International Muslim Media has to look at the Bigger Picture

By Farish A. Noor

As someone who studies the phenomenon of political Islam, I have, understandably, been reading much of the international Muslim press over the past few years. In particular I have focused on the International Islamist media- and by this I am referring to the newspapers, websites, journals and magazines produced by the many Islamist organisations, NGOs, political parties and social movements all over the world.

One factor that comes to mind immediately is how parochial and narrow the worldview of much of the international Islamist media has become. More often than not the reportage of world affairs, particularly by Islamist media in the non-Arab world, is focused more on the goings-on in Muslim societies and Arab-Muslim societies in particular. Reading through the material produced by the Islamist media in Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia for instance one learns more about the developments in Egypt, Turkey, Morocco, the Gulf states and Iran than anywhere else.

This does not mean to imply that the developments in these countries are not important, or that they are of no relevance to the development of Islamist movements in Asia or Africa or even Europe. But one does wonder how Islamists in Asia view the rest of the planet, and whether they realise that so much else is going on beyond the narrow frontiers of the Muslim world.

More troubling is that the view of the West is often shaped by the Islamist lens that they wear, and here again the ethnocentric and religio-centric biases of the Islamist press stands out in bold relief. We are all well acquainted by now with the controversy over the recently-released film Fitna by the Dutch politician Geert Wilders. But how many Islamist papers reported the fact that during the protests against the recent Gulf War more than half a million Berliners came out into the streets of Berlin to protest against the invasion of Iraq? And what about the other civil-society led demonstrations organised in London, Paris, Madrid, Rome, Barcelona?

But perhaps the most troublesome thing about the Islamist media today is the impression it gives of being primarily and solely concerned with the affairs of the Muslim world alone; to the point where the overwhelming majority of the rest of the human race remains neglected and their stories remain untold. Yet if we were to look at the developments in the world since 11 September 2001 it should be clear to us all by now that many of the major geo-political shifts we have seen reflect and mirror many of the developments that we also see in the Muslim world.

Two examples stand out:

The first has to do with the latest scramble to re-colonise Africa in no uncertain terms. If we were to cast our minds back to the late 1990s, some of us may recall that it was even trendy in some Western technocratic circles to mumble the mantra of ‘saving Africa from itself’. Since the publication of Basil Davidson’s ‘The Black Man’s Burden: Africa and the Curse of the Nation-state’ (1993) there was much spurious talk of how post-colonial Africa was a disaster zone and that the nation-state model was not applicable there. The subtext of this constant attack on the performance of the nation-states of Africa (which did not come from Davidson, though) was that Africans were not able to govern themselves and were not culturally or essentially adapted to modern modes of governance. The other subtext was that if Africans could not govern themselves then perhaps the time has come for a new mode of colonialism that would rescue Africa (and by extension Africans) from themselves.

Today what we see is the rush to gather and monopolise the oil and gas fields of Africa in the most blatant manner. Already American, European and Chinese companies are all over the continent, cutting deals with corrupt African despots in order to secure the gas and oil resources of countries like Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Yet why isn’t any of this being reported in the Islamist press? Surely the parallels with the developments in many Muslim countries, that are likewise hostage to the oil industry, are clear? Or is it because many Islamist intellectuals and journalists still think that Africans are not important to deserve such reporting because many parts of Africa (like Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania) are not Muslim?

Another striking example that comes to mind is the politics of Central and Latin America, that has gone unrecorded and unrecognised for so long. Venezuela for instance has been threatened with numerous embargoes, has experienced several attempts at toppling its government and has been cast as a Pariah state by the American government. Yet the country’s President Hugo Chavez has been attempting nothing more than an economic reform project aimed at giving the Venezuelan economy back to its people, complete with land reforms and nationalisation of key industries as was the case in Egypt during the time of Gammel Abdel Nasr.

Surely it should strike many of us as obvious that this is a case of history repeating itself, and the parallels with developments in the Muslim world; from Egypt under Nasr to Iran under Mosaddeq, are obvious too. And surely there is so much that Muslims can learn today by looking at the Venezuelan struggle against hegemony and comparing that to their own geo-political plight under present circumstances. But again, Venezuela seems entirely off the map for the international Islamist press. Why? Is it because Hugo Chavez and the people of Venezuela are not Muslims?

One cannot help but come to such conclusions when the contradictions and blind-spots seem so painfully obvious. But if prejudice and ignorance of the world of the other is the only thing that is stopping Muslims from looking beyond the frontiers of their own community, then perhaps the time has come for them to serious ask themselves what it means to be Muslim in the first place. Surely one of the principle tenets of Islam is the notion of Tauhid – the unitary nature of God and creation – which reminds us of the fundamental unity we share with the entire human race. The editors, writers and journalists who serve the machinery of the international Islamist press should therefore get their respective acts together and begin to look closer at the rest of the world around them. If they do so, they may realise that Muslims today have more in common with their struggling brothers and sisters in Venezuela, Cuba and the African nations that with the rich elite of their own countries.

  1. #1 by highhand on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 8:05 am

    blind spot is never painful.
    pain is when you fall into a ditch or manhole due to the blind spot

  2. #2 by tsn on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 8:06 am

    Apart from rampant corruption, narrow mindedness and tainted worldly views of our majority people is the cause of our dwindling competitiveness. This self-imposed encirclement is hypnotizing them to the brink of ignorance,innocent, some even to the state of hysterical.

  3. #3 by billgates on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 8:09 am

    Why look far? Just at our own backyard, we have many generous non-muslims who have donated so much for the needy muslims. Look at what happened to Guan Eng when he tried to help a muslim girl from another muslim but end up in jail.

    What happened to the Bank Islam and Tabung Haji scandal? Why no action has been taken against rapists of Canny Ong and Noritta Shamsuddin?

    So life is not just about heaven and hell. Life has got to deal with humanity and religious tolerance. But we still have some narrow minded idiots that is only efficient when comes to body snatching.

  4. #4 by ric23_my on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 8:26 am

    egg also hatch already, still no news on selangor exco list?

  5. #5 by lakilompat on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 8:37 am

    Hi billgates, there are two law within muslims, one is “hudud law” if u go Mecca (for haj) u will be able to see that the street shop or even goldsmith just have a cloth to cover it and indicates the shop is closed and there is no need to lock the shop. There are many chain shop owned by Bin Laden family.

    The other is the Malaysian law, where murderer will not be punished as long as it is done by the rich & influential ppl, the Atlantuya Case, Norita Case, and Canny Ong Case. Not only the Chinese but Mongolian woman were murdered as well.

  6. #6 by Taikor on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 8:58 am

    What was Farish Noor trying to say? That because the west (not Denmark!) did something nice and that there are shortcomings in the muslim press so the deliberate provocation should not be criticised??

  7. #7 by bystander on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 9:23 am

    To summarize, Muslim world is not only narrow minded and backward but a liability to the whole world. Just what has the muslim world contributed to the world in the last 50 years? Zil apart from Islam and oil, only trouble or hot spots all over the world. In the last OIC and Arab Summit they talked about action/steps against Islamophobia. Has anyone heard of Buddhophobia or Hindophobia or Christainophobia? Millions all over the world demonstrated against the war in Iraq. Million volunteers helped out the poor in muslim countries. Have the muslims over the world demonstrated on any issue not related to muslim or Islam? Has the muslim world helped out on any worldly issue? Like stopping the killing of christains and bishops and demolition of churches in Turkey and Iraq. Why doesn’t the Muslim world focus on itself first on how to behave and live peacefully together as just like the other communities of the world; how to eradicate extremism and violence; how not to slaughter one fellow muslim brothers and sisters; how to have one common interpretation of the Koran; how to eradicate corruption and poverty among its fellow muslims; how to educate fellow muslims to bring them inline with the rest of the world. Why is the muslim world so inward and selfish? why do they have to go round and kill infidels? we are all humans of the world. If these issues are addressed and resolved, I pretty certain that Islamophobia will disappear overnight.

  8. #8 by ric23_my on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 9:35 am


    all the religions are the same, it is very much depends on the human who practice the religion …

    if someone go to pray, juz becoz they supposed to pray … instead of focus on the good value of the religion that brought to him/her …

    then there is no point to pray 5 times a day …. or pray before you eat or sleep …

  9. #9 by lakilompat on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 9:57 am

    First of all, i don’t like this statement in the Al Quran, it is arrogant, discriminating and biased toward other world religions.

    “There is no god other than Allah”

    I believe when he wrote this, he have yet travel the whole world and a perform a thorough study on Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Shintoism, Brahmanism, Jainism, Khalsa, Christian religion, Sikhism.

  10. #10 by One4All4One on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 10:02 am

    IT is a case of bahaving in a “holier than thou’ manner.

    Religion is a very personal matter, and none should lord over the other in matters religious.

    Every right thinking individual would not go to the extent of imposing one’s beliefs over others.

    We can share, teach, preach, but the final decision rests on the individual. Religion is actually quite democratic. It doesn’t impose. It pleads. It implores. It encourages. It doesn’t force. One is encouraged to seek and learn.

    God is all magnanimous. God is all forgiving. God is loving.

    Religion is One. God is One. Humanity is One.

    So why should we discriminate at all? We should instead embrace one another. True peace would never be achieved if there is no unity among the people.

