me to call brother. But when he was imprisoned and tortured for writing pro-US, pro-Israel, and anti-Islamist articles, I led the campaign that freed him. Alshams and his ilk did nothing. So when he emerged from the hell of that confinement, it was Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury who said, "When my own people abandoned me, my Jewish brother protected me, stood with me."

"Another person outraged by Alshams┤ anti-Jewish tirade was Anna Berger, a child of Holocaust survivors and someone with ties to Australia┤s official Jewish community. Alshams particularly irked her when he said Israel┤s actions were worse than those of the Nazis. So she and I got to work letting others know about this. Eventually, she got the information to Vic Alhadeff, CEO of the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies. Similarly incensed, he contacted the Sydney Morning Herald, one of Australia┤s most widely read newspapers, which picked up the story. A Herald reporter called me to verify my accusations, which I did. I also sent him Alshams┤ damning email.

"The jig was up; the masquerade over on January 28 when the Herald ran the story. Reporter Erik Jensen noted that Alshams at first tried to defend the hate-speech as a "private argument." He said he was "not an anti-Semite at all. I have many Jewish friends." Well, when he saw that no one was buying his "some of my best friends" defense, he apologized for what he said, blaming it on being "intoxicated and angry." While Jensen┤s article said that backers were not pulling out of the conference, a follow up piece the next day told a different story. The conference had been canceled. The revelations spoiled its public fašade of being fair and conducted out of the purest of motives.

"Alshams┤ "I was drunk" argument did not hold water. He clearly had the presence of mind not to send the offensive email to the wider group for fear of damaging his reputation; not indicative of being drunk. He also telephoned me about two hours later, and repeated the anti-Jewish remarks in a voice not at all marred by slurred speech or the sort of incoherence that marks someone intoxicate. More to the point, being drunk would explain the bad judgment of making the remarks and revealing his bias, but it would not explain away the bias itself. As they say, in vino veritas.



"The significance of this small victory goes beyond the episode itself. For Israel┤s enemies have successfully—and fallaciously—appropriated the human rights high ground. Talking heads in academia, the media, and government in several nations have allowed them to engage in the worst sort of illogic and hate speech by adopting their version of history and morality. No hyperbole is out of bounds for them. They love to compare Israelis to Nazis and Palestinians to Jewish holocaust victims, though there is no similarity between the two. They have so terribly skewed the ideological playing field that Hamas can use Arab civilians as human shields then accuse Israel of human rights violations when those civilians become casualties of war."

This was just a small victory by Dr. Richard Benkin against a man in in Australia, who falsely claims to be a journalist [I should have termed Maqsood Alshams as a fraud].

Then there was another man named Jahangir Alam Akash. This man not only criticized Israel and Jews in his worst language but even threatened Dr. Richard Benkin. Subsequently a report was published in Weekly Blitz on this incident. Let us have a look into the content of the news:

A Bangladeshi journalist named Jahangir Alam Akash who runs a website named Humanrightstoday has given threat to US Citizen and internationally known peace activist Dr. Richard L Benkin through email recently. It may be mentioned here that, Dr. Richard L Benkin is scheduled to visit Bangladesh during the first part of March to attend several seminars and symposiums organized by local organizations. Knowing about this trip, Jahangir Alam Akash, who is known for his notoriety in Bangladesh and facing several extortion charges as well as aligned with anti US and anti Jewish groups, sent a mail to Dr. Richard L Benkin stating [most of the sentences in the mentioned email contained spelling mistakes which are corrected for the convenience of reader], "I hope you do believe in God. Do not Kill the Human, I hope you are the generator behind killing people of holy Palestine. I have doubt that you are Zionist or Eblish [evil]. Please read the articles of Dr. Tony Klug, He is the real Israeli."

You are the broker of American Government. We do hate the activities of a broker. Bangladesh government should ban you travel to Bangladesh. You are idiot in supporting the fake journalist Chowdhury."

Commenting on Dr. Richard L. Benkin┤s unrelenting effort in favor of internationally acclaimed award winning Bangladeshi journalist and peace activist Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, Jahangir Alam Akash wrote, "Please read the articles of Dr. Tony Klug, He is the real Israeli.You are the broker of American Government . We do hate the activities of a broker. Bangladesh government should ban you travel to Bangladesh. You are idiot in supporting the fake journalist Chowdhury."

Jahangir Alam Akash although claims to be working in favor of religious minority in Bangladesh, in reality he and his palls are desperately trying to stop every effort internationally in defense of Bangladeshi religious minority groups. Especially, Interfaith Strength is continuing its campaign against the most controversial Vested Property Act. This is the point which makes notorious grabbers of properties belonging to Hindu religious minority group in Bangladesh extremely annoyed. They have hired several lapdogs including Jahangir Alam Akash and are propagating to stop this extremely effective website as Interfaith Strength is gradually becoming one of the most dependable and neutral source of information on oppression of religious minority in Bangladesh and the sub continent.

