Posts tagged ‘JI’

May 22, 2010

Buddhists Fear to Walk in Southern Thailand

Buddhists Fear to Walk in Southern Thailand

 

 

 

By Lee Jay Walker
Tokyo Correspondent  –  THE SEOUL TIMES

 

 The Modern Tokyo Times

Buddhism in Thailand – Around 90% of Thailand’s population is Buddhist of the Theravada school.  However, Islam is dominant in southern Thailand and today you have a major civil war and Islamists want an independent state.

The image of Thailand is one of beautiful beaches and stunning Buddhist places of worship. However, in recent times this nation is blighted by political infighting, mass demonstrations, a delicate economy which fluctuates too much, and a devastating Islamic insurgency in southern Thailand.

It is the Islamic insurgency which I will concentrate on because the current crisis in southern Thailand does have wider consequences for Southeast Asia. After all, you have Christian-Muslim tensions in parts of Indonesia and the Philippines. Therefore, the situation is southern Thailand is very important both internally and externally.

The vast majority of people in Thailand belong to the Buddhist faith; however, southern Thailand is very different because most people are Muslim in the provinces of Yala, Narathiwat, and Pattani. Therefore, a major Sunni Muslim insurgency is currently igniting tensions in order to drive away the Buddhist minority and therefore lay the foundation of separation and independence from Thailand.

The radical Sunni Islamic insurgency desires to spread fear, hatred, and an area where Buddhism is eradicated just like what happened in Afghanistan or what is happening in the Chittagong Hill Tracts in modern day Bangladesh.

Therefore, the brutal Sunni Islamic insurgency is killing both moderate Muslims and Buddhists for different reasons. The reason for killing Buddhists is because certain elements within radical Sunni Islam do not believe in religious co-existence. Also, Buddhists are deemed to be infidels and within Islamic Sharia law they have no legal rights and conversion to Islam or death is sanctioned because they are not monotheists.

Given this, southern Thailand resembles modern day Afghanistan and Somalia because in both these nations you have radical Sunni Islamists who will not tolerate even one single Christian church or Buddhist temple. Therefore, the slaughter of Buddhists in southern Thailand is following a similar pattern of past and current history and the current anti-Buddhist onslaught in southern Thailand is reaching new heights.

At the same time moderate Muslims are being killed by radical Sunni Islamic fanatics. Given this, Muslim teachers, administration workers, or anyone deemed to be working with the government of Thailand is liable to face the threat of death. This fear is real and the methodology of killing is intended to spread fear to all who oppose the Islamization of southern Thailand.

The dream of radical Sunni Islamists in southern Thailand is to have a land with no Buddhists and to create an Islamic Sharia state. Therefore, the usual beheadings of innocents is deemed to be justified on the grounds that non-Muslims are infidels in accordance with the Koran and Hadiths.

This applies to the Koran for 9:29 states “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the last day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and his apostle nor acknowledge the religion of truth of the people of the Book (Jews and Christians) until they pay jizya (tax on non-Muslims) with willing submission and feel themselves subdued.”

Verse 9:73 in the Koran also states “O Prophet! Strive hard (wage war) against the unbelievers and the Hypocrites and be firm against them. Their abode is Hell, – an evil refuge indeed.” While the Hadith 9:4  says “Wherever you find infidels kill them; for whoever kills them shall have reward on the Day of Resurrection.”

It is clear that these sayings in both the Koran and Hadiths are still potent today because radical Islamists are spreading mayhem in many nations and this also applies to nations with small minorities. After all, Christians have been burnt alive in Pakistan despite being a small minority and several Christian leaders were beheaded recently in northern Nigeria in order to intimidate the sizeable Christian population in northern Nigeria.

Zachary Abuza, the author of “Militant Islam in Southeast Asia,” stated that Buddhists have been forced to flee in a “de facto ethnic cleansing.” He further continued by stating that “The social fabric of the south has been irreparably damaged.”

Meanwhile Sunai Phasuk, a political analyst at Human Rights Watch, commented that “Buddhist monks have been hacked to death, clubbed to death, bombed and burned to death.” Therefore, it is clear that this Sunni Islamic insurgency is following a familiar path and this applies to the destruction of all non-Muslim elements within society or the complete dhimmitude of all non-Muslims by the rule of fear.

