Monday, May 29, 2017

Intolerance Thrives in Malaysia

Malaysian police blurred faces in this photo showing officers arresting a suspected IS supporter at an undisclosed location. Photo courtesy of the Royal Malaysian Police @

The Islamic State ideology represents extreme intolerance, embracing brutal savagery and deliberate murder. And it is pure evil.

What is frightening is the fact that the arrest of Malaysians with IS affiliations is becoming more frequent. And more numerous.
Since 2013, Malaysian authorities have arrested 294 people with suspected IS links, of whom 66 have since been freed, according to the latest figures obtained by BenarNews on March 24, 2017. This precludes additional arrests in April and May.

Soldiers patrol the streets of Marawi as the Filipino army moves in to free the city from the murderous clutches of IS-linked fighters, May 25, 2017. Photo credit: Jeoffrey Maitem/BenarNews

We seem to even get involved in the Marawi siege in the Philippines by IS-linked militants. Malaysians are fighting alongside the local terror groups Maute and Abu Sayyaf. As well as combatants from Indonesia and Singapore – all providing back-up firepower to the hostiles in the Mindanao conflict.
In fact, the fierce gun battles had forced Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to place the whole of Mindanao under martial law.
The Star on Friday had quoted intelligence sources as saying the Malaysians killed in the battles had been identified as Ustaz Abdurahman Asmawi, from Kelantan and Dr Kamsa Yahya from Kedah.
But Bukit Aman Special Branch director Mohamad Fuzi Harun said “We cannot confirm (the identities of) those who were killed as there are a number of people (Malaysians) over there”.

Reports indicated at least five Malaysians are believed to be in Marawi City Malaysian police seem to suggest.

In fact, Sunday Mail yesterday had cited a Manila-based intelligence official as saying: “Intelligence from ground operatives disclosed 28 Malaysians arrived in Marawi early last week for a 'religious' event. We suspect there must be more who arrived separately”.
The Coverage on December 11, 2015 had published a Pew Research Center study that claimed that over one in ten Malaysians hold favorable views of the IS despite the horrendous violence committed.
The findings come at a time when Malaysia is grappling with the spread of IS ideology among the local populace.
In the study of Muslims’ attitude towards IS, which the Pew Research Centre gleaned from its 2015 Global Attitudes survey, support level for the group in Malaysia was tied in second place with Senegal among 11 nations with significant Muslim populations polled.
It’s not just the IS whom we should be worried about.
The Red Shirts and many so-called Muslim NGOs that are spewing hatred and creating a dangerously volatile situation is already alarming many non-Muslims.
The call by Jaringan Muslimin Pulau Pinang chairperson Mohd Hafiz Noordin to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng forbidding him to attend “buka puasa” (breaking of fast) events unless he converts to Islam is belligerently bigoted as it is peculiarly preposterous.
I am not saying Islam is the enemy. But a perversion of Islam is.
It conceives intolerance. And intolerance is becoming the curse of our country.
Still, I am not giving up hope.
As American stand-up comedian, writer, actor and voice artist, Patton Oswalt had said: “So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, 'The good outnumber you, and we always will'”.
And I am consoled. For now, at least.

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