  11. #11 by One4All4One on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 10:03 am


    IT is a case of bEhaving..

  12. #12 by MISHUGINA on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 10:12 am

    “lakilompat Says:

    Today at 09: 57.49 (10 minutes ago)
    First of all, i don’t like this statement in the Al Quran, it is arrogant, discriminating and biased toward other world religions.

    “There is no god other than Allah”

    I believe when he wrote this, he have yet travel the whole world and a perform a thorough study on Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Shintoism, Brahmanism, Jainism, Khalsa, Christian religion, Sikhism.”

    Dude, lets not start religious debates here ok. I could point out also that Christians believe people who do not believe in Jesus will automatically go to hell. Leave the holy books alone.

  13. #13 by ric23_my on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 10:25 am

    In malsysia, there is a group of extremist called UMMNO Putra … which anything related to them, they considered as good …

    in the blog here, there are few extremist mainly from DAP Putra, Ismamic Putra and Christian Putra …

    Should use durian to throw onto this group of ppl …

  14. #14 by jetaime.f on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 10:29 am

    ric23_my, please don’t waste the durians k….save it for me….I miss eating time…. :)

  15. #15 by jetaime.f on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 10:30 am

    them i mean…..

  16. #16 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 10:40 am

    “…//….how parochial and narrow the worldview of much of the international Islamist media has become. More often than not the reportage of world affairs, particularly by Islamist media in the non-Arab world, is focused more on the goings-on in Muslim societies and Arab-Muslim societies in particular… //” – Dr Farish Noor.

    I suppose this is quite to be expected as media, whilst professing ethics of journalism (which includes contextual objectivity in reportage of events around the world) still have to balance it against commercial profit, with the latter weighing heavier on the balance. Media then will decide what is significant for its target audience to know by framing news in a way in turn appealing to or at the very least acceptable by its target audience and, this in turn, renders media influenced by target audience’s taste and predilection.

    This kind of challenge – of juggling between objective coverage and appeal to target audience as an imperative to commercial profit – confronts Al Jazeera as much as it would CNN. Hence western audience will complain a strong element of positive bias in the overall coverage by Al Jazeera of the Al-Qaeda group and likewise Arab audience complains the opposite of CNN….And probably Al Jazeera would be more interested to cover Malaysian political tsunami of 8th March 2008 than CNN because Al Jazeera’s audiences especially in Middle East are more interested in the going-ons in the “modern Islamic state” in this part of the world as compared to CNN’s audience.

    Muslim viewership in Malaysia and Indonesia too may be suspicious and critical of western international news networks like CNN or BBC particularly on their coverage of Palestine and Iraq. So Al-Jazeera is seen as a welcome alternative giving a more “objective” reportage of events in Palestine and Iraq.

    As in all such matters of perception when an audience is itself bias, then reportage appealing to its bias will be regarded by such audience as “objective”. Such is workings of human mind.

    Bottomline it is still sales and dollars and cents (from target audience) and what appeals to it that will influence how the media – whether Islamic or Western – frames, packages and presents its news.

  17. #17 by balance88 on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 10:42 am

    Vision tunnelled and manipulated – that is how I would describe the muslim world.

    I have not seen Fitna, thus, not positioned to comment on it. But I strongly feel that the muslim communities, in particular its press corps, should study it and address any misunderstandings, if any, the producer or in a broader context, the western world may have on Muslims in a mature and rational way instead of going on a rampage to boycott Dutch exports or even declaring war on the west. After all, this is how a small group of people sees the Muslims.

    On this, the Muslim press plays a very improtant role. A more balanced reporting would certainly help.

    But I also think that it is about time the Muslim world starts to wake up as well. They have not projected themselves to practise a tolerant religion with suicide bombers constantly hogging the limelight. They don’t appear to be able to take criticism or even comments/opinions on their religion. The religion is good, but the people practising it does not live up to the religion.

    One lingering thought on my mind is that, why is it that everytime a so-called Muslim defender chops or kills someone up, the elders and leaders and the imams of the Muslim world does not come to the forefront to condemn such acts and declare that this is not how the religion should be practiced. Why are they always hiding behind the veil of jihad.

    Surely, we are now in the 21st century, shouldn’t jihad be abolished. I don’t think any religiion professes to kill including Islam.

  18. #18 by lakilompat on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 10:58 am

    balance88 u can find “fitna” movie at utube, just type em. I mean they are reciting verses in the al Quran with reference, if any of the Muslim fren find out whether in al Quran the verses is true? in history “jihad” is a holy war against the Richard the lion heart crusaders. But in modern day, certain individuals used them against their enemy but also against their own ppl. Terrorist attack mosque as well.

