“FOR decades, South-East Asia has had two lucky bulwarks against militant Islam: the peaceful, tolerant form of their faith practised by most South-East Asian Muslims; and the relative incompetence of local jihadists. But South-East Asia’s tradition of syncretic Islam has been threatened by stricter forms imported from the Middle East, seen as more modern and correct. Violent jihadism seems to be following the same pattern, if the bloody violence in central Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital, on January 14th, is anything to go by………… In Malaysia, however, the government itself has thoroughly politicised Islam, leaving little room for dissent from its harshest rules. A study last year found more than 70% of Malaysia’s ethnic-Malay, Muslim, majority support hudud laws such as stoning for adultery…………….”
Southeast Asia has been largely under the radar as far as Wahhabism and Jihadi terrorism is concerned. Saudi madrassas (meaning schools but here ones that stress Wahhabi ideology, manned by Saudi clerics-teachers) have been around for a couple of decades, and a new crop of young terrorists are coming of age.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
“Indonesia urged to ban virginity tests for fiancées of officers, female recruits. Indonesian authorities have been urged to cease the “invasive” and “discriminatory” practice of “virginity tests” for female recruits and fiancées of military officers in the country’s armed forces. International military physicians are set to gather in Bali, Indonesia on May 17-22, 2015, to urge the country’s president, Joko Widodo, to stop the practice, according to Human Rights Watch…………….”
Virginity tests aren’t new: the Egyptian military famously used them extensively during the Tahrir Uprising in 2011. But they used them against female protesters whom the military and bureaucracy suspected of being promiscuous and engaged in sex with male protesters. In their minds it made sense: why else would young women come out to face the regime goons and risk life and limb unless it was for sex? That also fits in somehow with the Saudi clerical claims that allowing women to drive cars would end virginity overnight in that country. At least “no more virginity as they know it” ( you can use your imagination and figure it out).
Apparently Indonesian officers are allowed to marry virgins only and the state take the responsibility of ensuring that. No more surprises on the wedding night in Indonesia. There are no doubt other places where this practice is de rigueur, possibly Malaysia.
I tell ya Wahhabism and its, er, practices have spread all over the globe, possibly with the exception of Ipanema.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum