Muslim Anti-Jihadist Takes New York, New Haven By Storm

Yes, there is such a thing as a pioneering Muslim anti-jihadist, and this week I got the excellent opportunity to spend timeĀ  with one.

Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, editor of The Weekly Blitz, a Zionist and general interest newspaper based in Dhaka, Bangladesh met with leaders in New York City and spoke to New York audiences of the Hudson Institute, a prominent Washington D.C.-based foreign policy think tank; as well as to donors of the American Jewish Committee, a social service and advocacy organization; and to anti-jihadist activists. Additionally, he lectured at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

In Bangladesh, Choudhury has been jailed, beaten, and nearly blinded for his anti-jihadist, pro-Zionist views. He presently is on trial for his life for promoting peace among Muslims and people of other religions, as well as for trying to visit Israel (it is illegal for a citizen of Bangladesh to do so).

Both the Bangladeshi government’s and radical Islamist groups’ tormenting of him (he has been jailed, and is being tried and threatened with the death penalty, by the former, and has been threatened and attacked by the latter), have succeeded only in highlighting this remarkable man’s rationality and courage, and his tormentors’ seeming lack of these qualities.

Choudhury is both a proud Muslim and a staunch anti-jihadist who wishes to foment progress and emphasize the pluralistic teachings of Islam–from within.

In an interview before he spoke at Yale, he told me, “Only a person who is a Muslim can reform Islamic laws … To reform something you have to remain in that society, correct? If you are an outsider, you can criticize, but … you are not part of the society who can do something to change it.”

Choudhury was extremely well-received almost everywhere he went. Interestingly, he encountered opposition only from a smattering of anti-jihadists who took issue with his decision to remain a Muslim. Writer Madeline Brooks has already chronicled the meeting in this excellent piece in The American Thinker. Given the reactions of some armchair anti-jihadists to this Muslim hero (one threatened to “get up from this table” because Choudhury would not denounce Islam) one can only wonder whether, had they encountered Oskar Schindler in the flesh, they would have refused to sit with the man who saved the lives of 1300 Jews at great risk to his own, or would have refused him his burial on Mount Zion in Jerusalem, because he had been a member of the Nazi Party.

Choudhury is a self-proclaimed Zionist in the Muslim world who has sustained hearing loss because of the beatings he has received for his views and vision loss because of torture he has endured for his principles. He’s a friend to Jews, Israel, Christians, the U.S., and Western Civilization; a great man; and a Muslim.

More to come.

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