    Actually Christian also have its question there, do u believe in virgin birth? who’s Jesus father? well scientifically is there any person other than Jesus Christ is product of virgin birth? Therefore, why in each religion there’s certain degree of flaws in it?

    How abt Buddha? is buddha an Indian prince? but there are so many buddha out there? actually buddhism is not a religion, it is a belief in enlightement. Is enlightement “wisdom” to different good from evil? I prefer Buddha, can someone give me what is the flaw of Buddha?

  19. #19 by wargamalaysia on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 11:02 am

    balance88 Says:
    Today at 10: 42.57 (14 minutes ago)
    Surely, we are now in the 21st century, shouldn’t jihad be abolished. I don’t think any religiion professes to kill including Islam.

    Jihad is not about suicide bombing and Islam never condones murder innocence ppl.

    Americans/Westerns professes to kill in Iraq in the name of Democracy?

  20. #20 by passerby on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 11:35 am

    The problem is that islam is a very rigid and extreme religion. You cannot interpret in less violent form since it is stated very clearly the treatment of the non-muslims and even if you want to interpret it mildly disregarding all the serious consequences, you cannot stop others from interpreting exactly as what is being said. For that matter, you don’t even allow anyone to leave the religion safely!!!

  21. #21 by ric23_my on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 11:35 am


    since u do not agree with me about the selangor exco issue … i will throw durian to u as well … :p

  22. #22 by lakilompat on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 11:45 am

    If u r born in muslim family do u have freedom of religion. If I’m a chinese i can choose to be muslim, christian, confucianism, taoism, hinduism, or buddhism. I don’t think a muslim friend can do so at their free will. Why wear tudung, not the whole black clothes to cover from head to toes. If a lady unable to reveal his body, is not fair why man can, a child will only be able see the mother or sister or aunty as black ninjas but never know how she look like. They treated all the women only for giving birth, and sx. It is sexual discrimination and gender bias.

  23. #23 by cheng on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 11:54 am

    Before this, we have cartoons. Now, we have a video. What do we get when we burn flags, cars, embassies, etc.?

    Is Mother Mary a virgin more important or saving million of people from starvation? It is very dangerous when people focus on the wrong issue which is mostly due to ego.

    Is Buddha an Indian important? After 50 years of independence, how many Malaysians who ticked the Agama section as Buddha are Buddhists? They are mainly Taoists. Five precepts, what’s that???

    After all, war is not holy. Glorifying after-life undermines the value of life itself. Focus on the betterment of mankind rather than continue to have inferiority complex (or superiority complex).

    Then, like the case in Iraq, in the name of liberation, forcing people to accept democracy is not democracy anyway.

  24. #24 by ric23_my on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 11:56 am


    it is depends on the PERSON who practice the religion lah … Only in malaysia, a muslim cannot convert to another religion …

    In indonesia, a muslim can convert to christian as ur wish lah …. that’s why those malaysia chinese who’s going to marry with indon muslim girl, usually the girl go back indon and convert to christian … hence after maried, the guy do not need to convert to muslim …

  25. #25 by wargamalaysia on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 11:56 am

    Do you believe in absolute freedom under democracy? No such thing. Even for secularism, some countries will excercise limitations. Netherland recognises gays, and recently allows gays to have sex in the parks (late afternoon and at night), except you can not throw ‘condom’ around. [deleted]

    America allows possession of guns for self-defend reason. Democracy? Freedom? Why malaysia does not allow that for the sake of democracy? Must be a limitation for a reason. I’m not going to argue about your claim on Islam as a ‘very rigid and extreme religion’ here.

  26. #26 by jetaime.f on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 11:56 am


    I did not say I didn’t agree neither did I indicate such. I merely suggested that you may not get a quick answer.

    But please, don’t waste durians by throwing them at people…..I don’t have the luxury to eat durians….needless to say yummy delicious durians :)
    May be you can try throwing rotten eggs :)

  27. #27 by lakshy on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 12:04 pm

    Its a matter of interpretation. Both you and I could read the same book and come up with different meanings. If the producer of Fitna has come up with his interpretation, why create an issue out of it? Are we all so simple and gullible as to believe everything we read and see (I stand corrected BN-UMNO seems to think so, and even they believed their own propaganda).

    Look at The da Vinci code. Didn’t that book/movie come up with a new interpretation based on facts and some extended facts?

    What does it hurt to see it and start exploring these options.

    At the end of the day, are the muslims afraid? Is their faith in their religion and understanding of their scripts so shallow that they can easily lose faith?

    I am sure Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Catholics etc have had to face all sorts of penghinaan about their religion, being satan worship etc. Well even if they haven’t, I have. And I even had my school teachers commenting and freely criticizing my religion in class. Has that made my belief in my religion any less?

    Actually, it has made me interested to read and find out about religions, mine and others.

