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Frontpage Interview’s guest today is The Anti-Jihadist, a counter-jihad writer, activist and critic of Islam who resides in a majority Muslim country. He writes under a pseudonym for reasons that do not need to be explained. His work can also be found at Jihad Watch, Infidel Bloggers Alliance and Pedestrian Infidel.
FP: Welcome The Anti-Jihadist to Frontpage Interview.
I would like to talk to you today about the Muslim persecution of Christians in Malaysia. But first, tell us a bit about your background and how you arrived to being who you are.
The Anti-Jihadist: In order to protect my identity, I’d rather not get into too many specifics about my background, for reasons I hope you and your readers understand. Suffice it to say that I grew up in a middle class, educated family where the discussion of politics and other ‘sensitive’ topics was encouraged. I grew to appreciate and then embrace this intellectual sort of freedom.
As I grew older, I began to notice differences between what I heard the government say or what was taught in school, and what was really happening in the world, but I learned to keep such thoughts to myself in order to get along. Then 9-11 happened and it turned the world upside down, my own perception of it in particular. I wanted to be surprised that Muslims had carried out mass murder explicitly in the name of Islam, but I wasn’t. Another shock for me was when I found out that the Muslims — jihadists, Al Qaeda members and others — who planned the attacks in New York and Washington had had a big planned meeting right here in Kuala Lumpur (the capital and biggest city in Malaysia) in early 2000. And the conspiracy theories about 9-11, the increased appearance of anti-Semitic diatribes in Malaysian bookshops (one tome by Henry Ford is popular here) were things that I simply could not turn a blind eye to anymore. Lastly, Malaysian terrorist Azahari Husin had his hero’s sendoff near Kuala Lumpur in 2005, and about the same time the Malaysian Christian convert Lina Joy was told by this nation’s highest court that she was not allowed to become a Christian, despite the fact that religious freedom is supposedly guaranteed by Malaysia’s constitution. By then, I could no longer hold back my pent-up disgust and outrage at what was happening.
FP: So you turned your back on Islam?
TAJ: I don’t want your readers to have the impression that I am now or ever was a Muslim. While I am not a Muslim, I have indeed been asked to become one, on more than one occasion and with varying degrees of seriousness. ‘Dawah’, or Islamic prosetylization, is never too far away in Malaysia.
Deciding that Islam as an ideology (and not Muslims per se) was my enemy was a personal Rubicon for me, a step that, once taken, could never be retracted. I understood how serious this was, from my own studies of Islam, from my knowledge of what’s happened to other critics of Islam, and from the repeated warnings here in Malaysia regarding ‘insults’ to Islam — i.e. being too truthful about it. And the pointed Malaysian warnings about being ‘respectful’ of all religions (‘respect’ for Islam is all the government here really cares about) make it very clear that criticism of Islam is a big, big red line that should never be crossed. Furthermore, in Malaysia it’s quite legal for anyone to be arrested and held indefinitely without charge, trial or access to legal council. It’s a law called the ‘Internal Security Act’ or ‘ISA’ for short and it’s positively medieval. ISA is one of the reasons that you rarely hear criticism of Islam from anyone in this country, in public and even in private, no matter how outrageous things get.
So around late 2005, when I made my fateful personal decision to take up the cause of counter-jihad, to oppose Islam, I told very, very few people. Thankfully, my significant other, a former Muslima, who has known since the beginning, has fully supported me. I have a very small circle of close friends with whom I’ve shared my views, my articles, and so on.
Beyond that, I’ve told no one–not my family, my colleagues, acquaintances and most of my friends. My counter-jihad writing and work are secrets that I’ve been compelled to keep in order to ensure my continued survival. And it is a wearisome burden, I can assure you. My writing and my political views has, in essence, forced me to live a double life. Beyond my trusted circle I cannot afford to tell anyone about what I know, or my writing, or about what others in the counter-jihad are saying. So there has been a personal toll–I’ve had to become paranoid, and always watchful about what I say around others. But I’ve never considered going back to what I was before. I can’t and I won’t.
FP: Share with us what is happening to Christians in your country.
TAJ: I live in Malaysia, and Malaysians will typically tell foreigners that all members of all religions are treated ‘equally’ and get along amicably. That’s the image sold overseas, at any rate. The reality is quite different. Islam is the official state religion, so it enjoys all sorts of official and unofficial privileges, such as lavish state-built mosques, massive taxpayer-funded proselytization programmes for Muslims (but not for other belief systems), sprawling Government-run Islamic universities, a distinct pro-Islamic and pro-jihad tilt in the state-owned and influenced media, and more.