Commenting on this website, Akash wrote, "We do ask to President B Obama to ban interfaithsterength right now and kick you out from US. Bangladesh should re interrogate the case Chowdhury, and we demand it to Sheikh Hasina.

"We also demand to stop interfaithsterength.com and we highly demand to ban the said site."

Finally in the mail, Jahangir Alam Akash threatened Dr. Richard L Benkin of dire consequences and physical attack during his visit to Bangladesh.

This is for the first time any US citizen is openly threatened by any notorious anti US element.

In the website www.humanrightstoday.info which is owned by Jahangir Alam Akash, description of his professional back ground states that, "Jahangir Alam Akash was a promising young journalist in Bangladesh. He was also a human rights activist and attuned to the daily injustices suffered by ordinary people around him, he reported extensively on the problems of extrajudicial killings, torture and corruption prevalent in the region."

In the website is it also mentioned that Jahangir Alam Akash works as the ┤Freelance Correspondent┤ of Deutsche Wella, German Radio. It is not learnt whether Akash had any assignment from the state owned radio station in Germany to continue his notorious anti-US and anti-Israel propaganda as well as criminal threat to a national of United States.

Then was the case of a former high official in Bangladesh government named Mohammad Asafuddowlah. In a program on Diganta Television, a satellite based TV channel owned by Islamists, Asafuddowlah, commenting on recent Gaza issue said, "My soul bleeds when I recall the recent atrocities against the people of Gaza. And if I was a young man, I would have gone to Gaza with a weapon to exterminate Israel."

It is not just Israel's extermination Asafuddowlah seeks, however. "Now I believe that what Adolph Hitler did during the Holocaust was absolutely correct. He should have done this more extensively, to eliminate the total Jewish population from the world," he added.

Assafuddowlah has been described by Bangladesh's New Age newspaper as "one of the finest civil servants of Bangladesh and a personality crowned with many qualities." He served in the public sector for 35 years, as chairman of state-run corporations and director-general of various government ministries. He was also the editor-in-chief of The Bangladesh Today, an English-language daily.

The talk show during which Asafuddowlah made his anti-Semitic remarks, Ekanto Shonglap ["Exclusive Dialogue"], is broadcast on Diganta Television.

Diganta Television is continuing spreading religious hatred through its programs and most of the programs in the channel are anti-United States, anti-West and anti-Israel.

And, finally, a local staff with Chevron-Bangladesh named Aminul Islam circulated an email with made up pictures showing Israeli soldiers pointing gun at students. Any na´ve can even say that this slide show is a concocted one. But, the point here is, as to why people like Aminul Islam feels interested in circulating such bogus photographs just to give instigation to anti-Israel and anti-Semitic notions, right from the official email of Chevron? I am sure; Chevron is not paying its staffs for any political purpose or any anti Israel or anti Semitic agenda. But, yes, the local staff of Chevron already sent such mail. And most interestingly, things took place just in past one month.
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Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is an award winning anti Jihadist Muslim journalism in Bangladesh. He is the editor of Weekly Blitz. This newspaper has both print and online edition reaching mostly policymakers, politicians, entrepreneurs, students, think tanks, civil and millitary officials, clergies and cross section of people in the world. Online edition of the only anti Jihadist newspaper in the Muslim world is available online on www.weeklyblitz.net
Journalist, writer, poet, author, political analyst and peace activist, Choudhury, started his career in journalism in 1989 as the Correspondent of TASS, state news agency of Soviet Union. Later he was promoted as the Chief Correspodent of Itar-Tass in Bangladesh.
On November 29, 2003, he was arrested at Zia International Airport in Bangladesh on his way to Israel to attend a peace conference. Choudhury was tortured, imprisoned and denied medical treatment in prison. Government brought sedition, treason and blasphemy charges against him for confronting religious extremism, advocating inter-faith dialogue and demanding relations between Dhaka and Jerusalem. He was released on April 30, 2005 after imprisonment of seventeen months. Although released on bail, Choudhury continues to face sedition, treason and blasphemy charges and the trial continues in a court in Dhaka. Sedition bears capital punishment [death penalty] according to law in Bangladesh.
Choudhury is the recipient of PEN USA Freedom to Write Award in 2005; American Jewish Committee's Moral Courage Award in 2006; Monaco Media Award in 2007 and Key to Englewood City [USA] in 2007.
He has written a number of books on various issues. His latest book titled 'Injustice and Jihad' was published in October 2007. Italian publication house Neftasia Editore has published Choudhury's book titled 'Non Sono Colpevole' in May 2008.
Choudhury is a book titled 'Inside Madrassa', which contains descriptive and elaborate information on condition of Madrassas in Bangladesh, Pakistan and other Muslim nations. This book is a result of comprehensive research by Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury for several years.
In today's world, Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is perhaps the most quoted Bangladeshi journalist in the international media. The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Sun, The Washington Times, The Australian, The Berliner Zeitung, The Jewish State, The Jewish Week, The Guardian and many other leading international and regional dailies and periodicals have published numerous editorials on Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury.