Note: This posting has attracted hate monger(s) comments. Readers' caution encouraged.
More on Malaysian Hindus
By RAMESH N. RAO, FARMVILLE, Va., Dec. 3
Last week when I wrote about the brutal police action against the peaceful Hindu demonstration, I was not aware of the even more ugly police action against Hindus the same day, early in the morning, at the Subramaniar temple in the Batu Caves where Hindus had gathered to prepare for the day's march to Kuala Lumpur. The police herded the Hindus using batons and then teargased them. The pictures speak for themselves. The Star newspaper, which has been accused by the Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF) leaders recently reported that the Malaysian government is unhappy that one of the HINDRAF leaders has now decided to take the case of Hindus in Malaysia to other countries, starting with India. Mr. Waytha Moorthy, the HINDRAF leader, who is now in India, has had some traction because it so happens that the largest Hindu group in Malaysia is comprised of Tamils, and the state government in Tamil Nadu is a partner with the Congress Party in New Delhi.
Without the nudging by Mr. Karunanidhi, the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, who is more interested in Tamils as fellow ethnics than as Hindus, the Indian government would have hesitated to open its mouth. It did open its mouth tentatively, and was quickly scolded by the Malaysian government for interfering in Malaysia's internal affairs. The "elephant in the room," of course, is that ethnic Tamils have been battling brutally the Sinhalese majority in Sri Lanka, and Malaysia might claim that what has happened in Sri Lanka could happen in Malaysia. The Sinhalese suppressed the Tamils through state policy and action, and they have been reaping a bloody crop for the past 30 years.
Tamil history in Malaysia is not merely the 150-year-old history of indentured laborers. Their presence in Malaysia dates back 2,000 years, and the Hindu influence was the strongest between 100 BCE and 1400 CE. But by branding themselves as a Muslim nation, and providing special privileges and rights to its Muslim citizens, Malaysia has created a two-tier system, and as a new acquaintance, a doctor in the D.C. area, told me, she and her husband decided to leave Malaysia because of what they saw as the creeping Islamization of the country and the shrinking opportunities for growth and advancement for Hindus and others. Islamic dispensation around the world is authoritarian, oppressive and violent, despite loud protestations to the contrary by many suave Muslims and blinkered "progressives."
Complaints and criticism of Islam by Muslims like Ibn Warraq, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Wafa Sultan, and Irshad Manji are dismissed because these people are now simply labeled non-Muslims. Anyone who does not accept the Koran as God-given and perfect automatically becomes a non-Muslim, and the Muslim critics who have sought and fought hard to bring about changes in Islamic dispensation are conveniently ignored as heretics and apostates. They have to therefore scurry out of the reach of the murderous "faithful" who invoke Muhammad and Allah for their blood-thirst.
The latest victim of such blood-lust is Taslima Nasreen, the Bangladeshi author, who is now being hounded, again, in India, her new home of choice. She is seeking to make peace with these "faithful" Muslims by asking her publishers to remove "offending passages" from one of her books. "Islam is a religion of peace. There are only a few, individual Muslims, who have sought to use violence in the name of Islam. It is not the religion, but some of its practitioners that are violent." The mantra is repeated ad nauseam. Reject it at your own peril. Don't you dare remind these Muslim sophists what happens in the Holiest of Holy places of Islam, Saudi Arabia to non-Muslims, what happens to apostates, and what happens to 18-year-old rape victims. Forget Ibn Warraq, Hirsi Ali, Wafa Sultan, Taslima Nasreen. Forget, too, the thousands of Hindu temples in India destroyed in the name of Islam in the past, and the hundreds now being destroyed in Malaysia. Peace be unto you. ... -- -- --
Ramesh N. Rao is professor and chair of the Department of Communication Studies and Theatre at Longwood University, Farmville, Va. The views expressed here are his personal views and not those of the institution to which he belongs.