From the Sunni Islamic insurgents point of view they believe that the former Sultanate of Pattani is the structure of their society and that Thailand had no right to annex this land. Also, many Muslims claim that they face discrimination and that they have been marginalized by the central state. Therefore, many Muslims desire independence from Thailand.

However, the degree of violence aimed at both the Buddhist community and any Muslim deemed to be in favour of the government of Thailand is brutal. Zachary Abuza states “What is new about the current conflict is the level and degree of violence, the Islamist agenda of the insurgents, and their unprecedented degree of cooperation and coordination.

He continues by saying that “The level of violence in Thailand’s south has never been higher” and this can be seen clearly by the beheadings of Buddhists and hacking to death of Buddhist priests. Zachary Abuza also states this, for he says that “Nor has it been more brutal” and this is what is worrying for Thailand and the region.

After all, you have many Sunni Islamic insurgencies or Sunni Islamic terrorist networks in Southeast Asia. Therefore, you have the threat of these different organizations working together in order to install radical Sunni Islam. This notably applies to Eastern Indonesia (particularly Maluku) and Mindanao in the Southern Philippines.

In Eastern Indonesia and Mindanao in the Southern Philippines it is a clash between Christians and Muslims and the nation state is much weaker in both areas. However, in Indonesia the majority of Muslims support a more moderate version of Islam but in recent times radical Sunni Islam is increasing and Sunni Islamic jihadist movements have targeted both Christians and foreign nationals.

The most notable movement in the region is Jemaah Islamiya which is often linked with Al Qaeda and this Sunni terrorist Islamic organization desires to create more chaos and hatred in order to spread its influence and obtain its ultimate objective. This objective, just like the radical Sunni Islamic objective in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, and other nations, is to create an Islamic Sharia state and enforce the slavery of non-Muslims by a policy of dhimmitude.

Zachary Abuza also mentions that Salafist and Wahabbi influence is also growing because moderate Sunni Muslim leaders have been sternly rebuked or attacked by conservative Sunni Islamists. Also, it is noticeable that more women are covering up in purdah and clearly this will lead to even more cultural divisions within society in Southern Thailand.

Abuza has claimed, “They [insurgents] have killed and threatened imams who have performed funerals for Muslim collaborators and killed almost 10 imams who teach at government-funded Islamic schools. They have threatened parents to not send their children to any school but the private Islamic schools. They have forced businesses closed on Fridays. Suffis and moderate Sha’afis have been routinely targeted.”

However, overall Zachary Abuza hints that the main cause in Southern Thailand is internal and currently Jemaah Islamiya is not strong enough to export its violence on a major scale to Southern Thailand. Also, Jemaah Islamiya is primarily focused on Indonesia and the security forces in Indonesia are fully aware about this problem.

Overall, it is clear that elements within Southern Thailand desire a non-Buddhist land and the role of Sunni Islamic indoctrination is now turning its hatred against moderate Sunni Muslim leaders. This hatred and alienation of the younger generation began after many studied at international universities throughout the Middle East and clearly some funding from the Middle East is being used to spread radical Sunni Islamic versions of Islam.

The government of Thailand is at a loss about the current crisis because of internal convulsions within the political system. At times the military have responded with brute force in order to contain the insurgency in Southern Thailand but at other times a more moderate approach is enforced.

Yet from a wider perspective it is clear that you have many radical Sunni Islamic terrorist organizations in Southeast Asia and terrorist networks survive and flourish in failed states or where centralization is very weak. Therefore, the future of Southern Thailand is also an issue for Indonesia and the Philippines because both nations have internal problems with radical Islam.

Also, the heart of Islam is now at war with itself and moderate versions in Southern Thailand and Indonesia are being put under tremendous pressure in certain regions. Therefore, the hidden war in Southern Thailand by radical Sunni Islamists is being aimed at moderate Muslims and Buddhists alike.

However, for the Buddhists, they face complete annihilation and one day Southern Thailand may end up like Afghanistan, Central Asia, and other areas which once had a thriving Buddhist community. It would appear that Islamization is now a reality and in time the Buddhist minority will continue to dwindle and the only saving grace at the moment for Buddhists is the military of Thailand.