    Muslims should read and understand their religion. Not follow people blindly. God does not call one to do that.

    In the end, you realise that your own religion is personal between you and God. You have a personal relationship with him, that is not based on scriptures. God is above all that.

    And we are ALL His children. Can he love any of us any less, whetherw e be Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Bahai, Jew or Atheist!

    We are all one!

  28. #28 by wargamalaysia on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 12:04 pm

    How many drunk citizens hit their spouse, rape womens and commit other crimes. Ppl never blame the freedom of getting drunk for the crimes. The same should be applied to Islam. No double standard. Islam bans alcohol and gambling for muslim because these may lead to bigger crimes. Not because Islam wants to stop people from having fun. That’s a misconception.

    There are extremists hiding behind religion to kill innocence ppl. So do democratic ppl.

  29. #29 by wargamalaysia on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 12:10 pm

    I think most muslims are against Zionist, not really Jews. There are Jews who live peacefully with muslims. If those extremist are fighting against all jews, I don’t agree with them.

  30. #30 by lakilompat on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 12:14 pm

    Malaysia don’t have gun law to allow permit given to citizens, but most of the Datuk son have firearm, i remembered there are some case abt Datuk son killing some ppl during a fight because of car park issues. Well, in Malaysia gun are for rich and powerful ppl, UMNO cronies, i believe Khairy also carry a gun, jus in case anything happen to him.

    Even in broad daylight there’s already a RM 800 million goldsmith robbery at one of the Giant Hyperstore in Perak. If citizens have gun, they could stop it, but it is not so frequent.

  31. #31 by ric23_my on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 12:16 pm


    as long as the people united and have the strong power to face against this corrupted party and arrogant ppl …

    i think each of you use water gun also can kill them …

  32. #32 by baoqingtian on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 12:21 pm

    When the Da vinci’s Code was shown all over the world, the Christian watched it and took it very well. There was no hatred shown. But when Fitna starts showing, the Muslims got irritated eventhough they haven’t watched it. How can you judge the film without watching it?. See! the Muslims are so narrow-minded.

    They are afraid to watch it because they can’t trust their own faith.
    It is time for the Muslims to be more open-minded and take their own faith to test. And don’t forget to contribute more to the world peace (this, they are lacking a lot)

  33. #33 by balance88 on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 12:23 pm

    Wargamalaysia, jihad may not be about suicide bombing but that is how it is perceived by others. But where are the Muslim leaders who condemn such acts strongly. We don’t hear them and we don’t see them.

    I have lots of Muslim friends who are very tolerant and understanding towards others. But unfortunately, such good traits are not projected to the world. Perhaps its the western media or maybe the Muslim media should do more.

    By the way, I am absolutely against the Americans /Westerners war in Iraq. Yes, it is murder!

  34. #34 by alancheah on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 12:29 pm

    Uncle Lim, kindly post more about your own-opinion
    articles, coz’ other articles written by some other people,
    we have already seen that in other sites.

    I also believe that many of us would like to
    see more of your own-writting here, more
    than other people’s articles. :)


  35. #35 by lakilompat on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 12:51 pm

    Bush is a liar! when u have a leader who lied, the only choice u have is to lay down and enjoy! He killed more than 4 thousand innocent American soldiers, create more than 4 thousand orphans, widows, and lonely parents (with only 1 son) in America. What u can do as American?

    Pak Lah is a liar! when u have a leader who sleep & lied, the only choice u have is vote for oppostion and celebrate the outcome. He lost 5 states and rejected by Sultan of Perlis & Agong of Terengganu on MB appointment. What we all should do as Malaysian?

    I strongly believe Tun Dr. Mahathir has seen the clips, well, there should investigate whether those verses highlighted by Dutch politician Geert Wilders is true. The Dutch are saying those pages of hatred is already outdated and should be tear & remove by the Muslim themselves.

    Netherlands also allowed marijuana to be sell in the shop.

  36. #36 by wargamalaysia on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 12:52 pm

    Many muslim minorities can live peacefully in other non-muslim countries, ie Some Western Countries, China, Etc. I believe the centre of the problem is the Palestinians a.k.a middle-east. It has been going for many decades. Probabaly because of majority jews support zionist governent in Israel, then the muslims perceived that they’re fighting against all jews. Some Islamic extremists manipulate the isue as well.

    Muslims perceived that US ,controlled by jews, supported saddam hussein to fight against Iran when Soviet was a superpower. They then started war against saddam in Iraq and probably Iran as well, when Soviet collapsed.

    The muslims now perceived that they are at war with the zionist who are behind the superpowered countries in the world. The zionist is supported by strong jews networks. I don’t know how true is this.

