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The Madness of MokcikNab
Motives, movements and melodrama in the life of a thirty something mum.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004
No Way Out? Here's the Door...

Here's an interesting write-up from Washington Times. Please note that it's Times, not Post. It's filed under "World Briefing", presumably to inform (or mis-inform) Americans about the state of the globe, outside of their Land of Glory.

Here are some of the good bits :

One Malay convert and former ustaza, a Muslim religious teacher, reports that she and her family are harassed regularly by the authorities. Because she is Malay, her son was born a Muslim and forced to adopt a Muslim name. In school, despite his protests of being a Christian, he has to sit through Islamic studies, a requirement for all Muslims.
Last year, the religious police demanded that she stop her "activities," which included helping drug addicts and battered women.
She conceded, though, that part of the assistance involved introducing Malays to Christian doctrine. She recalled parking herself at a McDonald's wearing a Muslim head scarf to more effectively introduce Muslim schoolgirls to the Bible.
In Kuala Lumpur, boys who are a part of Mr. Kumar's proselytizing movement frequent mosques.
Christians reputedly also have resorted to sponsoring picnics for Malay children and offering them gifts.
In the cramped lobby of Mr. Kumar's headquarters, a magazine headline reads: "Storming the Enemy's Stronghold."
The first paragraph explains, "Within the 10/40 window," referring to the area stretching roughly from the Middle East through India, China and into Southeast Asia, "lie 62 of the least evangelized nations on this planet." The area is viewed by some zealots as the last stronghold preventing Christian global dominance.
One is left to wonder, is the government rightfully fearful or just plain paranoid?

I wonder, too if the Muslim dakwah movement in the US is received with open arms from their good Christian brothers. I wonder if the friendly farmers in the Bible-belt would not react with alarm if usrah types started hanging out with their sons and daughters. There is always a point to putting one's self in the other person's shoes.

I have to state this : I have absolutely nothing against people of other religion and I agree some restrictions on Christianity is downright insulting not just to Christians but to right-minded Muslims as well. Case in point - the ban on Mel Gibson's Passion of Christ, which I sorely want to see. What I object to is the spin : this was an article meant to divide rather than conquer the hearts and minds of Muslims and Christians. (If America is really interested in that)

I found out later that Washington Times took the article from Asia Times, and had it somewhat butchered to suit its own, unseen purpose. Nevertheless, the paper did put in a quote which I agreed with :

Dzulkifli Achmad, director of the research center of PAS, is concerned about the net effect.
"I used to seek to convert, but I no longer have the drive," Mr. Achmad said. "When you think of the unique fabric of this society, it is in our interest to enhance mutual respect ... proselytizing is a form of disrespect. It is the beginning of the conflict."
Some Muslim and non-Muslim leaders say the government could be doing more to improve dialogue and understanding among the faiths.

Go read both versions of the piece, and tell me what you think.


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