Lee Jay Walker

https://islamicpersecution.wordpress.com

http://themoderntokyotimes.wordpress.com

http://leejaywalker.wordpress.com

May 21, 2010

Indonesia and Ba’asyir, the preacher of hate

Indonesia and Ba’asyir, the Preacher of Hate

 

By Lee Jay Walker
Tokyo Correspondent  –  THE SEOUL TIMES

 

 THE MODERN TOKYO TIMES

Abu Bakar Ba’asyir

The nation of Indonesia is blighted by Islamists who desire to destroy moderate versions of Islam because militants desire to install a new society based on dhimmitude and Islamic supremacy. Therefore, Islamic clerics like Abu Bakar Ba’asyir support the implementation of Islamic Sharia law and his attitude towards non-Muslims is one of hatred when the rhetoric flows.

Abu Bakar Ba’asyir was born in 1938 and he is a leading Islamic cleric in Indonesia and many Muslims view his opinions greatly. However, it must be stressed that Muslim opinion varies greatly in Indonesia and this applies to hardliners and moderates who support the notion of a secular state.

Yet according to Abu Bakar Ba’asyir it is essential that Indonesia is ruled by Islamic Sharia law and he openly glorifies Islamic jihad during bouts of militancy. Therefore, the government of Indonesia is in a flux about how to deal with him and over the decades he was either threatened by authorities in Indonesia or tolerated.

Abu Bakar Ba’asyir and Abdullah Sungkar opened a boarding school in 1972 in order to preach to the next generation about the need to implement Islamic Sharia law in Indonesia. In time both individuals would flee to Malaysia because the Suharto regime was in no mood to bow down to Islamists and Suharto was bent on economic modernization and authoritarian control over the whole of Indonesia.

In 1999 Abu Bakar Ba’asyir returned to Indonesia, however, both he and Abdullah Sungkar gained from their exile in Malaysia because they met leading Islamists and they both understood the need for a collective approach in order to spread Islamic rule.

Therefore, Abu Bakar Ba’asyir and Abdullah Sungkar were involved with Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) which was a lose patchwork of various radical Islamic organizations. The main goal was to create a super-Islamic state which would incorporate Indonesia, Malaysia, the southern Philippines, Brunei, and Singapore (some would also include southern Thailand and Cambodia).

The vastness of this region and the mass complexity is a wonder to behold, however, in the wrong hands it could become a nightmare.  After all, you have a very diverse mix of ethnic and religious groups and you already have religious bouts of violence between Christians and Muslims in parts of Indonesia and the southern Philippines. More recently, tensions have erupted between Muslims and Buddhists in southern Thailand and passions often run high in Malaysia which is the most diverse nation in the region when it comes to religion.

Therefore the views of Abu Bakar Ba’asyir can’t be ignored or brushed aside so easily because JI have been involved in many terrorist attacks and have been involved in communal violence against Christians in Poso in Indonesia and other areas alongside other groups like Laskar Jihad. Also, more alarming, he often plays around with words and distances himself when needed and just like Islamic terrorist organizations like Laskar Jihad, he/they can melt away from the scene and then come back either through a new organization or a new upsurge in militancy.

Walid Phares, author of “The War of Ideas: Jihadism against Democracy” and other books, stated “We all know that the process to become a Jihadist, is long and tenuous. It needs a Salafi-Wahabi environment to be produced. The question in Indonesia is this: Who is producing the “ideological culture” out of which Jama’ah Islamiah came from? What are the structural webs that produced Laskar Mujahidin (or Laskar e Jihad), or Laskar Jundullah or even the Sulawesi-based Mujahedeen KOMPAK?”

However, the geographical reality of the entire region follows the complexity of ethnicity and religious diversity. Added to this is rampant poverty, cronyism, mismanagement of resources, and vastly different development stages and political infrastructures. Therefore, Islamists have many angles to manipulate and spread their message and you have links between jihadists and senior officials even if these links are on the periphery or based on manipulation by national governments.

Therefore, Walid Phares sums up this complexity by stating that “…the Jihadi “Laskars” around the archipelago are projecting themselves as the “protectors” of the territorial unity of “Muslim Indonesia.” Hence their action against non-Muslims, including in Poso, the Celebes, etc is projected as “in the interest of the nation.” They are trying to emulate Hassan Turabi’s strategy in Sudan: the defense of Islam’s lands.”

