Friday, June 17, 2005

BANGLADESH: A letter from a friend of Israel

In Bangladesh and certainly elsewhere in the Muslim world many of us have a blind spot. And I am ashamed to say that it is with regard to the Jewish people and Israel that too many conveniently ignore the nobler, and even essential, principles of Islam and of basic human decency. The Islamic missionaries who have taken root in Bangladesh recently have, of course, a very different agenda than their Christian counterparts. Funded by shadowy sources in the Middle East and Africa, they operate under charitable-sounding names like Islamic Hospital, Free Ambulance Service, and Kindergarten madrassa. But charitable they are not. Whispered allegations for louder objections place you at considerable risk that Islamic kindergarten madrassas train children for guerrilla war found support when many of their graduates went on to real battlegrounds in Afghanistan and Iraq. Some even volunteered to fight alongside the PLO and other terrorist organizations here. Repatriated Soldiers from Palestine, an organization in Bangladesh, cares for "soldiers" wounded in the fighting here, and then recruits a fresh batch of terrorists to take their place. You might think such revelations would place these organizations in a bad light. Yet, if anything, to my chagrin, it improves their standing in the eyes of many Bangladeshi citizens.

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