Archive for the 'Southeast Asia' Category

The JFK Assassination’s Continued Importance

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

by Daniel Pipes*

In three main ways, the JFK murder still has repercussions for Americans and the world. It also has a unique place in my life.

First, had the assassination attempt not succeeded, arguably neither the Vietnam War nor the Great Society expansion of government would have afflicted the United States as they did. The Virtual JFK: Vietnam If Kennedy Had Lived project concludes that “JFK would have continued to resist a US war in Vietnam. Even though the Saigon government, weak and corrupt, was destined for the dustbin of history, he would have resisted those calling on him to send US combat troops to Vietnam. He might have ended all military involvement.”


Muslim Persecution of Christians: December, 2011

Friday, January 6th, 2012

by Raymond Ibrahim*

The Nigerian church bombings, in which the Islamic group Boko Haram ["Western Education Is Forbidden"] killed over 40 people celebrating Christmas mass, is just the most obvious example of anti-Christian sentiment in the Muslim world. Elsewhere in this region, Christmas time for Christians is a time of increased threats, harassment, and fear, which is not surprising, considering Muslim clerics maintain that “saying Merry Christmas is worse than fornication or killing someone.” A few examples:


Indonesian Islamist homophobes try crashing film festival on sexual minorities and HIV/AIDS

Sunday, October 10th, 2010

By Andrew L. Jaffee

While I still wonder, “What Drives Gays and Lesbians to Bash Israel?,” the times, they may be a’ changin’ — at least tangentially. Driving home from work, I was listening to This Way Out, a gay and lesbian radio show, and they reported on a story documenting Muslim anti-LGBT activities, specifically, an bigoted outcry against a simple event to, “screen 150 films related to sexual minorities and HIV/AIDS” in Jakarta, Indonesia:


Jemaah Islamiyah Adopts the Hezbollah Model

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

by Zachary Abuza*

Islamist terrorism may have its roots in the Middle East, but it has long since expanded globally. Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country, is no exception. Jemaah Islamiyah has for more than fifteen years fought to transform Indonesia into an Islamist state. In recent years, its terrorist campaign has suffered setbacks. As Jemaah Islamiyah regroups, it builds upon the experience of Middle East terrorist groups. From Al-Qaeda, it adopts philosophical underpinnings that guide its dual strategy. From Hamas and Hezbollah, it borrows an “inverse triangle model” in which a broad network of social services supports a smaller jihadist core, and from Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf emirates it adopts a model of charities and NGOs that help Jemaah Islamiyah advance its jihadist goals.


Bali bombers unremorseful and insane, Australians defiant

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

By Andrew L. Jaffee Australians defiant

Australians have finally found some justice and hopefully, a sense of peace and closure. Three Islamists were executed by Indonesian authorities on Sunday, shortly after midnight, for the heinous, cowardly, and evil bombings of several nightclubs in Bali on October 12, 2002, an act which “killed 202 people — most of them young Australians — and injured more than 300.” Australians have held steadfast in the war against Islamo-fascism, and will probably become even more unwavering in defense of Western ideals after hearing the twisted and unremorseful ramblings of the three Bali bombers before their executions.


The rise and rise of Hizb ut-Tahrir

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

By Jonathan Spyer

Sitting in the best bar in Jerusalem about four months ago (it’s called Sira, in case you’re interested), I entered into conversation with a tall, ginger-haired young man who turned out to be a member of the Swedish contingent in the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH). Our conversation ranged over the trials and tribulations of the life of a member of TIPH, the very large amounts of money he seemed to be making, and the merits of Jerusalem when compared with other cities in the region.

An offhand remark he made concerning the political balance of power in Hebron turned the conversation from mildly interesting to memorable. I asked him if Hamas was gaining ground in the city of Hebron. He replied wearily that the fastest-growing political force in the city was not Hamas, nor any of the other well-known Palestinian political movements. Rather, the most notable and noticeable development on the ground in Hebron was the sudden and rapid rise in support for the Islamist party Hizb ut-Tahrir.


Concrete Canadian action needed to end military dictatorship in Burma

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

By Canadian Coalition for Democracies

Ottawa, Canada – On Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier condemned Burma’s military junta for the regime’s escalating assaults on freedom, democracy and individual liberty. The junta has long detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, abused other pro-democracy leaders and protesters, and denied free expression and free association to its citizens.

“Canadians applaud Minister Bernier’s firm support for democracy in Burma,” said Alastair Gordon, President, Canadian Coalition for Democracies (CCD). “The Minister must now demonstrate Canada’s commitment with decisive action aimed at ending the dictatorship, and restoring freedom to the Burmese people.”


Reading the Middle East in Bangkok

Sunday, August 5th, 2007

By Barry Rubin

A fascinating way to try to improve one’s own understanding of the Middle East is to try to explain the region to people from a totally different culture and history. I’ve done this in several far-flung places around the world but Thailand provides a particularly interesting example of the particularity and–in global terms–bizarre nature of the Middle East.

Of course, many people in Asia have the fewest preconceptions about the region because Hindus and Buddhists do not have the links to the Holy Land or what might even be called the Holy Region, a factor which so affects Christian, Jewish, and Muslim thinking.


Another “Ambassador of Peace” Underlies Thailand’s Cluelessness

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

By Zachary Abuza*

Once again Thailand has brought in another Muslim dignitary in the hopes that they will be able to miraculously quell the violence in the restive south, in which nearly 2,400 people have been killed since the start of 2004.

