A Monthly Newsmagazine from Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT)
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Abdar Rahman Koya

Works

Book Review

Revealing biography of Arafat, undermined by author’s prejudices and agenda

Abdar Rahman Koya

Ramadan 11, 14302009-09-01

Arafat: From Defender to Dictator by Said K. Aburish. Pub: Bloomsbury Paperbacks, London, UK, 1999. Pp: 360. Pbk: £7.99

News & Analysis

Rift in PAS as theories abound over “conservatives” and “liberals”

Abdar Rahman Koya

Rajab 08, 14302009-07-01

What started as a media manufactured rift in Malaysia’s Islamic Party (PAS) soon became real after its top leader openly condemned a section of the leadership who has been in talks with the ruling UMNO.

Imam Khomeini: Life, Thought and Legacy

Abdar Rahman Koya

Jumada' al-Ula' 06, 14302009-05-01

The twentieth anniversary of Imam Khomeini’s death seems, therefore, an appropriate time to publish a compilation of articles on Imam Khomeini, his work and thought, and their impact on contemporary history, in the hope that some Muslims at least may be reminded of his unique contribution to the history of Islam. While there is a plethora of writings on Imam Khomeini and his thoughts, we have confined our selections largely to articles published in the news magazine Crescent International. This Toronto-based news magazine has provided unparalleled coverage of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the Islamic movement since 1980, based on the contributions of seasoned observers and expert analysts of contemporary Islamic affairs. The publication of this book, it is hoped, will lay the foundation for any one interested in current affairs or modern Islamic political thought to study events based on sound understanding of historical facts and evolution of events.

1
South-East Asia

Sleaze clouds Mahathir-endorsed new prime minister

Abdar Rahman Koya

Rabi' al-Thani 05, 14302009-04-01

In the ongoing political drama that has played out over the last decade, more so since the opposition’s impressive gains in last year’s general elections, the government imposed a three-month ban on one of the country’s most widely circulated newspaper, Harakah, the bilingual voice of the Islamic Party (PAS), which now controls two of the five states the opposition alliance captured last year.

South-East Asia

Thai army’s brutalities against Rohingya Muslims

Abdar Rahman Koya

Rabi' al-Awwal 04, 14302009-03-01

When it comes to treating human beings like cattle, or worse, the Thai military does it best. Last December, thousands of Rohingya Muslims from Bangladesh and Myanmar, desperate to flee their squalid and miserable conditions, decided to jump into boats and migrate to neighboring lands. The Indian navy eventually found them near the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

South-East Asia

Anwar’s strong stance over Ghazzah and PAS’s by-election victory

Abdar Rahman Koya

Safar 05, 14302009-02-01

By-elections in Malaysia are fought with the same vigor, if not more, as the general election. Why this is so remains a mystery, especially when the ruling party still has a comfortable majority in parliament despite the drubbing it got in the general elections last March.

South-East Asia

Inaugural Memorial Lecture on Abdullah Yusuf Ali held in Kuala Lumpur

Abdar Rahman Koya

Muharram 04, 14302009-01-01

An inaugural memorial lecture on the translator of the Qur’an in English, the late Abdullah Yusuf Ali, was held in Kuala Lumpur on December 14. Organized by the Malaysian-based Islamic Book Trust (IBT), the lecture was delivered by M.A. Sherif, author of Searching for Solace, the first detailed account of the life of Yusuf Ali published by IBT in 1994.

South-East Asia

Abdullah’s early exit and Anwar’s failure to take over raise the spectre of Mahathir’s return

Abdar Rahman Koya

Dhu al-Qa'dah 02, 14292008-11-01

The creases from his predecessor’s seat had hardly settled when Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced on October 9 that he would step down as prime minister and president of the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) in March 2009.

