On July 7, 2010, Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, publisher of the anti-Islamist newspaper the Weekly Blitz, strode into court in Bangladesh. He was there to argue his case; this was his 150th appearance in court. He is charged with blasphemy, treason, and sedition for attempting to fly from the Zia International Airport in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka, to Tel Aviv, Israel, to attend a peace conference in 2003. Choudhury is a self-proclaimed Muslim Zionist and is ardently pro-American. He is a true Muslim moderate. For his courage, he has been beaten by a Muslim mob, including Bangladeshi police officers, robbed, imprisoned and prosecuted.
The government threw Choudhury into jail for 17 months, deprived him of medical treatment, and tortured him. Only after the United States House of Representatives passed a near-unanimous resolution calling on Bangladesh to drop all charges against Choudhury did the government release Choudhury -- without dropping the charges.
Dr. Richard Benkin, an American Jewish international rights activist who helped secure the House resolution, approached countless congressmen and senators about Choudhury's plight. He encountered only one representative who was utterly apathetic about the situation. "Who was the one lawmaker that took a pass on saving the life of an imprisoned U.S. ally and opponent of Islamic extremism?" Benkin later wrote. "That's right, my own Illinois Senator Barack Hussein Obama."