Richard L

Richard L. Benkin, Ph.D.

drrbenkin@comcast.net

 

Selected Experience:  Current

 

Vice President; Gallagher Bassett Services, Itasca, IL

Co-Founder & Director, Forcefield, NFP

Founder, Interfaith Strength

US Correspondent; Weekly Blitz, Dhaka, Bangladesh

International Correspondent, Amader Shomoy, Dhaka Bangladesh

Columnist, NRI Today

Special Advisor to The Intelligence Summit on Bangladeshi Affairs

Independent Human Rights Activist

Expert witness in asylum cases and on South Asia

Lecturer and Speaker

Freelance Writer

 

Selected Experience:  Previous

 

1987-2000:      Consultant; Owner/Operator various health care facilities.

1980-1994:      College Lecturer

1980-1987:      Community Activist; Manager, Professional Health Care

1974-1980:      Assistant Professor, College instructor; Sociology and Social Sciences;

                        DePaul University, Roosevelt University, Camden (NJ) County College,

                        University of Pennsylvania

 

Selected Publications

 

The Social and Cultural Development of Jewish Communities in Eastern Europe, 1976 Doctoral Dissertation, University of Michigan Press

Sociology:  A Way of Seeing, 1980; Wadsworth Publishing Company

The Book of Miriam, 2005 (In editing.)

The Battle Beneath Jerusalem (Dhaka Press, 2009)

Our Fight for Freedom: The Story of a Falsely Imprisoned Muslim and one Jews’s Fight

to Free Him (Proposal under consideration)

A Quiet Case of Ethnic Cleansing (monograph on Bangladeshi Hindus), published in Toronto and Mumbai, 2008

A Quiet Case of Ethnic Cleansing  (currently being written)

 

Essays and social commentaries on South Asia, ethnic cleansing of Hindus, the Middle East, Bangladesh, Islamist terrorism, and other topics published extensively on several continents; a frequent guest on radio programs in the US, Canada, and Israel.  Extensive public speaking and speech writer.  Dr. Benkin has also testified to the US Congress, the US Congressional Human Rights Caucus, and the US Commission for International Religious Freedom about religious oppression in Bangladesh and South Asia in general, the persecution of anti-Islamist Muslims in Bangladesh, and the ethnic cleansing of Bangladeshi Hindus.  He has also provided information to various members of the US Congress and Senate on Bangladeshi human rights violations, anti-Islamist efforts in South Asia, and information that helped successfully stop pending trade legislation.

 

Selected Accomplishments

 

Dr. Benkin successfully fought for the release of Bangladeshi journalist, Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, imprisoned and tortured after writing articles warning about the rise of Islamic radicals, urging Bangladesh to recognize Israel, and advocating for religious equality.  He also forced Bangladesh’s notorious Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) to release Choudhury unharmed after only three hours in their clutches.

 

Dr. Benkin has become one of the world's most effective advocates to stop the ethnic cleansing of Bangladeshi Hindus. He currently is helping Bangladeshi Hindu refugees in West Bengal and elsewhere in India secure basic rights and protections.  He was the only speaker before the US Congress who identified Islamist actions against Bangladesh’s Hindus as ethnic cleansing and is urging Congress and others to support an immediate repeal of Bangladesh’s racist Vested Property Act. This act has enabled Bangladeshi rulers and others to plunder, rape, and rob religious minorities, especially Hindus, and distribute their ancestral lands to Muslims. It has become the cornerstone of a decades-long effort at to ethnically cleanse Bangladesh of its non-Muslim population. Dr. Benkin is currently fighting to make the world aware of this genocide in the making and to obtain justice for its victims.  A sought after speaker, he is currently working with others to organize Indian Hindu communities in the United States and elsewhere to take action to protect their co-religionists in South Asia.

Dr. Benkin has visited numerous illegal and semi-legal camps in West Bengal and elsewhere in 2008 and 2009 where he interviewed dozens of Hindu victims of Islamist attacks, some who had fled the carnage as recently as 22 days before meeting with him. Depsite the efforts of West Bengal officials to stop him, Benkin was able to gather testimony of the ongoing attacks on the refugees by Islamists on both sides of the India-Bangladesh border. He also received documentary evidence of the attacks while there. Since returning from India, Dr. Benkin has been working to bring this, as he terms it, "quiet case of ethnic cleansing" to officials in Washington and try to move them to take action.

Dr. Benkin's human rights missions to India, as well as his public appearances, have received extensive press coverage; he has been interviewed by large newspapers including The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, other English language papers, as well as several Hindi and Bangla language papers.

Since 2006, Dr. Benkin also has been investigating and exposing the emerging South Asian threat stemming from the cooperation of radical Communists and radical Islamists. He has termed this the "Red-Green Alliance" and continues to speak about the atrocities and strategic advantages it already has carried out, as well as the very real threat it poses to us all.

In January 2009, Dr. Benkin began a process that forced the cancellation of an anti-Israel conference in Australia. The convener of the conference posed as a human rights activist with only noble motives, but Benkin exposed his virulent anti-Semitism as the root of his anti-Israel animus. Several members of Australia's Jewish community--all of whom were critical to our ultimate success--got press attention for it, which ultimately caused backers and participants to pull out, forcing the conference's cancellation. The disingenuous use of human rights language by Israel-bashers has poisoned the atmosphere that could bring peace and justice to the Middle East. It also obscures the real causes of the conflict, one of which is visceral and rationalized Jew hatred. Benkin hopes that this example will spur similarly successful unmasking efforts.

 

“Special US Congressional Recognition,” 2005

Nominated for 2006 Lorenzo Natali Prize for journalism

Member Islam-Israel Fellowship Council

Advisory Board Member Bangladesh Minority Lawyers Association

Named one of Congressman Mark Kirk's "Ten for the Tenth"

Honoree and Featured Speaker Bangladesh Minorities Lawyers Association, Supreme Court Building, Dhaka, Bangladesh, January 2007

Special Recognition 2007, Bangladesh Editors Forum

Special Recognition 2007, Bangladesh Minority Lawyers Association

Featured Speaker at “Asru” Exhibition of Bangladeshi Minorities in Rayburn Congressional Building, Washington, DC; 2007

Member, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East

Owner and Founder: Interfaith Strength

Board of Editors, Stephen Gill Gazette

Expert Analyst, International Analysts Network
Delivered annual Arvind Ghosh Memorial Lecture, Suburban Chicago, 2008
Featured Speaker, "Jewish Response to Jihad: What India can Learn," Supreme Court Building, New Delhi, India, March 2009
"Stop Shaking your Fists and Do Something!," Delivered to Telugu Association of North America, Suburban Chicago, July 2009
Recognized for "Significant Contributions to Community Service" by Telugu Association of North America, July 2009
Recipient, Vishwa Hindu Ratna (World's Jewel of Hinduism Award), 2010
Member, South Asia Forum


Universities Addressed

University of Lucknow (India)
Delhi University
Jawaharlal Nehru University (India)
American University, Washington, DC