| Richard Benkin|
| A Quiet Case of Ethnic Cleansing: The Murder of Bangladesh's Hindus, Sociology, a Way of Seeing|Richard Benkin Wikipedia
Dr. Richard Benkin is an American Jewish human rights activist, co-founder of 'Interfaith Strength', journalist, writer and lecturer. He's also a member of Folks Magazine's Editorial Board since August 2011.
Benkin participated in efforts to release Bangladeshi journalist, Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, imprisoned after writing articles warning about the rise of Islamic radicals, and urging Bangladesh to recognize Israel. Benkin, like Choudhury, is an Advisory Board Member of Islam-Israel Fellowship. Choudhury together formed Interfaith Strength to disseminate information about Choudhury's case. Choudhury was released from prison in 2004. Benkin said "In almost seven years since [he] was arrested, the Bangladeshi government has not brought forward one scintilla of credible evidence against this journalist; and its sole 'witness' continues to not show up." In September 2005, the Bangladeshi government asked Benkin if he would help build a "positive image" of Bangladesh in the United States. Wanting to help the Bangladeshi people and advance US-Bangladesh relations, Benkin was advised to accept the challenge because Bangladesh had taken positive steps recently. After one month, however, a frustrated Benkin resigned from the role after serious disagreements with the Bangladeshi government. On February 15, 2007,HOUSE RESOLUTION 64 passed the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs without opposition. The resolution called on the government of Bangladesh to drop all charges against Choudhury
Congressman Mark Kirk presented a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition to Benkin on May 22, 2005 at Benkin's synagogue, Temple Chai in Long Grove. The certificate was awarded for Benkin's "commitment and dedication to preserving human rights in the case of Shoaib Choudhury.
In 2008 he compared Islamist militants in Kashmir to Palestinian militants, stating that Kashmir is a transitory goal in the Islamist goal to control India:
"Kashmir is South Asia’s West Bank. Just as Pakistan and its Islamist allies ultimately seek to turn all of India into an Islamic state; so, too, the Arabs have tried again and again to destroy the Israel and even had that as their stated policy. After their colossal failure to do so in 1967, they tried once more to invade Israel with national armies only to fail again. So they changed tactics and stopped talking about their ultimate goal. Instead they focused on “the occupation” (West Bank and Gaza). Their real aim-to destroy Israel and turn it into an Islamic state-never changed. This tactic successfully distracted a gullible Europe which supported Arab calls for their temporary goal. Similarly, South Asian Islamists still want more than Kashmir. Kashmir, like the West Bank, is a transitory goal, but a critical one."“Special US Congressional Recognition,” 2005
Nominated for 2006 Lorenzo Natali Prize for journalism
Special Recognition 2007, Bangladesh Editors Forum
Special Recognition 2007, Bangladesh Minority Lawyers Association
The Social and Cultural Development of Jewish Communities in Eastern Europe, 1976 Doctoral Dissertation, University of Michigan Press
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
A Quiet Case of Ethnic Cleansing (monograph on Bangladeshi Hindus), published in Toronto and Mumbai, 2008
Sociology: A Way of Seeing, Wadsworth Pub Co (July 1981) ISBN 978-0-534-00929-8