Islam’s Persecution of Christians in Malaysia
And the world turns a blind eye.
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?
TAJ: A salient question indeed. While I think I have a good handle on the Malaysian and Muslim mindsets, I admit that I have a less than perfect understanding of the European psyche, having only been in Europe once and not having had many European friends over the years.
One part of the European mindset that I have read about is their consistent anti-Semitism, a factor in their thinking that's appeared at one point or another in virtually every European country and culture and goes back centuries to the medieval era and earlier. Even an event as immense and horrifying as the Holocaust or 'Shoah' only put this attitude into stasis -- it didn't kill it off. Now the level of violence against Jews shows us that the anti-Semitic ghosts of Europe are returning again to haunt us all. And speaking of the Holocaust, remember that Hitler had to have gotten his ideas from somewhere; Vienna around the turn of the century -- when and where Hitler spent his youth -- was, according to authoritative sources I've studied, a veritable cesspool of Jew-hatred.
And a few decades later, when Hitler sent European Jewry off to the ovens, or into mass graves, it's pertinent to remember that the Fuhrer had an awful lot of help from his fellow Europeans, and not just the Germans. From the French to the Poles and beyond, Herr Hitler had a great number of very willing executioners. There is, in fact, a book that discusses this aspect of the Holocaust and goes under that very title. So Europe's persecution of the Jews, and Europeans who happily tolerate Muslims doing the same, are in fact a harkening back to a tragic, well-worn and time-tested European tradition.
Europe's increasingly shabby treatment towards Christians and Christianity is a bit more mystifying, at least on the surface. I think, overall, the situation has less in common with deliberate persecution and more in line with mass apathy. Europe is becoming less devout and Europeans are becoming less pious. In short, they just don't care as much about conventional religion as much as previous centuries, in particular towards Christianity. Of course there are localized exceptions -- the Poles and their continued devotion towards Catholicism immediately spring to mind. If any religion is popular in Europe nowadays, other than Islam (a political movement pretending to be a religion), it's Marxism slash environmentalism (a religion pretending to be a political movement).
Political correctness and leftist-inspired atheism are much more politically potent in Europe than they are in the US, at least for now, and that could be changing in America as we speak. I don't think it's a coincidence that the churches of Europe started to empty out at about the same time that mosques started to spring up everywhere across Europe and become filled to overflowing. Islam is taking advantage of the power vacuum, the lack of a strong competing belief system, and of course, the leftist-Marxist PC school of thought is a proven enabler and ally of Islam.
All of this added together explains, I believe to a large degree, the very passive European attitude and lack of response to the degradation and growing persecution of Christians in Europe and beyond.
FP: Are you a Christian? If not what faith are you and how is it significant to you in your life?
TAJ: I was raised as a Christian and I've held true to what I was taught, although I must admit that I times I've had my doubts. One of my 'beefs' with many Christians is their relative pacifism in the face of aggression. For example, when I open up to other Christians about what Muslims are doing to other Christians both here in Malaysia and in other Muslim countries, the usual response isn't outrage, but a sort of dhimmified sadness: "oh how horrible -- I shall pray for them." And other than that, they do nothing. I know that Christians are taught to 'turn the other cheek' when provoked as this is taught in the Bible, but I also know about the narrative of Christ in the temple with the money changers. Christ wasn't a wimp, and Christians shouldn't be either.
As for my own doubts on Christianity, no one cannot study Islam and the countless atrocities committed explicitly in its name without having one's faith -- either in God or in humanity -- severely tested. My studies of Islam have brought me up close and personal with evil, unspeakable evil that maims and destroys everything standing in its way. I thought 9-11 was the ultimate inhumanity that was possible, with office workers crushed, burned, asphyxiated and flung out of burning sky-scraping towers to their deaths. The past nine years or so have dramatically and forever disabused me of that notion. We know that devout Muslims (I prefer this to calling them 'radical' or 'militant' Muslims) will stop at absolutely nothing. No barbaric act is too wanton to commit, like gouging out the eyes of women, or deliberating beating very young children, or stabbing infants to death. No wonder so many people, Americans and others, would just prefer to shut it out and gossip about celebrities, watch sports or reality shows, and remain blissfully ignorant of the terrible, ugly realities running loose in our world. But ignorance is not an option anymore, if it ever was, not if the free people of the world want to remain that way. Nor is it an option if non-Muslims want to retain their equality and human rights. We must not only be educated, but we must also maintain faith in our own Judeo-Christian heritage if we are to survive.
And if one posits evil in the world, then one must posit good. It is not sufficient to merely fight against something -- one must believe in and fight for something as well. So I believe in Good and the Good News as it is found in the New Testament. And the many noble martyrs and heroes in the history of free societies, who have stood against evil and for justice -- people like Thomas Jefferson, Winston Churchill, Geert Wilders, the incredibly valiant men and women of the US Armed Forces -- these people continue to inspire me to carry on.
FP: Can any of this be turned around? Or is it too late? What must the West do to save itself?
TAJ: I see reasons for both pessimism and optimism. At this point, the situation seems dire, and it is. It's more accurate to state that we are really poised on a knife's edge and the situation could go either way.