In late June, the head of the quasi-official Saudi agency, the Muslim World League, Abdullah bin Abdul Mohsin Al-Turki, came and white washed any religious or ideological affinity of the insurgents. The MWL is one of the primary means that the Saudi government exports their virulent and intolerant version of Islam, often termed Wahhabism. Yet the Thai government is in denial that there is any correlation between the current outbreak of violence and the spread of Salafi/Wahhabism into the region. Southerners repeatedly tell me that the current generation of militants is comprised of ideological hardliners, completely intolerant of non-Muslims and moderate Muslims who seek accommodation with the Thai state. To wit, roughly 55 percent of the victims of the insurgent have been their co-religionists.


A trauma that changed a life

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

A personal, historical vignette

By Cainnech O Sullibhain

Everyday, we go about our routine totally unaware of the lives of people around us. But sometimes our lives have been changed because of the circumstances.

So, I’ll begin my story. In early 1937, I was only four years old, and it was at lunch time that my father came home. Both my mother and father were sitting having lunch, and I was in the next room. The conversation between my mother and father was about the death of Sgt. M. Orchard of the Royal Artillery, 3rd Battery who had died in the British military hospital the night before. My father, an army doctor, had been responsible for that death. The colonel in charge had ordered my father to treat Sgt. Orchard for malaria, when in fact he had pneumonia. The reason for the misdiagnosis was that the colonel had been sweet on the wife of Sgt. Orchard and wanted him out of the way. My father had been forced to commit murder. I listened in to the whole conversation and was shocked. Little Jimmy Orchard was my friend. I was so angry that I could not even cry. So, I went out of the house and sat in the garden thinking about what I had heard. Being so young, I was not able to face up to the issue, so I blocked all of it out of my mind. One day in 1997, I awoke in the middle of the night. I was perspiring profusely and the whole story of what had happened on that day in 1937 came back with a bang. Everything in my life had been guided by an unknown hand.


Australian Pub Bans Heteros – Two Wrongs Make a Right?

Monday, May 28th, 2007

By Andrew L. Jaffee

Yesterday, I reported on mistreatment of gays in Moscow. This incident was “deplored” by all sorts of big-wigs, like London Mayor Ken Livingstone and “the mayors of Paris and Rome.” Now I find that a gay bar in Australia has banned heterosexuals from entering, with the approval of government and civil rights groups. Identity politics — special dispensations for certain groups — will lead us down a slippery slope, one where our laws will become untenable and confusing. How would we explain such contradictions to children? There’s too many of us straights anyway — I guess we should be wearing hetero armbands. From the BBC:

A gay pub in the city of Melbourne has won the right to ban heterosexuals – the first time such legislation has been passed in Australia.

The Victorian state civil and administrative tribunal ruled the Peel Hotel could ban patrons based on their sexual orientation.

The pub’s management said the move would stop groups of heterosexual men and women abusing gay people.

Civil liberties groups have supported the decision.


The Australian Mufti Soap Opera

Saturday, May 19th, 2007

By Andrew L. Jaffee

Internal Muslim politics in Australia are playing out like a soap opera — one where radicalism and corruption are major themes. The current “mufti” presiding over Australia’s national imams council got himself in hot water last year: “Sheikh Taj el-Din al-Hilali said women who did not wear a hijab (head dress) were like ‘uncovered meat’.” A name being floated to replace Hilali is Mohammed Swaiti, who is currently under investigation by the tax office for taking Saudi money under the table, and reportedly “praised mujaheddin (holy warriors) in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Can you say “credibility problem?” From The Australian:


The Sailor and the Statue

Thursday, May 17th, 2007

A personal, historical vignette

By Cainnech Ó Sullibhain

In late October 1964 the M/V Kohinur (London Registry), fully loaded with general cargo, left Dunkerque, France headed for the Mediterranean, the Suez Canal, and Shanghai, China. When we reached Shanghai, it was respite and a time to relax. I got in the small ferry that took me from the anchorage in the Yang-Tse River to Shanghai. There, I went to visit the People’s Friendship Store not far from the old Ellie Cadoorie Building, which was the tallest building in Shanghai then. It was built by Sir Ellie Cadoorie, a businessman and self-made millionaire, in the days of the British Concession in China.


Sailing straight into harms way

Saturday, May 12th, 2007

A personal, historical anecdote

By Cainnech Ó Sullibhain

Our ship the M/V Ganges (London Registry) had just left the port of Tsamkong, China after unloading general cargo, when we were ordered by our head office in London, England to proceed to Cairns, Queensland, Australia. We had just made it to the South China Sea to discover that we did not have enough fuel to proceed. The master of the ship was a young man who, at 23 years of age, received the MBE from King George VI for saving the lives of his life boat crew after their ship was sunk by a German U-boat in the mid Atlantic in 1942.


The Awakening

Friday, May 11th, 2007

By Cainnech Ó Sullibhain

Ages have passed yet no one in the West has been able to come to terms with militant Islam. The question is why? That is because no one in the West really took the time to make a thorough study of how Islam operates.

Let us begin with Moro in the Northern Philippines. Islam supposedly came to these islands via Canton, China on a Chinese junk. When the first Arab Muslim missionary Sharif Aulia Karim al-Mukhdum arrived in the Jolo, the Philippines, in 1380 and began his conversion of the area to Islam, one had not expected that fanaticism would enter the fray. But, everywhere one looks at how Islam came one notice that fanaticism is a part of the very make-up of the new Islamic society.