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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Malaysia As An ISIS Recruitment Center : US Brooking's Institution Calls Najib's "Moderate" Bluff



This is taken from here:

By Joseph Chinyong Liow 

14-yr Malaysian teenager detained at KLIA heading to Syria to join (ISIS). 

ISIS video featuring Malay-speaking boys ..has caused a furore in Malaysia.

number of Malaysian fighters in ISIS almost 150

approximates number of Indonesian fighters in Syria and Iraq

population of Malaysia barely 10% of Indonesia. 

Malaysians joining ISIS at a higher rate than Indonesians

perplexing, given how often Najib Razak waxes lyrical on the international stage about moderation and how Malaysia is the epitome of multi-ethnic and inter-religious harmony

he continues to press a nebulous* "Global Movement of Moderates" agenda.

*nebulous means : "vague, ill-defined, unclear, hazy, uncertain, indefinite, indeterminate, imprecise, unformed, muddled, confused, ambiguous"

What accounts for appeal of ISIS in "moderate" Malaysia?

official Malaysian view on religiously motivated terrorism.

Malaysia's Muslim leaders single out US foreign policies that affect Muslim world
invasion of Iraq, Washington's unstinting support for Israel, lack of sympathy for Palestinian cause, war in Afghanistan - main causes of terrorism today

much can be said about how these factors have inflamed Muslim sentiment 

main causes for concern may well originate within Malaysia's own borders.

conditions exist inside Malaysia for virulent ideologies like ISIS to find sympathy

Four observations from Malaysian domestic context


1. 2013 Pew Global Attitudes Survey

  • "in Malaysia... 27% Muslims feel attacks on civilians  justified".
  • 12% hold view violence is only "rarely justified" in defence of Islam 
  • essentially 39% Malaysian Muslims believe violence justified against enemies  
  • Indonesians polled only 18% on same questions 
  • 2013 poll 8% Malaysian Muslims concerned about Muslim extremism 
  • 31% concerned about Christian extremism
  • relevance of  figures in the Malaysian context? will return to this in a moment.

2. Islam heavily politicised in Malaysia. 

  • Umno ..promoting and defending Malay-Muslim supremacy.
  • ..under siege from non-Malay and non-Muslim quarters 
  • Umno's chief political opponents are Malay-Muslim parties which equally brandish religious credentials as a source of legitimacy.
  • 'Islam' shadow over Malaysia today because proponents (and "defenders") are articulating a particularly exclusive brand of Islam 
  • no intention to encourage pluralism or compromise.
  • non-Muslims marginalised as Islamist parties try to "out-Islam" each other.
  • Umno struggles to cling to power by focusing on religious credentials 
  • heavily politicised and is viewed as a zero-sum game.

3. politicisation of Islam 

  • taking place against backdrop of exceedingly strong state 
  • which has taken it upon itself to police Islam 
  • curtail any expression of faith that departs from mainstream Shafi'i 
  • very little room for compromise beyond "Islam" sanctioned by state.
  • Shia legally proscribed, smaller Islamic sects deemed deviant & banned
  • despite constitutional provisions for freedom of worship.

4. political leaders use religion to amplify differences

  • reinforce extreme interpretations of Malay-Muslim rights
  • condemn the (non-Muslims) as a threat 
  • Malay-Muslim leadership in its public statements circled wagons
  • allowing right-wing & religious groups to preach incendiary messages 
  • flippantly refer adherents of other religious faiths as "enemies of Islam"
  • state-sanctioned Friday sermons occasionally refer to "enemies of Islam"
Against this backdrop, Pew surveys take on a greater, more disconcerting meaning.

Of course, not all in the Malay-Muslim leadership engage in this kind of narrow religio-political discourse.

few of them privately sympathise how freedom of religion blatantly undermined

problem is, they dare not speak out publicly

creating impression they support majoritarian narrative of exclusion of non-Muslims

So how is all this related to ISIS and group's growing influence on its shores? 

is it any surprise, given the four observations enumerated above, that the climate of religio-political discourse in Malaysia today would lend itself to the pull of extremist ideas of a group such as ISIS?

security measures alone are insufficient to deal with the threat 

***without changing the way Malaysian society views and articulates Islam to allow for critical engagement of extremist ideas, the utility of security measures is limited at best. Worse still, they might end up feeding an extremist mindset***

While critical engagement will not eradicate the problem, I believe it will go some distance in reducing it.

