Archive for September, 2006

And Now On To The Prayer Wars…

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

The month of Ramadhan is said to be a blessed month for many, and for some it can promise even more than is usually expected. This year’s Ramadhan is witness to an event of considerable importance, albeit somewhat ludicrous at the same time. While tension and mistrust continue to tarnish the [...]

009: Kafirs ‘R Us Part II

Thursday, September 28th, 2006

As I have argued in part I of this article, the use of the term kafir/s in Malaysia has to be understood against the backdrop of a society where sectarian politics has become the norm and where racial divisions have become deeply entrenched in the Malaysian mindset. This is a land [...]

008: Kafirs ‘R Us Part I

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

Kafirs ‘R Us: Why we need to think beyond the Muslim-Kafir divide. (PartI)
It should be old news to us by now that we live in a country where sectarian politics is the cornerstone of Malaysian political culture and that the sectarian/communitarian mindset permeates all levels and areas of Malaysian life. For [...]

007: How Mahathir Became “Mahazalim”

Sunday, September 24th, 2006

Once again, I have to start another column with a health warning: Those who are not too keen on discourse analysis should stay away from the following article. (Amir Muhammad take note).
This month marks the twentieth anniversary of Dr. Mahathir Mohamad (1) coming to power. After twenty years as head of [...]

006: Thomas De Quincey and the Malay From Nowhere.

Sunday, September 24th, 2006

For the universal fraternity of drug fiends, decadents and university drop-outs who make up the vast army of the world’s unwashed and debauched, Thomas de Quincey’s ‘Confessions of an English Opium Eater’ (1) has to be one of the greatest works of literature to grace their mouldy shelves. Indeed, when the book first came out [...]

Pope’s Speech: Slander Cannot be Met with Slander

Friday, September 22nd, 2006

The repercussions following the statements made by Pope Benedict XVI are being felt till today, though by now the modalities of global Muslim protest have become evident and well-known to close observers of political Islam. As expected, following the speech that was delivered while the Pope was in Germany recently, there have been hundreds of [...]

Can’t the Iraqis Build their Own Country in Peace?

Friday, September 22nd, 2006

As the killings in Baghdad and the other major cities of Iraq continue, one wonders how and why the people of Iraq are not allowed to develop their own blueprint for nation-building on their own terms. It has become clear to many Iraqis, including notable Iraqi politicians and community leaders, that what began as a [...]

005: Absent Founders

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

Absent Founders: Ibrahim Yaakob and the Rise of the Malay Left. (Part 3 of 3)
In the aftermath of the Second World War, the radical nationalists of the Malay Left found themselves in a world turned upside down.
The returning Western colonial powers performed yet another one of their their customary U-turns by working with the very [...]

004: The Broken Dream of Malaya-Raya

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

The Broken Dream of Malaya-Raya: Ibrahim Yaakob and the Rise of the Malay Left. (Part 2 of 3)
By the 1930s the Malay archipelago was swept by the fervour of anti-colonialism and ethno-nationalism. The world of Southeast Asia was open to developments abroad, and the nationalists of the region turned to India, China, Japan, Burma and [...]

003: Fine Young Calibans

Wednesday, September 20th, 2006

Fine Young Calibans: Ibrahim Yaakob and the Rise of the Malay Left. (Part 1 of 3)
A cursory overview of Malaysian politics today might give one the mistaken impression that the local political terrain (and Malay politics in particular) is divided between two seemingly irreconcilable camps: that of the Conservative ethno-nationalists on one hand and those [...]