Sunday, May 29, 2005

View from Malaysia considered

MGGPillai has a few things to say about the upsurge in Islamic fundamentalism and prejudice against members of other faiths and cultures in Malaysia today:

"WHEN MUSLIMS ARE AT prayer, five times a day, all entertainment at those times – on radio, television, on stage, in night clubs, restaurants and elsewhere – must stop. Men and women at these places must be segregated at all times. The deputy minister in the prime minister's department, Dr Abdullah Mohamed Zin, says the Islamic development department's new rules demands it. It does not matter if they are Muslims or non-Muslims, or if no Muslims are in the audience. It is a blanket rule all must agree, or face the consequences."

The author is largely concerned with the potential for real trouble, as the non-Muslims are increasingly disaffected:

"With each misstep in official policy, the UMNO-led BN recedes into ill-thought-out Islamic policies. It cannot explain why, nor how, it would ensure cultural and religious confidence amongst Malaysians of all races and creeds. And it boils down to one frightening product of BN policies thirty five years after the NEP: the Malays are losing out in all spheres, unable to comprehend the wider world. The BN has no answer but to lurch into meaningless Islamic slogans and crack the whip."

Since roughly half my M'sian friends are Christians (of one brand or another), I must say, I have some serious concerns for their well-being, after reading Pillai's comments. I also must consider the effect of these sorts of actions, as the woes spill out into the rest of the world. The deeper any country places itself in religious restriction, the more likely it is to feed hatreds and violence outside its borders, as well. And, considering Mahathir Mohamad, the "Father of Malaysia", was recently quoted in a Guardian article saying, "US politicians are scared stiff of the Jews because anybody who votes against the Jews will lose elections. The Jews in America are supporting the Jews in Israel. Israel and other Jews control the most powerful nation in the world. And that is what I mean [about Jews controlling the world]. I stand by that view", I think I can easily predict in which direction that violent hatred will be pointed.

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