UI – Part 472 – Is Indonesia Next?
Recent elections in Turkey have extended the reins of power for President Erdogan. It is difficult for me to understand how a Country, although majority Muslim, which enjoyed freedom and democracy, voted recently to expand the term and authority of the President, effectively giving him autocratic status. The people were hoodwinked, coerced or cheated, in my thinking, as why would any independent minded person want to live under an oppressive dictatorship by choice. And by choice, I mean they voted for it.
Indonesia is the largest majority Muslim Country in the world. It is not a middle eastern entity. It is in Southeast Asia. It has a population of 258 million, which alone exceeds the total population of the Middle East. Larger than Egypt. Larger then Saudi Arabia. Larger than Iran. It is the largest island nation with over seventeen thousands islands.
There was a recent article in the Economist ((April 22, 2017), “Islam in Indonesia – The Rise of Intolerance.” It is worth a read. (Read). It describes the use of fake news, propaganda by Islamists, to discredit non-Muslims, the unbelievers, running for political office in an effort to Islamize what has historically been a moderate Muslim nation. A quote from the article provides a poignant summary, “unscrupulous politicians (use) a simple blueprint for winning office: stir up religious fever by decrying real or invented insults to Islam.” A voice opposing such zealotry is deemed necessary to avoid the use of such deceitful tactics to alter the course of this nation towards radicalization.
Yet deception is a tool, best applied by Allah, that has enabled the imperialistic expansion of Islam for 1400 years.
Indonesia has had a government considered secular, with a policy of separation of mosque and state. Most residents are cultural Muslims, not devout. The State religion is Islam. But historically, tolerance towards other religions has existed, even though the numbers of Jews, for instance, living in Indonesia is miniscule. Recently there has been an escalation of fundamentalist Muslims, Islamists, having their say and impacting events taking place, which included the sentencing of the country’s 1st Christian governor, Ahok (Basuki Tjahaja Purnama), to two years in prison for blasphemy. He interpreted a verse of the Quran in more moderate, tolerant terms allowing for non-Muslims to govern. The moderate majority in Indonesia, unfortunately, did not come to his defense.
M. Zuhdi Jasser recently authored an article published in Asia Times, “Muslims must stand together against the scourge of radical Islam.” Quoting from that piece, “Indonesia…finds itself slipping slowly into the quagmire of theocracy like a frog slowly boiling to death in a kettle of water as the temperature increases daily.” Jasser goes on to explain how Ahok “was targeted.” He “has not been able to defend himself and has not received sufficient public support.” What he then says, which is so disturbing is that at “the core of this threat is Islamism – a theopolitical ideology, distinct from the personal faith of Islam, that seeks to establish Islamic states and a caliphate. It’s a system that cannot exist without the censure of dissident voices and the subjugation of anyone – Muslim or non-Muslim – who opposes it.” (Read full article)
Unique as a Muslim, Zuhdi Jasser is most tolerant. He sees Islam as a religion that can and should live side-by-side with other religions. Blasphemy laws are wrong. The statement he makes which is quite poignant is, “If faith is professed under duress, but not held by choice it cannot be sincere.” I wish everyone in the Muslim universe could hear those words and digest their true meaning. What it says, to me anyway, is most Muslims are not sincere in their belief in Islam. They live more as cultural Muslims, and in fear, due to apostasy laws, should they leave, or even read or hear about another religion. Proselytization by other religions is verboten in Islamaland. Such fear may be the true definition of Islamophobia.
Mr. Marshal Kahn was a Pashtun and Muslim student at the Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, Pakistan who was killed by an angry mob on the premises of the university on April 13, 2017, over fake allegations of posting blasphemous content online. He was very accomplished and well versed in many subjects. In Pakistan blasphemy laws have risen to the top of the punishment scale, often misinterpreted and thus erroneously judged. Pakistan’s Prime Minister, In March 2017, Nawaz Sharif, supported a crackdown on blasphemous material posted on social media and described blasphemy as an “unpardonable offense.” The target is clearly non-Muslims, but also moderate Muslims who express any concerns for Islam, its interpretation, application or lack of tolerance. Thus the Islamophobic rhetoric, if properly applied, belongs more to the moderate whose views may be at variance with the more Islamists that maintain a watchful eye over those they can attack for being insufficiently devout and politically, by their standards, correct.
Read more of this story on Wikipedia. (Read here)
Our Presidents in the past have never fully understood Islam. The liberals today do not seem to even try. The Democrats are more interested in catering to the identities of groups and defending them, more ID politics than practical programs for all citizens. Obama exemplified that, as did Clinton with her elitist expectation that the job should be hers and as a woman she deserved, due to her identifying as a woman, the office of President. I still only see her wearing pants (pantsuit) and never a skirt. I picture most females dressed wearing skirts. The liberals care little about the ideology or the facts, standing up instead just for being gay, being Muslim, being black, or some other minority vicim group with which they can gather support and votes for their power base. Trump, on the other hand, is trying to cope with policies that will make the lives of every American, even the liberal ID factions, better. Will he and his cabinet spend more time trying to understand Islam and the creeping sharia legal components that are breaking into what have been more tolerant Muslin societies such as Turkey, Pakistan, Indonesia, and others? His foreign policy advisors should. He has a more nationalist agenda, but cannot forget the rest of the world and how it can impact, via creeping Islamism, America.
Presidents historically were more focused on the Israel-Palestine relationship and the two state concept than the more eastern parts of the Middle East and Southeast Asia. The result has been devastating as countries that were modernizing have fallen back in time, terrorist globalist Islamic groups have formed and spread, and chaos in war ravaged areas continues. It is the Muslim that is in the midst of all the turmoil. Could it have been prevented with a greater focus on the Muslim universe than Russia? I have written about this extensively in prior articles and will continue to do so.
Radicalization of Moderate Muslims
We cannot forget what is happening in the Muslim universe as the Islamists are invading even the more moderate areas where cultural Muslims live, to quiet, contain, control and radicalize them. Those that do not succumb to the radicalization process, to remain free and safe, will be silent, they will not speak out against the extremists and the adverse punishments towards those who inadvertently err in expressing what may be even the slightest criticism of the Quran, their idol Muhammad (I thought Muslims were not to revere mortal idols), and Allah.
Grace and Peace