Monday, May 01, 2006

Is Malaysia becoming an Arab led “Crucible of Terror” and the Centre of the New Empire of “Asiarabia”?

According to Zachary Abuza’s 2003 report/article (see ref below) on whom some of this article’s assertions/facts are based, in Malaysia (and Indonesia for that matter) the government, unless it has recently changed its policies, apparently has no idea how many of its “privately funded” students are studying in Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan, or elsewhere in the world. Quite a number of Malaysian and other S.E. Asian students have been attending both “Egypt’s Al-Azhar University, the foremost Islamic university in the world and Yemen’s Al Imam University, both of which teach rigid Wahhabi interpretations of Islam.” At Egypt’s Al-Azhar University, as at 2003 there were an estimated 6,000 Malaysian students. “Most of these students return and join the government’s Islamic bureaucracy,” with some unfortunately becoming committed to turning Malaysia and other parts of South east Asia into a sharia governed “Islamic state”, a form of government that does not recognize the liberal democratic principle of “the separation of powers”.

He also points out that even if students don’t go abroad the conservative (radical) forces are very well equipped to indoctrinate them at home as for example in ‘Malaysia’s Kelantan State, where there are some 40,000 students, of which 50 percent come from other states, enrolled in ninety-two madrasas.’

The conservative “Arabization” of Malaysia (and Indonesia) and its Emissaries

Abuza later says that ‘In Malaysia and Indonesia, there are distinct and sizeable Arab communities who constitute a powerful economic and social force. The fact that they came from the land of the Prophet accorded them special status: “As nominal countrymen of the prophet, Arabs came to be respected as scholars of the writ and as judicial authorities in matters of the Islamic faith.” He quotes a Peter H. Riddell, “Their influence as traders and authorities in the religious sphere should be seen as inextricably interlinked; it is likely that the authority accorded to them in the religious domain at times seemed to provide them with preferential trading circumstances.” And there continued to be considerable flows between the communities throughout the twentieth century. Riddell notes considerable Malay Arab and Singaporean Arab communities in Hadramaut and Mecca. The vast network of Yemenis in the region is not a tangential point. Bin Laden and Al-Qaida as an example, relies on personal networks and Yemen’s clan-based society transcends the oceans and has spread to Southeast Asia.’

The Where and How of the Money

Abuza again: ‘There are also considerable financial links between the [South East Asian] region and the Middle East to facilitate the thriving trade between the two. Malaysia is one of the world’s pre-eminent Islamic banking centres, with strong and deep financial ties to Middle Eastern businesses, banks, charities, and other financial institutions.’ It is also claimed that (at least in the past) that “Osama bin Laden, himself a former financier (though no longer a member of the Binladen Group), was cognizant of Malaysian financial institutions and banking regulations and had entered into many joint ventures with Malaysian and Yemeni businessmen.”

The Looming Problem

Even if the Malaysian Government can, through effective policing, stamp out the terror potential of some of the countries more fundamental young citizens, the rush to a very troubled and ultra conservative society seems inevitable. Those who have lived there and those that revisit can see the change merely by looking at the ‘imposed’ dress standards that have become more evident over recent years. It would be interesting to gather photographs of Kuala Lumpur street scenes from the last 20 or so years as I am sure they would provide interesting pictorial evidence of a sadly disappearing “Malay Culture”.

A Few of the Malaysian Radicals Produced “So Far”

BIN ABAS, Sulaiman; BIN HUSIN, Azahari; BIN MANSOUR, Amran; HIR, Zulkifli Bin Abdul; KASMURI, Abdul Manaf; MARZUKI, Zulkifli; SUFAAT, Yazid TOP, Noordin Mohamed; WAN MIN, Wan Mat; ZAKARIA, Zaini.

Lets not forget the Women

An article excerpt from ‘slatedotcom; ‘Paridah BINTI ABAS; She and five of her six children are Malaysian, however Bali Bomber husband Mukhlas is Indonesian. “If one family can be credited with building the dynasty known as Jemaah Islamiyah, it is Paridah's. Her father, Abas bin Yusuf, was an early associate of the organization's founders. Her brothers Hashim bin Abas and Nasir bin Abas and her brother-in-law Shamsul Bahri were jailed for their roles in multiple bombings. Two of her husband's brothers—Amrozi bin Nurhasyim and Ali Imron bin Nurhasyim, both of whom studied at an Islamic boarding school in Paridah's home village have been jailed as members of JI. A quote from her: "An Islamic state must be the goal of all people," and "Once that has been achieved, we will live together in peace." She readily admitted that her husband helped "lead the jihad" in Bali and that even her children were proud of what Mukhlas did.’

What about a “Less Violent” Arabic trend that would fit well with the Suadis

“Skipping Friday prayers is a major sin for Muslims and it is punishable under the state’s Syariah laws, said Kelantan (Malaysian state) Bar Committee chairman Datuk Wan Harun Shukri Noordin. Therefore, Muslims in the state must remember that Friday prayers are compulsory, otherwise they can be jailed or fined by the religious authorities.” (The Star 27/04/06)

Marriage, Women and ‘Easy Divorce’… another ‘Arab Cultural Trend’

Some words from an online petition to the Malaysian Government: “Over the last two decades, the trend of amendments to our Islamic family laws have systematically undermined women’s position in marriage by creating unfair conditions regarding polygamy, divorce, maintenance and child custody that benefit men and disadvantage women. The recent passing of the [Malaysian] Islamic Family Law Bill (Federal Territories) (Amendments) Bill 2005 by the Senate is the latest in a series of alarming trends that are damaging to women. With this Bill, men now have even more power to divorce their wives, to contract polygamous marriages and also to freeze the assets of their wife/wives to claim matrimonial property, while women are denied effective remedies.” Sounds an like an ‘Arabic Cultural Injection’ to me.

According to “the wikipedia” “Eurabia is a term used by Bat Ye'or to describe an alleged process of political and cultural incorporation of Europe into the Islamic world, accompanied by a demographic change from a predominantly white Christian population embodying ‘Western Civilization’ to a predominantly ‘Semitic Islamic’ population. The term has come into popular use, and has been used by major media outlets such as FOX, CBS, ABC and NBC to describe the future of a Europe with a young, rapidly growing Muslim population, unwilling to assimillate into European countries.”

Perhaps its time to add a new term to the dictionary “Asiarabia” and perhaps Kuala Lumpur who was happy to change its previous English street names could become “Kuriyadh Lumecca”.

Refs:You can go to for a full excerpt from Zachary Abuza’s book “Militant Islam in Southeast Asia - Crucible of Terror”, Lynne Rienner Pub., Copyright © 2003

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