South-East Asia

Anwar rises above allegations of immorality to challenge the foundations of UMNO rule in Malaysia

Abdar Rahman Koya

Ramadan 01, 14292008-09-01

If the trend of powerful political parties expiring after fifty years’ rule is anything to go by, then Malaysia’s ruling United Malays National Organisation(UMNO), in power since the country’s independence from Britain in 1957, had better be prepared.

South-East Asia

Malaysian politics in turmoil as Anwar Ibrahim faces another government smear campaign

Abdar Rahman Koya

Rajab 29, 14292008-08-01

Four years ago Anwar was almost a spent force in Malaysian politics. When he was released after a court’s acquittal in September 2004, amid the jubilation that he would provide the leadership needed for an opposition in disarray, there was still no guarantee that another attack against him would not resurface, despite the failed campaign of prime minister Mahathir Mohamad to taint his character.

South-East Asia

Malaysia’s opposition coalition learning lessons in democratic politics

Abdar Rahman Koya

Jumada' al-Akhirah 27, 14292008-07-01

It has become a political tradition for the performance of a government to be evaluated once it has been in power for a period of some three months or a hundred days. This is usually taken as the time required for the new administration to bed itself in; problems encountered before this time has elapsed can often be conveniently attributed to the previous regime.

South-East Asia

Mahathir’s resignation from UMNO increases pressure on Badawi after election fiasco

Abdar Rahman Koya

Jumada' al-Ula' 27, 14292008-06-01

As the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) growls like a wounded tiger about its setbacks since the general elections in March, former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim is almost like a vulture, waiting his chance to pound at the best opportunity he has had in more than a decade.

South-East Asia

Malaysia’s ruling party shaken by unprecedented election setbacks

Abdar Rahman Koya

Rabi' al-Awwal 24, 14292008-04-01

That there are now two ruling coalitions in Malaysia – UMNO’s and another led by Anwar Ibrahim (pic, left) – aptly describes Malaysia’s post-election reality. For the first time, the opposition’s credibility is being put to test at the governing level.

South-East Asia

Malaysia prepares for an unusually issue-driven general election

Abdar Rahman Koya

Safar 23, 14292008-03-01

As Crescent goes to press, intense campaigning is under way in Malaysia for the general election on March 8. The election was called by prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi after almost a year of speculation that turned out to be correct: that it would be held before April this year.

South-East Asia

Indonesia still suffering from legacy of former president Suharto

Abdar Rahman Koya

Muharram 23, 14292008-02-01

Perhaps the only confusion that emerged in the aftermath of Suharto’s death on January 27 was the conflicting reports about how many names he had: whether he had one name, like most Javanese, or two, prefixed by ‘Muhammad’. The rest of the details about his life are clear.

South-East Asia

Pattani Muslims under attack again in southern Thailand

Abdar Rahman Koya

Muharram 23, 14292008-02-01

The adage ‘no news is good news’ is not always true for Muslims in southern Thailand. Reports from the south seldom make it to the mainstream news agenda, conveying the impression that the conflict is dying down. Yet in less than four years about 3,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed, and tens of thousands wounded.

South-East Asia

Malaysians wait as government hesitates over election date

Abdar Rahman Koya

Dhu al-Hijjah 22, 14282008-01-01

As Crescent went to press, Malaysians were still awaiting announcement of the date of the country’s general elections, which had been widely expected to take place before the end of the year. They have been delayed because of a number of man-made and natural events that have shaken the confidence of the government of prime minister Abdullah Badawi.

South-East Asia

Malaysian government shocked by scale of opposition rally

Abdar Rahman Koya

Dhu al-Qa'dah 20, 14282007-12-01

Just when prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was basking in glory after the usual praises poured on him at the end of the ruling UMNO's general assembly, he was jolted by a mammoth opposition-backed rally in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, on November 10. That tens of thousands of protesters heeded the silent invitation to join the rally calling for major reforms in the way elections are conducted, after countless threats and warnings from the prime minister and police chiefs, sends a signal that the people's resentment of the UMNO is even more than it was thought to be.

South-East Asia

Malaysia’s judiciary exposed again, this time by a video-clip

Abdar Rahman Koya

Ramadan 19, 14282007-10-01

Nine years after he was dismissed, arrested, beaten and brought to the trial that displayed the utter corruption of Malaysia’s judiciary, former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim, now a leader of the opposition, seems to have got something on a silver plate on September 19.

South-East Asia

Malaysia trial focuses attention on another deputy prime minister

Abdar Rahman Koya

Rajab 17, 14282007-08-01

Few countries pay as much attention to their deputy prime ministers as Malaysians do. The number two spot in the government is often fought for with a fervour stronger than for the PM’s post. When not being contested, the person occupying it had better get every part of his act clean, at least in public. The slightest involvement in any controversy will be the road to resignation, or, in the case of Anwar Ibrahim, unceremonious dismissal and arrest.

South-East Asia

Anwar’s return to politics worries government as it looks ahead to general elections

Abdar Rahman Koya

Rabi' al-Thani 14, 14282007-05-01

Barely a month after he announced his intention of returning to the political stage, Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia’s former deputy prime minister, is back in limelight. Since being released from jail in late 2004, he had been travelling around the world delivering speeches to academic institutions and thinktanks. Now he has promised to give the Malaysian opposition a shot in the arm.

South-East Asia

Increasing concern over killings in Muslim southern Thailand

Abdar Rahman Koya

Safar 11, 14282007-03-01

As the conflict in Aceh recedes into the past, another part of Muslim southeast Asia has emerged as a conflict zone, as if to replace the ‘vacuum' created by the successful peace accord between GAM and Jakarta. The Muslim-majority provinces in southern Thailand, which border with Malaysia, have been the scene of unprecedented casualties in recent months, pushing the death toll to 2,000, all killed in circumstances that have yet to be explained in a plausible manner.

South-East Asia

US targets Malaysia in drive to sign Muslim countries to free trade agreement

Abdar Rahman Koya

Muharram 13, 14282007-02-01

After months of optimism, Malaysia finally admitted last month that its negotiations over the free trade agreement (FTA) with the US are going nowhere. The Malaysian government has been shunning an infant movement which is slowly gaining momentum to oppose any FTA with Washington. With other ‘developing' countries, the Americans have listed Malaysia as their next target for an FTA, salivating at the prospect of laying hands on this economically booming southeast-Asian region.

South-East Asia

Muslim issues in Malaysia raised at UMNO assembly

Abdar Rahman Koya

Dhu al-Qa'dah 10, 14272006-12-01

Malaysia’s United Malay National Organisation (UMNO) held its general assembly last month. It was the first such gathering for the ruling party since Abdullah Ahmad Badawi took over the helm in October 2003. But as usual there were no elections for the president’s and deputy president’s posts

Special Reports

How the West has made Muslim regimes dependent on weapons supplies

Abdar Rahman Koya

Sha'ban 08, 14272006-09-01

The international arms trade is one of the largest and most profitable in the world, with developing countries spending vast amounts on Western arms. ABDAR RAHMAN KOYA discusses how the West abuses its power in this unequal and exploitative relationship.

Hizbullah, Party of God: An Islamic Movement Perspective

Abdar Rahman Koya

Rajab 07, 14272006-08-01

From a rag-tag band of guerrillas in the 1980's, the Hizbullah have become a near-professional army capable of resisting the Israelis on several fronts for prolonged periods. But they are far more than simply a military force. They are also a popular political movement in Lebanon, capable of transcending the country's fractured communal politics, and the main providers of education and welfare services to Lebanon's poorest people. It is not only for their military strength that they are massively popular with Arab and Muslim peoples everywhere? and regarded with fear by Israel, the West and Arab governments alike. This volume brings together essays and features on what is perhaps the most successful non-governmental social, political and military movement in the world today.

