What I told a foreigner of the type of Islam practised here in Malaysia. "Malaysia Chronicle"

This is a good article. Took me a bit by surprise, outspokenness being so repressed in Malaysia.
Many apologist for Islam cite Malaysia as an example of a "moderate" Islam.  The truth is rather different. This article shows why.

It was about a decade after 9/11. Obama was in office. I was on a flight to Kuala Lumpur. Seated next to me was a Texan, and oilman, a talker. I'll call him Sam.
He'd travelled much. He'd had several extra-marital affairs. He'd spent a fortune on clothes and grooming. His wife had left him because of his life choices.
Sam got onto the subject of Islam. He said Islam had been hijacked by radical Muslims. He said bin Laden didn't represent Islam.
Sam said Malaysia was a model Muslim nation. His sole source of information seemed to be the speeches of President Obama.
Sam said Malaysia was stable. Investors could make money. He wished Middle Eastern countries would emulate Malaysia.
I was annoyed by the American's cock-sure condescension.
I asked him what he knew of Islam today in Malaysia." He gave a vapid reply. I told him about the Islam I knew in Malaysia.

I said the Islam I knew in Malaysia meant women could be government ministers, professors, even judges. But they had to cover their heads in public. They had to subject themselves to their husbands' views of Islam; they had to live in constant fear of being divorced or becoming one of several wives, because it's oh so easy.
I said the Islam I knew in Malaysia meant that a long-cherished public park in a housing estate could overnight become a building site for a state-funded mosque; that the mosque could thunder the call to prayer five times a day without regard for its neighbours; that non-Muslims struggled to get permits for places of worship.
I said the Islam I knew in Malaysia included government-funded Islamic missionary agencies; that they didn't answer charges that they used inducements to win converts; that even those who were converted through inducements couldn't relinquish Islam.
I said the Islam I knew in Malaysia recognised only one expression of Islam, the Shafie school within the Sunni branch; that there was no tolerance for other expressions of Islam, including the Shia Islam of Iran (America's enemy) and the Wahhabi Islam of Saudi Arabia (America's partner).
I said the Islam I knew in Malaysia meant Islamic authorities broke up non-Muslim families when a member converted to Islam; that non-Muslim children were separated from their mothers if their fathers converted to Islam and decided to leave their wives; that "Muslim" corpses were snatched from grieving families by Muslim officials.
I said the Islam I knew in Malaysia meant Muslim authorities, groups and individuals railed against the alcohol, entertainment, gambling and tourist industries. Yet, they enjoyed the benefits from the investments, salaries, commissions, tips and taxes supported by these industries.
I said the Islam I knew in Malaysia blamed the problems in the Middle East on Western bloc nations and on Israel; blamed the problems in Malaysia on the long-departed colonisers and on the "inherited" characteristics of non-Malay-Muslims, principally the Chinese and Indians in Peninsular Malaysia.
I said the Islam I knew in Malaysia approved the "fixing" of the teaching of history in schools in order to exalt one ethnic group against others; replaced history books which featured changes in Malaysia over time with books which featured "Islamic civilization."
I said the Islam I knew in Malaysia approved of using race as a key ingredient in decision making about employment and investment. I told Sam the Malaysian government's biggest industry was manufacturing Malay-Muslims – through encouraging births, conversions to Islam through marriage and claiming that Indonesians are Malays.
I said the Islam I knew in Malaysia placed the most bizarre restraints on publications. I told Sam of the various lists of Arabic and Malay words which non-Muslims were prohibited from using. I told him Malaysia was the only Muslim-majority nation which had such prohibitions.
Sam responded that since Malaysia doesn't amputate, behead or stone, Malaysia's moderate. He put on his headphones. We didn't speak again. - The AntDaily

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