Storm Track Infiltration: Malaysia's Secular Vision vs. 'Writing On the Wall'
“If the camel gets his nose into the tent, the whole body will follow.” – Old Arab Proverb.
During the 1930s the Nazis perfected the tactic of infiltrating the nations they planned to conquer by sowing lies, confusion and political unrest. It worked perfectly as one European country after another, confused and disoriented by the propaganda and Fifth Column elements in the targeted nation’s media, schools and political organizations, fell easily and quickly into the hands of the Nazi war machine like the Low Countries and France, and some without a fight like Austria and Czechoslovakia.
Even in America, many feared the presence of a German Fifth Column before World War II. The most visible organization of infiltration was the German-American Bund. Groups like these wore uniforms and swastikas and pledged themselves to the Fuhrer promoting hatred for Jews and worked to bring Nazism to the United States. The German-American Bund even stormed the German language New Yorker Staats-Zeitung with the demand that Nazi-sympathetic articles be published. The Bund created recreational camps such as Camp Siegfried in New York and Camp Nordland in New Jersey. It also established Camp Hindenburg in Wisconsin and the group met frequently in Milwaukee and Chicago beer halls. The Bund created an American version of the Hitler Youth that educated children in the German language, German history and Nazi philosophy. The organization brashly promoted the same anti-Semitism of the Third Reich: it handed out Aryan pamphlets outside Jewish-owned establishments and by campaigned in the 1936 presidential election against Franklin Delano Roosevelt—who they charged was part of the Jewish-Bolshevik “conspiracy”. The Bund even spawned several incidents of violence against Jewish-Americans and Jewish-owned businesses.
The Nazis were genius at the art of exploiting the weakness of their intended targets. The Corvinius Library of Hungarian History writes that resistance to the Nazis infiltration tactics was weak through free Europe’s disunity and perplexed by the appeasement action of Western diplomacy. In addition, the free nation’s social ills and national strife were skillfully exploited by Nazi diplomacy and propaganda.
The spearheads of Nazi infiltration were the many large German minorities in those countries who readily embraced the ideas of national-socialism. In fact, Hitler's program appealed to many malcontents, irrespective of nationality, who were dissatisfied with the existing social or political order. The revisionist governments, of course, agreed with Hitler's loudly proclaimed aim of undoing "the injustices of the peace treaties." But the defenders of the status quo, too, in their confused and disorganized state, more and more deemed it opportune to curry the favor of the new and powerful German Reich. First, their inner weaknesses undermined their individual power of resistance. Second, their strife with each other destroyed whatever abilities they might have had for resistance through cooperation.
Does this picture look familiar? Substitute Nazi with Islamist and you can see what I mean. This relatively quiet part of the ‘clash of civilizations’ between the Muslim and non-Muslim world goes on for the most part, unopposed, veiled by the blindness of political correctness and multiculturalism.
You can see this infiltration process not only in America and even more so in Europe, but also in countries that were once considered models of moderate Islam.
Turkey has made it clear that creeping Islamicization will not be accepted and will use the military force, as it did since Ataturk, to stamp out any rise in the control of the country by Islamists. This of course gives grave concern to the EU who is considering admitting Turkey to that socialist organization. The EU is more concerned of how Turkey deals with the Islamist threat rather than the threat itself. The lesson learned from World War II by Europe was instead of learning that evil must be fought they learned that fighting is evil.
Along with Turkey, Malaysia has been looked upon as an example of a moderate Muslim state. But that is changing and the secular vision of Malaysia is being faced with the ‘writing on the wall’.
The Taipei Times wrote:
In practice, various religious and ethnic groups give Malaysia a distinctly multi-cultural character. But the Malaysian Constitution provides room for arguments on both sides of the question, and the relatively secular status quo is facing a serious challenge. Drafted by a group of experts in 1957, under the auspices of the country's former British rulers, the Constitution includes two seemingly contradictory clauses. On the one hand, Article 3 states that Islam is the religion of the federation, and that only Islam can be preached to Muslims. On the other hand, Article 11 guarantees freedom of religion for all. As a result, Malaysia has developed both a general civil code, which is applied universally, and Islamic law, which is applied only to Muslims in personal and family matters.