1
South-East Asia

Christian and Hindu zealots testing the boundaries of religious tolerance in Malaysia

Abdar Rahman Koya

Rajab 07, 14272006-08-01

Malaysia is a Muslim country with substantial non-Muslim minorities. Although it cannot be considered an Islamic state, Islam plays a large part in its public life. ABDAR RAHMAN KOYA discusses Christian and Hindu attempts to “de-Islamise” it.

South-East Asia

Release of Abu Bakar Basyir raises Western fears about Islam in Indonesia

Abdar Rahman Koya

Jumada' al-Akhirah 05, 14272006-07-01

Time was obviously not on the side of Australia and the US, right from the day respected alim Abu Bakar Basyir was sentenced to jail two years ago for a crime he was too frail to plan or carry out. On 14 June, it was like a discordant alarm-clock that went off too early for Canberra, the self-appointed deputy sheriff of Bush's international police force.

South-East Asia

Indonesia-Malaysia deal on domestic workers fails to eliminate modern-day slavery

Abdar Rahman Koya

Safar 02, 14272006-06-02

In the last issue, we reported on the protests by expatriate workers in Dubai against their treatment there. Now ABD RAHMAN KOYA in Kuala Lumpur reports on the plight of Indonesia domestic workers in Malaysia, and the shortcomings of a new agreement between the countries.

Book Review

Welcome new edition of a famous analysis of the decline of Islamic civilization (Re-print)

Abdar Rahman Koya

Rabi' al-Thani 03, 14272006-05-01

Our Decline: Its Causes and Remedies by Amir Shakib Arslan (new, revised edition). Pub: Islamic Book Trust, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 2004 (www.ibtbooks.com). Pp: 175. US$10.00.

South-East Asia

Acehnese Muslim leaders sign agreement with Indonesia despite TNI atrocities

Abdar Rahman Koya

Jumada' al-Akhirah 25, 14262005-08-01

For the third time since Jakarta and the fighters of Aceh signed their first ‘treaty' in May 2000, both sides have again reached a deal, hoping to pave the way to a lasting solution of the conflict in North Sumatra. This time the negotiations were conducted in the wake of the region's worst catastrophe: the tsunami of December 26 last year.

Islamic Movement

PAS’s new deputy president on Malaysian politics and the Islamic movement

Abdar Rahman Koya

Jumada' al-Ula' 24, 14262005-07-01

Since the early eighties, Crescent International has been covering political developments in Malaysia. Recently the country's largest opposition party, the Islamic Party (PAS), got extensive media attention after its party elections. The election of its new leaders, particularly that of the deputy president, whom the media have heralded as ‘moderate' and ‘reformist', is seen as a turning-point for PAS and described as a sign of sweeping changes to come. Where does PAS go from here? ABDAR RAHMAN KOYA talks to Dr Nasharuddin Mat Isa, the new deputy president of PAS, about a number of issues affecting Muslims in Malaysia and the Islamic movement.

South-East Asia

Malaysia’s PAS facing pressure to change tack because of association with Anwar Ibrahim

Abdar Rahman Koya

Rabi' al-Thani 24, 14262005-06-01

The rise and fall of the Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) seem to be tied to its arch-rival United Malay National Organisation (UMNO). Now that UMNO’s worst crisis is over with the end of the Anwar Ibrahim saga, all indications are that PAS is declining, with even party leaders becoming defensive when trying to answer accusations that the party has lost its direction.

Special Reports

Implications of Anwar Ibrahim’s promotion of a moderate and west-friendly Islam

Abdar Rahman Koya

Rabi' al-Awwal 22, 14262005-05-01

Since his release last year after spending six-years in a Malaysian prison, Anwar Ibrahim has become a darling of the West for his promotion of an understanding of Islam that is regarded as ‘moderate’ and West-friendly. ABDAR RAHMAN KOYA in Kuala Lumpur reports.

South-East Asia

Indonesia beats drums of war against Malaysia

Abdar Rahman Koya

Safar 22, 14262005-04-01

As if the recent divine fury of the tsunami that struck South-East Asia last December were not enough, the prospect of a war between that region's only two predominantly Muslim countries, Indonesia and Malaysia, came into the limelight after the deployment of warships by both countries in a disputed area of sea.