Given this, JI moved easily between supporting Muslims during communal violence against Christians in Maluku and Poso in Indonesia; and then to targeting economic and Western interests throughout the region. At the same time you have inter-links between JI, al-Qaeda, MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Abu Sayyaf and other Islamic organizations.

JI have been responsible for many deadly deeds and this applies to killing 15 people in 2000 after an attack against the Jakarta Stock Exchange and killing many during Christmas Eve bombings during the same year in Indonesia. They have also spread their terror to the Philippines with several attacks and an attack was thwarted in Singapore. The most deadly attack happened in 2002 with the Bali bombings and more recently two hotels were attacked in Jakarta in 2009.

Returning back to Abu Bakar Ba’asyir he stated in 2002 that “If non-believers have weapons capacity, the funding, then they will go to war against Islam. In the Koran Allah has said they will always wage war against you, they will always attack you as long as they have the capacity.” He further stated that “The government of Indonesia right now is being directed by America to service its needs and the primary need of America is to bury Islam particularly in Indonesia.”

He continues by stating that “…Hence our religion Islam, our nation and our country is currently being threatened by foreign races with all manner of libels, with the bombings in Bali, with explosions everywhere, all of those are the plots of non-believers whose aims are to weaken and profane the believers of Islam.”

Therefore, Abu Bakar Ba’asyir is somehow trying to claim that the Bali bombings were done by non-Muslims and this is similar to the September 11th conspiracy theory. However, this is clearly ridiculous and Osama Bin Laden and other brutal killers are proud of ordering the killings of many innocents and many Islamists have either been caught or were found dead at the carnage they inflicted on others.

These statements can be found on page 166 and 167 of Zachary Abuza’s book called Militant Islam in Southeast Asia, Crucible of Terror. Zachary Abuza also states that “Although Abu Bakar Ba’asyir was named by both Malaysia and Singapore as a prime suspect and a leader of Jemaah Islamiya network, he continued to live and preach openly until October 2002.” He also told Zachary Abuza personally that “I am not a member of Al-Qaida, but I really respect the struggle of Osama Bin Laden, who has bravely represented the world’s Muslims in their fight against the arrogant United States of America and their allies.”

Yet what logic can be found in these words by Abu Bakar Ba’asyir? After all, Al-Qaida and the Taliban were involved in the massacres of thousands of Shia Muslims in Afghanistan. This was followed by countless numbers of terrorist attacks against Shia Muslims and other non-Sunni’s in Iraq; and of course innocent Sunni Muslims have been killed by radical Sunni Islamists.

Yet in the paranoid world of Abu Bakar Ba’asyir he blames non-Muslims for doing terrorist attacks, despite clear evidence that they were done by Islamists. Then he praises Osama Bin Laden who ordered the killings of thousands of Muslims and non-Muslims, after all, according to the theories of Osama Bin Laden then killing innocents in cold blood is justified and a religious Muslim duty.

Amazingly, some Muslims and converts to Islam are still being brainwashed and manipulated by people like Abu Bakar Ba’asyir. He and Osama Bin Laden glorify religious martyrdom but then hide either behind words and the manipulation of language, in the case of Abu Bakar Ba’asyir; or when applied to Osama Bin Laden, then he just hides but orders other people of hate to kill in the name of Islam.

Islamic radicalism is a serious threat and you have so many conflicts involving Muslims, irrespective if internal Muslim wars or against non-Muslims. Alternatively, you have so many terrorist threats and religious persecution of non-Muslims in mainly Muslim nations is a daily reality. Therefore, this issue is not only serious and of major importance but it is also a nightmare.

The reason it is a nightmare is because the current jihad is in reality the same jihad that Mohammed started in the 7th century. However, unlike the old jihad, Islamists have a free reign to propagate their war throughout all societies because of the liberal nature of many non-Muslim societies.

Therefore, religious leaders like Abu Bakar Ba’asyir are dangerous but you have many hidden leaders keeping quiet but with the same aim, however, they desire to reach the same aim by being more astute and obtaining Islamization by stealth.

LEE JAY WALKER

http://www.leejaywalker.wordpress.com

leejayteach@hotmail.com

http://themoderntokyotimes.wordpress.com

https://islamicpersecution.wordpress.com