Sunday, February 19, 2006

This is how it was, 2006 -- Malaysia

Being a blogger, blogging from a (defacto) Islamic state like Malaysia, is a surreal experience. It can be difficult for those in the free world to understand, so I will try to elucidate. So this is my contribution for the "This is how it was" series.

Being a blogger in Malaysia on such a 'sensitive topic' like Islam is, to be honest, like being the only sane person in an insane asylum. Everyone around you is either unwilling or unable to see reality in its true form--they can only perceive a distorted misshapen sort of reality. But this 'alternate' reality is the one that everyone accepts as natural, and as true. For example, note the following typical viewpoint from the Malaysian media: "Why of course, those awful cartoons, how could they dare publish them? One must never insult Islam." Here in the Malaysian wing of the Islamic Insane Asylum, such thoughts are so natural, they just roll off the tongue. Any thoughts otherwise are not only unthinkable, they are inconcievable. Such is life with the inmates of Islam.

Of course, if I ever dare utter the truth openly, or anything else that does not fit the Official Line, I am quickly warned by my friends. "Quiet! Do you want to get in trouble?" To risk using a borderline hoary cliche, my existence here is a bit like the plotline from the first Matrix movie (the one good Matrix movie, I mean). In that movie, the main character realizes the truth, but it's such a dangerous truth that it totally undercuts not only the authority, but the very reality of society itself--its assumptions, its norms, its very foundations. It is exactly the same here in this corner of Dar al Islam, knowing as I know, that there can never be peace as long as there is Islam in the world.

I walk around the streets everyday, with this incredibly dangerous knowledge in my mind. No amount of posture or PC from the braindead local media, or government spin can erase what I know. So, it's best to keep it sealed carefully away, and this is what I do. It's what I have to do everyday here, just to function normally. Were it not for the net, I would have no outlet for such thinking at all. So for that, I am grateful.

Most Malaysians are very content to not think about politics, or religion. Since freedom of thought, religion, speech, or expression do not truly exist here, Malaysians by and large are happy leaving such thoughts on such 'sensitive topics' to those presumed to be the wise ones. People like the government, the kings, or the Barisan Nasional politicians (BN, or 'National Front', is the ruling party that has governed this country since Malaysia's independence from the UK in 1957). The great troubles of the world--Iran, Israel, Iraq, the bleeding sore that is "Palestine", even southern Thailand's festering Jihad--all seem comfortably far away from everyday Malaysian life.

"Let the politicians think about such things", most Malaysians will say. Surely, Islam cannot be responsible for any of the troubles in the world. Because the government and the government (Muslim) clerics say so, that's good enough for the average Malay on the street.

Many Americans had these same sorts of thoughts before 9-11. The world's troubles were seemingly far away, and that was comforting to know. Islam's involvement in virtually every war/terrorist incident in the world, was something not known by the average American before 9-11. It's not known to the average Malaysian, not even now. And even if it was, such facts would not be appreciated in its proper context. Certainly, there could be nothing intrinsically violent about Islam itself, or its teachings, right? Jihad, as they teach everyone in their Islamic studies classes (mandatory at all Malaysian government schools), is surely only a peaceful internal struggle for spiritual self improvement, right?

Malaysian society, by and large, is asleep to the dangers without and within. Most Malaysians may not pose much of a direct danger to Dar al Harb, but they won't resist Islam's Global Jihad either. If Israelis, Americans, and other free countries in this world want to preserve their free societies, you will not find any help here. And if that's true, they aren't going to find it in any other quarter of Dar al Islam, either.


elmers brother said...


God Bless you for your courage.

Always On Watch said...

An outstanding post here! Thank you for telling us like it is and for baring your soul.

I walk around the streets everyday, with this incredibly dangerous knowledge in my mind. No amount of posture or PC from the braindead local media, or government spin can erase what I know.

I know what you're saying. Sometimes I can barely think of anything else.

But I slog on, and so must you. To do less is unacceptable.

Stay safe! You have friends here.

Pastorius said...

This post is a masterpiece. Thank you very much.