South-East Asia

Response to tsunami highlights desperate need for change in Muslim societies

Abdar Rahman Koya

Muharram 20, 14262005-02-01

No sooner had the tsunami struck more than ten countries in southern Asia than the numbers games began. First it was the giant news media who rushed to report the latest death toll – the bigger the death toll reported, the fresher the news was. Another numbers game is the aid promised by governments to help the victims.

South-East Asia

Good news at last for Rohingyas in Malaysia – but more needed

Abdar Rahman Koya

Dhu al-Qa'dah 20, 14252005-01-01

After weeks of promises and reversals, the Malaysian government, which practises an official policy of zero-tolerance towards refugees and foreigners without valid documents, has formally announced its decision to recognise the thousands of Rohingya Muslims in the country as political refugees.

South-East Asia

Doubts over Anwar’s friends as he re-enters Malaysian politics

Abdar Rahman Koya

Shawwal 18, 14252004-12-01

Since his return on October 31 after undergoing spinal surgery in Germany, former Malaysian deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim has been wooing large crowds wherever he goes...

South-East Asia

Increasing drug and social abuse among Muslim youth in Malaysia

Abdar Rahman Koya

Ramadan 18, 14252004-11-01

Malaysia often claims to be a well-developed Muslim country, with its skycrapers and well-organised city gracing postcards and tourist brochures. Some of this is not propaganda...

South-East Asia

Has Anwar Ibrahim changed in six years behind bars?

Abdar Rahman Koya

Sha'ban 16, 14252004-10-01

One feature of Malaysia is its ability to make everything a make-believe. Its racially-divided society is seemingly in harmony, its economy is seemingly in the hands of the majority Malay Muslims, its rich-poor gap is seemingly small, and its judiciary is seemingly fair...

South-East Asia

Indonesian general acquitted of Tanjung Priok massacre

Abdar Rahman Koya

Rajab 16, 14252004-09-01

Since the fall of Suharto Indonesia's journey to ‘democracy' has been marked by court trials involving its past rulers. Curiously, any trial in Indonesia attracts western attention to their disputed ‘credibility'...

South-East Asia

US hoping Singapore will help control Malacca straits

Abdar Rahman Koya

Jumada' al-Ula' 13, 14252004-07-01

A useful characteristic of George W. Bush and his cronies is their openness in dealing with America’s enemies, thus making known the US’s probable next course of action...

South-East Asia

PAS loses out as UMNO makes a comeback in Malaysian elections

Abdar Rahman Koya

Safar 11, 14252004-04-01

The results of the general elections held on March 21 in Malaysia were as expected (see Crescent, March 2004): a return to the pre-Anwar-Ibrahim saga situation...

South-East Asia

Malaysia’s opposition in disarray as elections loom

Abdar Rahman Koya

Muharram 10, 14252004-03-01

A hundred days is generally accepted to be a reasonable time after which to gauge the progress or performance of a new government or political leader...

Book Review

Welcome new edition of a famous analysis of the decline of Islamic civilization

Abdar Rahman Koya

Dhu al-Hijjah 10, 14242004-02-01

Our Decline: Its Causes and Remedies by Amir Shakib Arslan (new, revised edition). Pub: Islamic Book Trust, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 2004 (www.ibtbooks.com). Pp: 175. US$8.00.

South-East Asia

Malaysia’s new premier facing hard task following Mahathir

Abdar Rahman Koya

Shawwal 07, 14242003-12-01

Riding high after his speech at the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) summit in October, Malaysia’s Dr Mahathir Mohamad finally kept his promise by stepping down after 22 years in power. He seems to have followed the advice from his mother...