  37. #37 by wargamalaysia on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 12:58 pm

    Unresolved Palestinian issue gives reasons to extremist to use religion for their cause. As for malaysia government, I don’t believe that malaysian government will go to war just for this video issue. Political leaders make statements more for personal gains.

  38. #38 by sotong on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 1:08 pm

    To a true Muslim, the real and most important jihad come from within oneself…….not the craps you see of people resorting to aggression, violent and killing themselves and other innocent people.

  39. #39 by wargamalaysia on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 1:12 pm

    lakilompat Says:
    Today at 12: 51.09 (7 minutes ago)
    I strongly believe Tun Dr. Mahathir has seen the clips, well, there should investigate whether those verses highlighted by Dutch politician Geert Wilders is true. The Dutch are saying those pages of hatred is already outdated and should be tear & remove by the Muslim themselves.
    I’ve seen the clips in youtube. I’m not into this violence, suicide bombings whatsoever against innocence ppl. I remember Tun used to say, go to the core of the problem of palestinian ppl. They must be suffered and discriminated long enough, causing them to go for the war.

    I’ve heard by the palestinian ppl that, the killings of their ppl is on daily basis. Even for us malaysian, we will go to the street to protest just because we feel that the government does not hear us. What about palestinians? Who’re hearing them?

    Only the muslims.

  40. #40 by wargamalaysia on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 1:20 pm

    I think whoever the mastermind behind all these, will never want a peaceful world. Lots of things at stake. Arm business is the main thing.

    US can easily killed just saddam hussein if they want to. Why destroy the whole country? Then, Iran? After that?

  41. #41 by lakilompat on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 1:42 pm

    If u dun remove the head, u will never accomplished the mission, but once the head is removed, fights will ensued to gain control of the country, new leader & power will emerge to claim the country.

    In any govt. there are agitators, if u see the US soldiers, what u will feel? in Singapore, Guam, Philipines & Japan there are cases where US soldiers abused, rape and torture the locals. Is this the end product of democracy whereby human has all the rights, to have gay as partner, to smoke marijuana, to encourage sex industry, and defy those who against them.

  42. #42 by deja vu on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 3:11 pm

    i tell u what narrow-minded is:
    chelsea FC coming to malaysia minus coach grant and ben haim, why? have these 2 isrealites killed anyone?
    haven’t any malaysian killed another? but none of us are barred from entering any country because of this!

    racial/religion card – played by the UMNOputeras again. ini sudah lapok. Suka sangat buat orang marah dia! All chelsea supporters will vote BN out, when are they going to learn?

  43. #43 by yog7948 on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 3:51 pm

    “Religion is the opium of the people” – Karl Marx

    “If peace is to be achieved, we must lay down all absurdities we have carried so willingly. We must admit that we do not understand the universe, and we must admit that people of other faiths are also humans. We must learn to love each other, rather then kill each other because of books our ancestors wrote. The time to love is now. We can no longer afford to persecute people based on religion, ethnic, or sexual differences. Our largest enemy has manifested itself so greatly in our lives that confronting it
    is almost impossible. To not confront it means pain, terror, and the end of our civilization. No, humans will surely perish if religious martyrdom grows, as does the potential of greater weapons.”
    -Duke Focalor

    This is not meant to offend any individuals, but rather to make people more open minded to different beliefs, or essentially, a lack of. Religion has been the scapegoat of leaders for thousands of years. Religion is the reason people are willing to kill, or be killed. If people did not cling to their religion, virtually all world conflicts could be solved. Why do we kill for something that is supposed to be about peace?

    People who cling tightly to their faith also believe in the spread of
    peace. Many of them do not realize the contradictions in their
    ways. I, however, realize it fully. Religion has been a cause for
    discrimination and hate among humans for far too long.

    See this to understand… Please.

  44. #44 by digard on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 3:54 pm

    Hi, Farish Noor, I really wonder if you can’t find the answer to some of your questions by reading up [is that really necessary?] on the “true” doctrines of Islam? The ultimate goal of Islam is toward the
    establishment of an Islamic state, as well as Islamic law throughout the world, and this is not contested.
    So, why should there be any concern for the ongoings in Africa or South-America, as long as they don’t prove relevant at attaining these two pillars?
    Could it not be that this was at the core of the ‘narrowness’ of the Islamic Press? So as to steer the masses away from succumbing to the much-hated liberal ways of the secular west?
    If one is out to command and conquer (the world), there is not much room left for Hugo Chavez. Yes, because one is not genuinely interested in that person, neither in his mission. It serves to nothing. Demonizing the west, however, does. It unites the masses in the pompous feeling ‘of teaching a lesson’. Like currently at calling for a boycott of Dutch products. Galvanizing the masses with dialectics? God beware!