On the negative side, that is to say, favoring Islam, are the forces of mass migration and procreation that threaten to permanently throw demographics wildly out of whack, particularly in Europe. The talented blogging duo over at Gates of Vienna would call this the Camp of the Saints effect, after the work of fiction that prophesied this almost 40 years ago. It's not only mass migration from across the Mediterranean, but also the number of babies being born to Muslims already in Europe. The most popular baby name in many places in Europe already is 'Mohammed'. And the fact that non-Muslims in Europe have more or less stopped having children magnifies this troubling demographic trend substantially. Given a few more decades, and these Muslims, who can be relied upon to maintain their pernicious culture in spite of their European surroundings, will be at or near majority status.
The second powerful advantage Islam has is the current Western policy regimen, combined with the unofficial ruling doctrine of 'Political Correctness' in both Europe and the US -- Islam's two chief opponents. Muslims, under current laws, are free to move anywhere in North America or Europe, buy property anywhere, and build mosques and madrassas at virtually any location they please (the Ground Zero mosque has proven to be a notable exception).
In the US, Islam enjoys undisputed 1st Amendment ('Freedom of Religion') constitutional protections. Muslims can and have gained access to trusted positions within corporations and government, including but not limited to the military, intelligence agencies, and law enforcement. Muslims in the West can and do congregate in sizable numbers over large areas. These Muslim areas are invariably transformed into 'no-go' areas, de facto Sharia-ruled enclaves off limits to police, and can be found blighting most major urban areas in Europe and increasingly in the US as well (Dearborn et al). The situation in fact in Europe has already deteriorated to the point where Muslims rule virtually entire cities and run riots, unchecked by any infidel authority, such as in Malmö, Sweden. To make matters worse, spineless, opportunist Western politicians play for short term political gains by pandering to Muslims for votes. Political correctness muzzles and mutes much (but not all) opposition to Muslim expansion.
On the positive side of the ledger are the facts that speak to us from history, especially about fascistic movements. History teaches us that totalitarian forces have almost always, eventually, overextended and overreached. Tyranny usually overplays its hand. Remember that Herr Hitler, had he stopped after seizing all of Czechoslovakia in early 1939, could have probably avoided war with the USSR and the Allies, and Nazi Germany could still have still existed up to this day. For another, perhaps more pertinent example, the Palestinian Arabs were offered half of what is now Israel in 1948 from the UN absolutely 'free of charge', and a few decades of demographic expansion and immigration after that would have most likely peaceably won all of 'Palestine' for the Muslims without firing a shot. Instead the Arabs, acting on their own Islamic-inspired hatreds, opted for war. More than 60 years of intermittent war and constant terrorism against a small band of Jews has won them nothing, except perhaps the sympathies of the international media, not to mention a lot of Muslims and their leftist friends. And we know full well how dysfunctional Muslim cultures are. Islam and Muslims are very good at growing their numbers and influence, both politically and culturally, especially in the West, but at everything else they are a miserable failure. Societies with psychopathic tendencies writ large are societies that inevitably fail -- it's just a question of when. One can only hope that it's soon enough.
In spite of ourselves, it is not too late to act. It is merely a question of political will, which of course and as many readers will know all too well, is sadly lacking at this time. The West needs an eloquent, rhetorical powerhouse and nonpareil visionary like Churchill to lead us out of this darkness, and here we are stuck with Barack Hussein Obama. But with a presidential election next year, there's always hope. As to what should be done beyond winning presidential elections, I think many pundits have already outlined excellent courses of action in a comprehensive fashion (here are some great ideas, and here's some more). So there's plenty of awareness out there already as to what needs to be done. Policies and doctrines are not set in stone and need to be changed now, from top to bottom. The current American regime is flatly unwilling to do anything productive or in the best interests of their (non Muslim) constituents, except perhaps by accident. Replacing that regime is, of course, in the hands of American voters.
And Christians need to shed their pacifistic leanings and become a lot more pro-active in their defense. The Vatican needs to stop mouthing pleasantries towards Muslims and understand that Muslims are not and can never be genuine allies of the Catholic Church or of any other group of Christians. Interfaith 'dialogues' with Muslims are not only pointless, but dangerous, for they offer a vector for dissembling taqiyya-spouting Muslims to continue confusing and misleading otherwise well-meaning Christians.
The squabbling factions of the West, be they atheists, or Christians, or Jews, or whomever -- need to put aside their differences, gather under a big proverbial political tent, and unite against Islamofascism. If the Allies could unite with the Soviet Union against Hitler 70 years ago and be victorious, then we can do something like it again. Sure, it could be well-nigh impossible, but if we don't, the alternative is extermination.
Islam is nothing more than an ideology, a collection of ideas, and the best way to fight a belief system is with another, superior belief system. Superior ideas are something the West has in spades. But thanks to Political Correctness, the West never argues in favor of its own superior culture. The West has intentionally and wrongly ceded the initiative in the critical war of ideas to Muslims, who are of course never restricted from disseminating the false or imaginary advantages of Islam, Muslim culture, Sharia, etc. The West has intentionally kneecapped itself, and this must stop.
FP: The Anti-Jihadist, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.