South-East Asia

South East Asian governments discovering Islamic ‘terrorists’ to please Uncle Sam

Abdar Rahman Koya

Sha'ban 05, 14242003-10-01

Muslim regimes have developed ingenious ways to convince the Bush administration of their commitment to the ‘war on terrorism’ . The latest is the ‘numbers game’ of arrested Muslim activists – the more people hauled in, the more unlikely it is that one will suffer the Saddam fate (or so they hope).

South-East Asia

Putin gets Malaysia’s moral and material support for dirty war in Chechnya

Abdar Rahman Koya

Jumada' al-Akhirah 18, 14242003-08-16

Russian president Vladimir Putin got more than he bargained for during his first-ever trip to Malaysia on August 5, as part of his effort to increase the sales of Russian arms in this part of the world.

South-East Asia

Indonesian army revises deadline to deal with Aceh, as Muslim leaders indulge in sovereignty talk

Abdar Rahman Koya

Jumada' al-Ula' 16, 14242003-07-16

Indonesian authorities in charge of the recently declared martial law in Aceh have announced that martial law has achieved "100 per cent" control of the territory. However, army chief general Endriartono Sutarto was quick to add that "of course we cannot say security is 100 percent guaranteed", according to the Jakarta Post (July 2).

South-East Asia

The last days of Malaysia’s Mahathir

Abdar Rahman Koya

Jumada' al-Ula' 01, 14242003-07-01

It could have been yet another festival of tears for the United Malay National Organisation (UMNO), Malaysia’s ruling party, when it held its annual congress last month. That party-president-cum-prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad would weep as he has in previous years was taken for granted.

South-East Asia

Megawati gives army licence to conduct ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Aceh

Abdar Rahman Koya

Rabi' al-Thani 01, 14242003-06-01

Taking a cue from her American mentors, Indonesian president Megawati Sukarnoputri has discovered the art of talking tough towards the end of a term of office. Megawati has mostly maintained silence as the cornerstone of her presidency...

South-East Asia

Aceh peace deal crumbles as Jakarta launches its ‘operation freedom’

Abdar Rahman Koya

Rabi' al-Awwal 14, 14242003-05-16

Barely four months after the second ceasefire was signed between the Indonesian government and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM), the deal has crumbled yet again, though no one is surprised.

South-East Asia

Anger over Iraq invasion slowly evolves into action as western interests targeted in south-east Asia

Abdar Rahman Koya

Safar 14, 14242003-04-16

As American and British forces ‘mop up’ the pockets of resistance while ‘cruising’ through Baghdad, the protest and anger generated before and during the war are taking on a new dimension that may not be so easy to deal with as Saddam’s regime...

South-East Asia

Vacuum at the heart of the Non-Aligned Movement

Abdar Rahman Koya

Muharram 13, 14242003-03-16

What’s in a NAM? This was answered even before the so-called non-aligned countries, which constitute the Non-Aligned Movement, began their summit in Kuala Lumpur on February 24. For many heads of state who attended, it was a short holiday in the tropics.

South-East Asia

Indonesia feeling political pressure for its pursuit of Abu Bakar Basyir

Abdar Rahman Koya

Dhu al-Hijjah 27, 14232003-03-01

There are signs that cracks are appearing in the alliance of strange bedfellows in South East Asia. Governments are beginning to realise that they have been negligent of domestic politics; as general elections loom in countries like Malaysia and Indonesia...

South-East Asia

Indonesian Muslims reject official propaganda against Islamic groups

Abdar Rahman Koya

Ramadan 26, 14232002-12-01

Despite desperate attempts by the police to convince a sceptical public by broadcasting suspects’ confessions on television, most Indonesians still disbelieve allegations of local Muslim groups’ involvement in the Bali carnage of October 12...

South-East Asia

Indonesia faces return to Suharto style repression after Bali bomb

Abdar Rahman Koya

Sha'ban 25, 14232002-11-01

When at a loss to explain anti-Western opinions and activities, American agencies routinely blame Usama bin Ladin. Since the Bali bombing on October 12, Indonesia has identified its own equivalent: the well-known alim Abu Bakar Basyir...

