January 14, 2007

They Wish to Shut Our Voice

Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, a journalist on trial and facing the death penalty in Bangladesh for praising Jews and Christians, attempting to travel to Israel, and opposing Islamic militants, writes the following in They Wish to Shut Our Voice: There are at least 64,000 madrassas in Bangladesh, most of which are beyond any form of governmental control or supervision. 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. Moderate Muslims note that the Taliban was born in similar madrassas in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province and in Afghan refugee camps, where they promoted a new radical and extremely militant model for Islamic revolutions. Islamist radicals are intolerant. They don't want anyone to raise a voice and say "enough to the increasing trend of spreading religious hatred and provoking people with false interpretations of the Koran." Islam surely does not forbid friendship between Muslims and non-Muslims.