***in order to set a new tone for public discourse on Islam, pluralism and critical engagement of extremist ideas, it will require political will and leadership at the very top***

The Malay Mail reported recently that Malaysia's top counter-terrorism official opined that an ISIS attack on Malaysia "was just a matter of time".

If so, the Malaysian authorities would be well advised to consider that the appeal of ISIS may not be attributed to developments in Syria or Iraq, or US foreign policy in the Muslim world alone.

It could well start at home, where the political and social climate that allows exclusivist right-wing groups and politicians to speak and act with impunity is the same one that will provide recruits and sympathisers for insidious organisations such as ISIS.

The writer is the inaugural holder of the Lee Kuan Yew Chair in South-east Asia Studies and senior fellow at the Brookings Centre for East Asia Policy Studies.

This article first appeared on The Brookings Institution website.

This article was first published on April 27, 2015. 

http://news.asiaone.com/news/malaysia/malaysias-isis-dilemma#sthash.jBmuP3nP.HQ2Y4z3a.dpuf

My comments : Kepada sahabat2 Melayu yang berpendapat bahawa ISIS berjaya rekrut penyokong di Malaysia atas alasan berjihad menentang Amerika, Zionis, Shiah dsbnya sila baca keratan akhbar berikut :

Parliament target of attack

  • KL: Parliament among targets of 12 ISIS suspects bomb attacks foiled by police
  • Home Minister Zahid Hamidi said the suspects targeted several areas
  • targeted Putrajaya, Dewan Rakyat, Senate, did not believe democratic system
  • suspects instead believed in the Islamic caliphate system, he said.
  • Police thwarted attacks with arrest of militants as they were making explosives
  • explosives enough for bomb capable of 500m blast radius, police said
  • suspects planning attacks on more than five targets
  • from a cross-section of public, including lecturers, students 
  • believed that they could go to heaven by fighting for IS
Kekawan, this has nothing to do with Amerika, Zionis, Shiah etc. These people believe that if they blow up other people, or themselves, they will get a supply of 72 virgins in heaven. 

The question is (just as one example only) can you sit down and debate with them intelligently about this 72 virgins in paradise theory?  

People like Kassim Ahmad tried. What happened? The gomen arrested Kassim Ahmad. 

So when the system in the country does not allow for open and free discourse on Islam, then you will create a fertile breeding ground for psychos like ISIS, Al Maunah, P*S, J**S, M**S, J***M, J**I, "layan suami walaupun atas unta", ostard ferrari etc. They are all lebih kurang sama saja - they differ just by degree.

Because these are the psychos who now control the 'religious' dialogue about their version of religion. And it is the only version allowed by the gomen. No other versions are tolerated by the gomen. Unfortunately their version (72 virgins) and the ISIS version serupa saja. Not much difference. So it is the gomen that is directly implicit in allowing extremist or stupid religious ideologies (both are actually the same) from taking firm root in the country.




 
***without changing the way Malaysian society views and articulates Islam to allow for critical engagement of extremist ideas, the utility of security measures is limited at best. Worse still, they might end up feeding an extremist mindset***

So all your security measures are just a waste of time. You can never change stupidity by force. You must use intellectual discourse. 

But you cannot have intellectual discourse by restricting debate on religion to the Tanjong Rambutan Mental Hospital variety. You are only hammering nine inch nails into your coffin in the Club of Doom. 

Lastly I have two points. The article above appeared in the Brookings Institution site. This is a major US government funded think tank in the US. They study everything, they read everything, they understand everything. Obama's term is coming to an end soon. We dont know who will be the next president. 

Whoever the next US President is going to be, they are already starting to see through Najib's bullshit. Hence articles like these. 

Finally this is what I have been saying in this Blog now for years. When I started writing this Blog (six ?? years ago) I said the religious path in this country will take us to the Club of Doom. Now ISIS is here. Now 12 people were arrested for making bombs to blow up Parliament. 

The problem lies with the gomen. The blind gomen's blind policies restricting freedom of speech especially with regards to religious discourse is helping the extremists and the psychos to hijack the religion.  Sendiri pi terjun dalam laut.

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