South-East Asia

Indonesian Muslims pressure Megawati to limit support for the US

Abdar Rahman Koya

Sha'ban 09, 14232002-10-16

It seems that the US’s hopes of making Indonesia its prime ally in Southeast Asia may be dashed. President Megawati Sukarnoputri is being forced to decide which to heed, Washington’s bully-tactics or her own cabinet’s opposition to their country becoming a US stooge.

South-East Asia

Treatment of foreign workers creates problems for Malaysia

Abdar Rahman Koya

Rajab 09, 14232002-09-16

Recent revelations about Malaysia’s mistreatment of foreign workers (“illegal immigrants” in local media parlance) reveal the extent of the Malaysian regime’s brutalities against people. Kuala Lumpur has for years been suppressing documented evidence of torture and deaths at various ‘deportation’ camps set up as holding centres for refugees.

South-East Asia

Aceh lawsuit against Exxon is latest victim of Bush’s intervention in judiciary

Abdar Rahman Koya

Jumada' al-Akhirah 07, 14232002-08-16

In yet another example of Bush’s cowboy-style government, Washington has announced that it will block a lawsuit against US multinational ExxonMobil by victims of the notorious Indonesian military’s atrocities in Aceh.

South-East Asia

Mixed by-election results reveal challenges facing Malaysia’s PAS

Abdar Rahman Koya

Jumada' al-Ula' 22, 14232002-08-01

Both Malaysia’s ruling coalition, led by the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), and the opposition Islamic Party (PAS) got shocks in by-elections in two constituencies left vacant by the death of Fadzil Noor...

South-East Asia

Death of PAS leader leaves party facing difficult decisions

Abdar Rahman Koya

Rabi' al-Thani 20, 14232002-07-01

Fadzil Mohammad Noor, president of the Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS) and parliamentary opposition leader, died on June 23, two weeks after undergoing heart-bypass surgery.

Book Review

Detailed and fair-minded critique of the Wahhabi phenomenon

Abdar Rahman Koya

Rabi' al-Awwal 19, 14232002-06-01

Wahhabism: A Critical Essay, by Hamid Algar. Pub: Islamic Publications International, Oneonta, New York (www.islampub.com), 2002. Pp: 98. Pbk: $12.95.

South-East Asia

Mahathir’s reconciliation with Washington raises possibility of rehabilitation of Anwar Ibrahim

Abdar Rahman Koya

Rabi' al-Awwal 19, 14232002-06-01

There are no permanent enemies or allies in politics. Malaysia’s opposition front, dominated by the Islamic Party (PAS), which has joined hands with former UMNO members disenchanted with prime minister Mahathir Mohamad over his injustices to Anwar Ibrahim, are already feeling the winds of betrayal blowing.

South-East Asia

Malaysia’s "Asian solution" likely to secure little progress in Burma

Abdar Rahman Koya

Rabi' al-Awwal 03, 14232002-05-16

Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of Burma’s National League for Democracy, which won the elections annulled by the military junta in 1990, was released unconditionally after years of periods of shortlived and uncertain freedom...

South-East Asia

Mahathir moving Malaysia closer to being a US protectorate

Abdar Rahman Koya

Safar 18, 14232002-05-01

The Malaysian regime has engaged in a fresh round of arrests: another 14 people were abducted on April 18 under the Internal Security Act, accusing them of links with ‘Islamic militants’...

South-East Asia

US war drums in south east Asia spell end of regional calm

Abdar Rahman Koya

Muharram 18, 14232002-04-01

South East Asia has enjoyed relative peace since the end of US involvement in Vietnam two decades ago. Border disputes have been largely controlled, with governments maintaining a neutral zone through the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), which has been hailed as a model regional pact.