On a more personal level, Muslims in Malaysia have on numerous occasions destroyed churches, sometimes with official backing on the flimsiest of pretexts (like for supposed ‘code violations’). The same has also happened to Hindu and Buddhist temples. Bibles are sometimes seized in carload lots by the (Muslim) authorities on one technicality or another. New church construction is heavily discouraged, and it takes years if not decades for new churches to be approved and built. And they must be built in a ‘low profile’ manner if they are allowed to be built at all.
All of these restrictions and the drip-drip-drip of discrimination, or worse, creates a tense and foreboding atmosphere for Christians. It’s pointless for Christians — who are mostly Indians and Chinese — to petition the Malay (Muslim) government for any sort of redress of grievances, because the police, courts and judges here are all owned and operated by Muslims. So increasingly, the ‘infidels’ are leaving — permanently. The same sort of Islamic repression of Christians that has played out in Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Pakistan and virtually every other Muslim-ruled country is also playing out here.
FP: Why are Muslims persecuting Christians in Malaysia and elsewhere and why is the world so silent about it?
TAJ: Islam is an ideological system which forever cleaves the world into two parts–believers (i.e. Muslims) and the unbelievers (non Muslims), separate and very much unequal. No matter how much Muslims may huff and puff otherwise, unbelievers are never and can never be treated as the equal of any believer.
Many good writers–Raymond Ibrahim, Robert Spencer, Hugh Fitzgerald, and others–have eloquently and painstakingly written as to the exact reasons why Islam is so violent and vicious towards other belief systems. Suffice it to say that violence and intolerance is hard-coded into Islam’s ‘software’; it’s not a ‘bug’, but a feature. Any honest appraisal of the Quran, Hadith and Sira (Islam’s core texts) will bear this out.
In Malaysia, the Muslim-controlled government goes to strenuous lengths to make it appear that this country is a ‘harmonious’ mixture of various belief systems. The key word is ‘appear’. Malaysia is indeed a mix of different religions, but it is kept ‘harmonious’ only through Islamic coercion — official and otherwise — and the threat (sometimes actual acts) of violence. ‘Harmonious’ also is a code word in Malaysian political discourse for ‘Islam must remain culturally and politically dominant’. Malaysian Muslims are also never willing to state for the record that a Hindu, Buddhist or Christian is the equal of a Muslim. They cannot — their belief system specifically forbids it, and if a Muslim believes otherwise, he is automatically an apostate — a traitor to Islam.
Malaysia is also becoming more ‘Islamified’ as the years go by — Muslims are become more pious, or at least make more of a show of it more by wearing hijabs, tudongs and other Islamic garb, attending mosque more often, and in other, less obvious but more sinister ways (hatred of America, of Jews and so on). Additionally, and more importantly, the growing Islamification is increasing the numbers of Muslims in Malaysia through procreation, conversion and immigration, and compelling the non Muslims to leave. The departing non-Muslims — mostly Christians, but also Buddhists and Hindus — tend to be the most educated, entrepreneurial and productive Malaysians. This has the makings of a long term economic catastrophe for Malaysia, if the Muslims and their government could but clear the fog of Islam from their minds and come to honest grips with the problem. This ‘brain drain’ issue is well known inside Malaysia, but the real causes (Islamic-inspired bigotry, persecution, enforcement of sharia) are not discussed, or allowed to be discussed openly.
Why is the world silent? Well, for many of the same reason that the views commonly expressed in FrontPage Magazine are, regrettably, probably not (yet) the views of the majority of Americans. The silence is, as I see it, a combination of many factors: a sincere misunderstanding of Islam, willful blindness, leftist slash Muslim misdirection (‘taqiyya‘), and a dash of NIMBY-ism (‘not in my back yard’) thrown in for good measure. Who cares about Christians in Malaysia getting their Bibles seized or their churches bulldozed or blocked from construction? Certainly not the Europeans — they barely care when Jews and Christians in their own streets are terrorized by Muslim thugs, and Europeans (at least the non Muslim ones) are increasingly turning away from Christianity.
As for the Americans, they and their media seem to care vastly more about, say, Sarah Palin’s email, or the reality TV show of the week, or their own economic meltdown, then about a bunch of Christians in a far away corner of Asia. The US Government is hardly better — discussion of Muslim persecution of Christians, which is tantamount to criticizing Islam, is heavily discouraged in US government circles, to the best of my knowledge. Who does that leave? The U.N.? Forget about them — anyone criticizing Islam is not even going to get their foot in the door at Turtle Bay, let alone be heard. The Chinese? The Russians? Last I checked with Freedom House, those two countries are not exactly beacons of freedom either.
So for the foreseeable future, the Christians of Malaysia and critics of Islam everywhere are on their own. Which is something I’ve pretty much known since the beginning.
FP: Why are Europeans so indifferent to the persecutions of Jews and Christians in their own streets?
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