Malay goes green

"Malaysia Goes 'Green'"

An article in TODAY Online examines the sharp turn in Malaysia. "Green" in this case doesn't mean a turn towards environmental politics, but a turn towards radical Islam:

No one jokes about such matters in Kuala Lumpur any more. Last week, students Ooi Keang Thong and Siow Ai Wei were charged with disorderly behaviour for allegedly kissing at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre Park. If convicted, they could face a year in jail.

By itself, the incident might have passed without debate, but it came after a series of developments that have left Malaysians wondering which way their country is headed.

Last year, Mount Everest climber M Moorthy was buried as a Muslim. His wife protested, but her pleas went unheard after the High Court ruled that it had no jurisdiction over the Syariah Court's ruling that Moorthy had indeed converted to Islam.

Early last month, Malaysia's Inspector-General of Police Bakri Omar made it compulsory for all policewomen attending official functions to wear the traditional tudung headdress, regardless of race or religion.

Non-Muslims have started protesting. But even for them, the boundaries have been spelt out. Two weeks back, Minister in the Prime Ministers Department Nazri Abdul Aziz said that non-Muslims making provocative remarks on Islamic affairs could be charged with sedition.
And these are the moderate Muslims who run the government of Malaysia. The relatively conservative Muslims belong to the Islamic political party, the Parti Islam seMalaysia (PAS); or to one of the radical movements, such as Hizb-ut Tahrir.

I think it puts an interesting spin on this piece of predictive fiction (hat tip to Subsunk at BlackFive). Malaysia is one of the best examples out there of a Muslim country making progress -- but sometimes steps forward are met with steps back.

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