  45. #45 by lakilompat on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 4:10 pm

    When the mongols invaded the Islamic state, the heir of Sultan used the holy bible to summon ordinary peasants to fight and resist the Mongolian. They said the mongolian are cruel tribes, but the reason why the mongolian invade them, anyone know the truth? According to history, Genghis Khan sent 500 trade convoy to the Islamic state, but one of the cronies steal the 500 trade convoy goods, and order soldiers (police) to behead 499 of them, one of them escape back to Mongol to report to Genghis Khan. He was so angry at that time that he wanted to crush this Islamic Kingdom. Hence he ordered his troops to invade the country. The Sultan was forced to move out from palace and seek refuge in one of the deserted island where he died and pass the command to his heir. The heir are able to resist Genghis Khan armies for sometime as he’s using the good of the religion to make ppl brave enough to withstand the Mongols, till the war is won by Genghis Khan main battalions, he’s able to flee to other countries.

  46. #46 by Ahila on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 4:33 pm

    FITNA or not …I cant comment bcoz I havent seen it:definitely NOT going to see it. I, like many others a peace loving person. I enjoy the peace I have and expect people to practise ‘peacism'(if there’s anything such as that). Dont the Denmark guys have anything better to do?…and so our Malaysian muslims are going crazy. Why?…When Pakistani Muslims bomb the mosques in Pakistan ,killing fellow Muslims….not one Muslim friend here expressed anger? Irans and Iraqs are muslims…yet so much of killings of fellow muslims going on for decades…Why no Malaysian Muslims cry about that…?
    When some Danish guy made a movie …it suddenly brings all these people alive…is it? Relax ! You get what you sow !….similarly…if the Danish are wrong let them face karma. Why scream from here? Is it necessary for civilized people like us to ‘jihad’ for such wrongdoings.? Then…there are hundreds of wrongdoing Muslim leaders (also of other religion) in this country,shall we ‘jihad’them?
    Peace…..Peace…Peace !!!!

  47. #47 by lakilompat on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 4:52 pm

    Ahila, u shud see the movie “fitna” before you judge them, having said that i’m not supporting them but I’m not bias as well, the movie is stating that al Quran certain pages and verses (might not be true) are instructing muslim to kill non islamic believers. Why don’t see it yourself then judge whether it is right or wrong? Tun Dr. Mahathir has seen it, and he believes it is evil and should be condemned. Yes I would like to join Tun also but the things, i must see what makes him so frustrated. Go to you tube, type “fitna” then u can see the clips.

  48. #48 by Ahila on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 5:12 pm

    Since I am receiving a brotherly advise from ‘lakilompat’…I might as well see it ….Thanks bro ! Fitna…here I come !

  49. #49 by kingkenny on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 5:30 pm

    Hi yog7948

    pretty interesting piece you got there!

    I too, believed that religions are ‘used’, sometimes to horrible effects. It was reported not long ago in the news that Islamists nowadays even used a retarded girl as a human bomb, in the streets of Baghdad if I’m correct, and those eery creatures detonated the device with a remote control! Sad…I couldn’t mutter a anything else, this is what came to mind first.

    I feel sad for them because they have been blinded, and to answer some of Farish’s question of why we can’t see any Muslims in Malaysia jihad-ing is because Muslims here are not ‘used’ in a way they are in Middle East. Our leaders are not like their leaders, if you go to youtube and look at some of their speeches, it usually ends with a sword in their hands and shouting death to that and death to this…

    Many of them there are not ‘really’ educated, what was given is only their Holy book and jihad…utmost obedience are required of them or death will come swift.

    Have they a choice over there like we do here?

    Politics, politicians, money and greed have made our world cruel & horrible….period.

  50. #50 by lakilompat on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 5:55 pm

    Hi kingkenny yes, i’ve mentioned abt story of Genghis Khan, why he the great conqueror fight the Islamic Sultan, when he can easily enjoy his throne in the grassland, it is because they treated his peace convoy cruelly (killing 499 of unarmed Mogolian tribesman and confiscated their goods meant for trading), look at the Taliban they go to bombed the great buddha statues, ended up they been bombed and destroyed. The al Quran can be used as moral compass but can also be use to trick ppl. to fight for their leaders. Obviously these leaders are in the wrong turn, and there’s no one else to tell them it is wrong.

  51. #51 by calvin_ngan on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 5:57 pm

    In the Spirit of Open Tender and transparency, it would make more sense if the symbol and flag of ‘Pakatan rakyat’ were to be chosen from a competition open to all malaysian.

    What Barisan Alternative lack during the last two election is a common symbol, it would be wise to have one now for the next general election.

