It is true that Malaysia enjoyed a certain reputation among Muslims of the world as a ‘good’ Muslim country. It is not that they were impressed by the rapid development but by the fact they still could hear the azan over the TV, well kept mosques all over the capital and also Malaysian leaders still swearing their loyalty to Islam. This has been fast changing under the leadership of Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his ‘Vision 2020’ team who think that they have already succeeded in converting the people to a herd of sheep. They now feel safe to drop their Islamic mask and do whatever they want without bothering about Muslim sentiments.
Malaysia’s Islamic credibility had already suffered a serious setback ever since the Mahathir government opened up trade relations with Israel two years ago. But the straw that broke the camel’s back was when the government decided to allow an Israeli national sports team play here. The decision was met with protests and disappointment from all quarters, the most vocal being university student organisations and the opposition party, PAS.
The latest anti-Israeli demonstration on April 4 proves to the Muslim world that Muslims of Malaysia, in spite of the prosperity and promise of wealth and acceptance by the west, are very much a part of the global Muslim community and not entirely sold out to the international Zionist lobby. About 250 people, mostly university students were arrested and later released. They were among 5,000 people who took part in a demonstration to protest against the government’s decision to invite the Israeli cricket team to a recently held international cricket tournament.
The deputy prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim, explained the issue by saying that “sports are apolitical” and the Muslim protests were not acceptable. The argument seems to have fallen flat on his own face. The next day the cabinet chaired by him had decided to cool off Malaysia’s relations with Singapore especially in sports as a reaction to Singapore senior minister’s description of Malaysia as crime ridden.
But a more absurd argument has been forwarded by the prime minister himself, when he said that the reason for inviting the Israelis was to show them that Muslims in Malaysia are ‘tolerant’, unlike the stone-throwing Arab ‘extremists’. Mahathir actually said that “we can change Israel’s public opinion by showing them that Islam is a tolerant religion”. It may be baffling to many that the real reason of inviting Israelis into the country was the prime minister’s lofty purpose of da’wah [Islamic outreach] “to show the Jews, who control the international media that we are rational human beings who live in peace” and to project an image of Islam which is “tolerant, rational and intelligent”.
Mahathir couldn’t care two hoots about these “stupid” Muslim sentiments. His avowed ambition for Malaysia was to be counted by the west as ‘tolerant’ and ‘rational’. Mahathir not only called the anti-Zionist demonstrators ‘stupid’ but actually believed that Muslims in Malaysia were stupid. How else he could give da’wah as the reason for inviting Israel?
Maybe he was just being realistic. He knows rightly that the world has come under the total control of the Jews proving Henry Ford - founder of the Ford Motors - to the letter in his prediction some seventy years ago in his famous book The International Jew. America is the super power only in name, but the real power resides in Tel Aviv. If any one does not understand this frightful reality, he is indeed ‘stupid’, as Mahathir repeated several times. In effect the prime minister’s advice is this:
“Whatever the Qur’an and history may say about the Jews, the government’s policy is based on the `reality’ on the ground. The `reality’ is that the world is now in the total grip of the Zionists, and we are here to do their bidding whether you like it or not. The Arab rulers understand this and they have submitted. If the Arab masses still do not understand this ‘reality’, they are stupid, hence my advice to them not to fight Israel. Israel could help to bloom their desert with Israeli technology. In our case our present economic prosperity will vanish into thin air if we displease them. Our Vision 2020 needs their help, the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) needs American technology and Jewish money and organisational skills. We have no alternative but to accept this ‘reality’.
“The only problem is with the fundamentalists who take everything in the Qur’an seriously. They should know it was OK some 1,400 years ago, but in the modern age, it is stupid to take these things seriously. America and the Jews have no objection to our religion so long it is practised peacefully, passively and would not interfere in their business. Keep your morality to your masjids and do not let it interfere in business and politics or development. We follow the American paradigm for our development policy. If we do not follow them, they will go on branding us fundamentalist and uncivilised. They will never tolerate a fundamentalist Islam. They will never allow us to join the civilised world as long as we are loyal to Islam the old fashioned way.”
Who can in fact resist such wise counsel from the recipient of this year’s Saudi Arabian ‘King Faisal Award for Islamic Services’ (as well as a couple of other awards by some Arab dictators), especially when he has all the support from the “Jewish-controlled international media”?
Muslimedia - April 16-30, 1997