These contradictions are being exploited by a fundamentalist movement in Malaysia that wants to make it an Islamic state run under Sharia law. There little doubt this. From the International Herald Tribune: "Letter from Malaysia: Nation's secular vision vs. 'writing on the wall'."
The idea of a secular state is dead in Malaysia," says Farish Noor, a Malaysian scholar who specializes in politics and Islam. "An Islamic society is already on the cards. The question is what kind of Islamic society this will be." Those who want to maintain the country's secular roots are fighting what they call creeping Islamicization. Muslim women who at the time of independence often wore silky, tight-fitting outfits today do not leave the house without a head scarf, which is now also required for female police officers of all religions during official functions.
How Islamicized can Malaysia get?
Muslim prayers are piped into the loudspeakers of government offices in the new administrative capital, Putrajaya. And Islamic police officers routinely arrest unmarried couples for "close proximity." I see the writing on the wall," said Ivy Josiah, the director of the Women's Aid Organization, a group that lobbies the government on women's issues. "It's only a matter of time before Malaysia becomes another Taliban state."
The struggle between secular and sacred begins.
In recent years, a number of high- profile court cases have highlighted the clash between Muslim and secular laws, but none so much as the lawsuit brought by Lina Joy, a computer saleswoman, who is challenging the Malaysian government over its refusal to officially acknowledge her conversion from Islam to Christianity. After two lower courts ruled for the government, Joy awaits a judgment from the country's highest court. The case has aggravated already mistrustful relations between Muslim, Christian and Hindu communities. It has led to death threats against one prominent lawyer, large protest gatherings and a ban by the government on any further public debate. At the heart of the case is the fundamental question of which is supreme in Malaysia: Muslim law or the country's secular Constitution.
Malaysia’s hybrid system was seen as a better way to assimilate Muslim and Western traditions. The experience of Malaysia appears to show that there is no easy solution, even after five decades of trying.
So what is the prognostication for Malaysia? What do the people think? A recent poll may tell the tale.
The Muslim Identities Public Opinion Survey, Peninsular Malaysia is the first study on such a large scale that involves a credible sample size for a country the size of Malaysia. "Over 1,000 Muslims in a nation of our size and for just Peninsular Malaysia is a very credible sample," Martinez, who is associate professor at Universiti Malaya's Asia-Europe Institute, told the Sun. The survey produced mixed findings, some of which dismantle the generalizations and assumptions that have been made about Malaysian Muslims. For example, while 73% of those polled agreed that Malaysia is an Islamic state, 64% said the syariah should remain as it is under the Constitution and 77% did not want an Islamic state like Iran.
Another poll gave these results.
More than two-thirds of Indonesians favor the country's current secular system of law, according to a privately funded nationwide survey by the Indonesian Survey Circle, a pollster. If that seems like good news, read it this way: This means there are "only" about 82 million Indonesians who favor Shariah. Approximately 216 million out of Indonesia's approximately 246 million inhabitants, or nearly nine-tenths of the population, are Muslims. And while Indonesia's religious and cultural climate is justifiably regarded as moderate in comparison to much of the rest of the Muslim world -- and its government is a very useful ally against terrorism -- the numbers still leave plenty of room for concern.
Just over two-thirds of respondents disapprove of the death penalty for those who renounce Islam, according to the survey, which was first reported by Rupert Murdoch's www.news.com.au. More than three-quarters of Indonesians disapprove of mandatory head scarves. Nearly two-thirds oppose stoning for adultery. More than 75 percent are against severing the hands of thieves. When the aggregate numbers of people are factored in, the study looks considerably more disturbing. If one-quarter of Indonesians favor cutting off the hands of thieves, it suggests that upwards of 60 million Indonesians favor the practice. If roughly 164 million Indonesians oppose stoning adulterers, it means that more than 80 million favor doing so.
That's a very big camel's nose.
Like Indonesia, Malaysia is faced with a growing Islamist problem that adheres to this. Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that There is no such thing as a moderate Muslim and US President George W. Bush is mistaken in casting his war on terror in terms of a "struggle for civilizations."
- "There is no such thing as a moderate Muslim," he said. "We are fundamentalists in Malaysia. We follow the true teachings of the religion and the true teachings do not teach us to bomb and kill people without reason."
Yeah – “without reason”. Love those Islamist caveats.