South-East Asia

US’s political and military build-up in South East Asia

Abdar Rahman Koya

Dhu al-Qa'dah 18, 14222002-02-01

US allies in South-East Asia have been quick to seize the opportunity offered by the West’s anti-terrorism campaign to act against Islamic activism among the region’s ocean of Muslims. Few now bother to deny that the US is working towards a direct military role in the region.

South-East Asia

Southeast Asian Muslims the losers again at regional summit

Abdar Rahman Koya

Ramadan 01, 14222001-11-16

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), long regarded as a powerful regional pact that served as an independent voice for the region, ceased to be so on November 5 when its leaders caved in to western pressure.

South-East Asia

Hundreds in south-east Asia sign up for jihad against American global hegemony

Abdar Rahman Koya

Rajab 29, 14222001-10-16

George W. Bush insists that nations who do not support the “war against terrorism” are themselves terrorists: Muslim leaders in Southeast Asia have their own reasons to take the ‘ultimatum’ seriously.

South-East Asia

Mahathir forms alliance with Jakarta and Manila to fight ‘Islamic militancy’

Abdar Rahman Koya

Jumada' al-Akhirah 28, 14222001-09-16

‘President’ Yasser Arafat found his host cooler towards him when he flew to Kuala Lumpur late in August. In a change from the past, he was given a less-than-friendly welcome by the Malaysian regime, which was caught in the middle of a virtual war against Islamic militants, and had to downplay its reception to the Palestinian delegation.

South-East Asia

Mahathir eyes White House invitation as repression continues in Malaysia

Abdar Rahman Koya

Rabi' al-Thani 18, 14382001-08-16

The beleaguered Mahathir regime in Malaysia appears to have a knack for finding strategies that have unintended effects. In its latest campaign to silence the opposition, ten more people, including Nik Adli Nik Abdul Aziz, the son of PAS chief Nik Abdul Aziz, were abducted in the first week of August under the notorious Internal Security Act (ISA)...

South-East Asia

Mahathir turns anger on students with abductions and expulsions

Abdar Rahman Koya

Rabi' al-Thani 24, 14222001-07-16

After rounding up scores of people last April under the notorious Internal Security Act (ISA), the Mahathir regime in Malaysia is now targeting the country’s campuses in its attempts to halt the escalating opposition of young people to his government.

Book Review

A rare examination of the history and role of the Tablighi Jama’at

Abdar Rahman Koya

Safar 22, 14222001-05-16

Mention of the Tablighi Jama’at often conjures up images of ascetic Muslims with long beards and loose dresses. Such steoreotyping is not always inaccurate.

South-East Asia

Mahathir comes out with more ‘proofs’ as crackdown continues under feared act

Abdar Rahman Koya

Safar 07, 14222001-05-01

Carrying out his promise earlier last month that he would “defy international norms” to ensure the nation’s “security”, Malaysia’s besieged prime minister Mahathir Mohamed continued his crackdown on political dissent with the arrest of individuals under the feared Internal Security Act (ISA).

South-East Asia

Panicky Mahathir acts against street demonstrations after PAS snub

Abdar Rahman Koya

Dhu al-Hijjah 20, 14212001-03-16

In what is seen as a sign of desperation by the Mahathir regime, Ezam Nor, a leading Malaysian political activist, was arrested on March 5 for his role in a series of well-attended street demonstrations in Kuala Lumpur over the last few months.

Book Review

Essays on hadith and Sunnah enlightening for lay readers

Abdar Rahman Koya

Dhu al-Qa'dah 07, 14212001-02-01

HADITH AND SUNNAH – IDEALS AND REALITIES edited by P.K. Koya, 2nd. edition, 2000; Islamic Book Trust, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Email ibtkl@pd.jaring.my). Pp: 360. Price: RM36.

South-East Asia

Mahathir a wounded tiger following by-election defeat

Abdar Rahman Koya

Shawwal 06, 14212001-01-01

Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, who has been abandoned by his erstwhile Malay Muslim supporters since the dismissal and arrest of former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim, suffered yet another blow on November 29.

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