Friday, May 18, 2007

Islamic law in Malaysia

There is a Religious Police here, akin to the thought police in "1984". if you're chinese or indian, or a white guy, you're exempt from their attentions. That is, unless you sleep with a muslim. If they find you out - they can ambush you in your room - you are not flogged, as I beleive , in Saudi arabia, but you are fined, and a can be forced to marry the person you slept with.

If you are concerned about ID cards being introduced in Oz... well we've had them for ages in France, and it's really not a problem - it's mainly used to weed out illegal immigrants. Listen to this one: in Malaysia everyone has a ID card, with their Religion stamped on it ... yes you read that right. I plan to have a photo of a scanned one on this blog later. it also has a microchip on it , for various info which I am not aware of.

So, as a young lady in the office explained to us when we first arrived, when she tried to eat during Ramadan, she went into a KFC in Kuala Lumpur and was just about to eat her order, when a plainclothed Religious Policeman (they all are) asked her for her ID. It showed she was Muslim, and she was fined and ordered out of the restaurant.

She said her mother had threatened to disown her if she had sex before marriage - but although she considers herself Muslim, she wants to live. So she already has a "one way ticket to hell" as she explained laughing.

On another occasion, she got drunk at a KL nightclub (drinking alcohol is forbidden for Muslims) , and the Religious police raided the nightclub. The result was a night in prison plus a fine. So next time you think civil liberties are threatened in Oz or the USA, think again.

If the Europeans loose their will to hand over a decent and gentle civilization to their kids, and in 20 years or so , Islamic law exists in Holland (1 million non-integrated Muslims) and in other Euro countries, I would not be all that surprised. Islamists have already killed spectacularly in Holland with the killing of the film director Theo Van Gogh, after he made a short film critical of Islam's treatment of women. The threat to kill or bomb or riot is being used all the time in France and other Euro countries.

In practice, In Malaysia, there is quite a bit of variety of behaviour. Places like Kuala Lumpur are pretty free and easy "KL girls do what they want" is a common refrain. There are even brothels in most towns, including Kuah, where I live. Mostly with Thai girls who come over for a few months or more. The police gets paid off to turn a blind eye to all this. Once in a while they make a raid , send the girls back over the border. Then the next day, the same or others come back on a ferry. Although in theory, homosexuality is punishable by death, In Malaysia, I have seen several homosexuals. There was one amusing one as a steward on my flight over here on air Malaysia. Then another - a waiter here in Langkawi. So it's not altogether an Orwellian hell here.

I would say that any form of Islam that comes to power in Europe is likely to be far more intolerant than that practiced here. So much for multiculturalism and self-flaggelating "western culture is bad and tea-drinking arabs are more refined and exotic" thinking.

On Easter, there was an easter display at the local shopping center. And apparently during Christmas , American christmas carols are played at shopping centers! - because malays like christmas carols. Contrast this with UK muslims trying to ban public creches or christmas trees
in public places because they find this " offensive" . Yeah well I find people with red hair "offensive", but thats tough luck for me - because the law only gives in to muslims in Europe...
And in Victoria with the "racist speech" laws, which only apply to non-muslims, in practice.

1 comment:

Cecilia said...

Thanks for an interesting and thought-provoking read, Julian!
Definitely send copies of this in a letter to The Age newspaper. I think people need to hear from someone who's observing this culture first hand.