Friday, March 04, 2005

Changes in SE Asia.

Wretchard over at the Belmont Club discusses a change that is occurring in Indonesia. The instigating incident over his blog is the laughably light sentence which the Bali Bomber received. Wretchard quotes a Philippine Star article that describes somewhat sudden change in the climate in Indonesia.

Indonesia's turmoil had never been about religion. ... Indonesia was a society in which women played a major role, free from the fetters of second-class status ... In my recent visits, I've seen - while some of the smiles remain spontaneous - a visible change. An increasing number of women are wearing head scarves, and even all-black covering (ala the Middle East's structures). Christian churches are being bombed, Christian communities embroiled in civil war with their once-friendly and happy Muslim neighbors, with the ABRI (Armed Forces) too often siding with the militant Islamic jihadis.

Salamabit*, you don't even have to go to Indonesia. A Vice-Governor of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao ... is now insisting on implementing a city ordinance ... which requires every Muslim female in Marawi City, yep in our own Mindanao, to wear the head-scarve, otherwise be penalized with a fine of thousands of pesos ... (* Sonuvabitch)

This is not a good development. A former colleague of mine (last I heard he was with the Department of State in Nigeria) talked about his life in Malaysia and essentially told me the locals there while Muslim were pretty relaxed about their Islam. It sounds like the Wahhabists are really taking over in Southeast Asian Islamic communities.

I believe in the future the Middle East will cease to be a hotbed of Islamic radicalism and terror but Islamic radicalism will not disappear it will move to Southeast Asia. Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Southern Philippines.