  52. #52 by alaneth on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 11:35 pm

    The various flags/symbol mooted should be put to vote also so the rakyat can choose the best flag…

  53. #53 by alaneth on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - 11:39 pm

    Violence in the name of religion creates wars etc… Communism, suppressing religion has succeeded in controlling the most populous nation in the world.

  54. #54 by kingandcountry on Wednesday, 2 April 2008 - 5:24 am

    Best religion is no religion.

    Have an open mind, an open heart and you will seek the truth.

    I have encountered many who try to raise their children in particular faiths. Important thing is that children be raised to be independent thinkers, then they will seek out the truth at their own accord

  55. #55 by lakshy on Wednesday, 2 April 2008 - 5:30 am

    Malaysian press’ move to demonize all things Dutch is the knee jerk sort of reaction that makes muslim nations look bad in the first place.
    Was the Dutch government and people involved in producing the clip?

    Did any nation ban malaysian products when they found JI cells in Malaysia? Should they have banned malaysian products? What about when malaysia used excessive force against its own Bersih and Hindraf demonstrators? What about banning malaysian products because it still uses the draconian ISA to muzzle dissent?

    Did any nation ban malaysian products when a malaysian company (related to its leaders) was found supplying parts that were to equip a nuclear reactor/weapon?

    Is the Malaysian Press and (hence by extension) the Malaysian Govt calling on other nations to ban imports of Malaysian products?

    Lets do things rationally and not behave irrationally lest we be seen as an extremist nation, and cause investments to go elsewhere like Singapore and Thailand!

  56. #56 by lakshy on Wednesday, 2 April 2008 - 5:34 am

    The response to Fitna should be to educate more muslims to truly understand the Quran, not just memorize it. When you understand its contents, you wont react with violence to what others say about yuor religion.

    But by extension, do take some effort to understand other religions too!

  57. #57 by ADAM YONG IBNI ABDULLAH on Wednesday, 2 April 2008 - 7:45 am

    i was not able to make any comments yesterday, and i have also send to YB Lim Kit Siang and YB Betty Chew texts messages. I did manage to speak to YB Betty Chew for which i record appreciation.
    the moderator was ineffective.


    how much do you understand about Islam and other great religion of the world, i dont really know. i am sure you are living in a blessed world and i am sure you are happy at where you are now.

    you have pick and select parts and pieces from The Holy Book and made your own remarks and prejudiced statement. That in itself shows your lack of intelligence and wisdom to fanthom religion.

    maybe you really evolved from monkeys . thats according to charles darwins’ theory and that should be your rights to belief in who you are.


    please refrain from “attacking” the RELIGION AND THE HOLY BOOK.
    if for any reasons , that there are waywards actions, the actions are by the waywards followers.

  58. #58 by ADAM YONG IBNI ABDULLAH on Wednesday, 2 April 2008 - 8:01 am

    lakilompat :
    ” quote and unquote you:- THERE IS NO GOD OTHER THAN ALLAH”

    may it be known to you that the first commandment of the Holy Bible wrote of there IS ONLY ONE GOD.


    i texted to YB LIM, and with full respect to YB Lim, we should refrain and restrain this blog as a forum to debate on ANY RELIGION. unless we are wise , honest, and with no sins, enough to respect the religions of others, we are not capable to make disparaging remarks of others’ religion.

    i am a great sinner. and lakilompat, i am very confident that my accumulated dosa is more than yours. i am not proud, but i keep praying to bertaubat.

    please , lakilompat , i pray that you find peace in your way of life , as muslims too find peace in their ways of life. if any muslims would have offended you, like myself, i mohon maaf.

    thank you.
    btw YB LIM. God bless you and family too. YAB LIM GUAN ENG attended the gathering of muslims ( birthday of Nabi Mohammad pbuh and with christians ( Good friday ). thank you YAB LGE.

  59. #59 by lakilompat on Wednesday, 2 April 2008 - 12:56 pm

    There won’t be peace if religion are blended into constitution.

  60. #60 by shortie kiasu on Wednesday, 2 April 2008 - 1:39 pm

    How do the writer propose to change the Islamist world effectively, when a novel can cause a “death” sentence to the author, a cartoon can cause so much of rumbling and violence against the artist, and now a short film can cause the boycott of goods from the country of the film director by the Islamist world?

  61. #61 by lakilompat on Wednesday, 2 April 2008 - 2:53 pm

    Problem is if ppl r reluctant to change the forces of evil will find its way to destroy the good lies within the holy bible al Quran.

  62. #62 by ADAM YONG IBNI ABDULLAH on Wednesday, 2 April 2008 - 4:28 pm

    thank you lakilompat. it is the people that are making a BAD representation of GREAT RELIGIONS.

    unfortunately, there is the devil and the angel in each of us. it is which role we wanted . many have sell their souls to devil.

    that is why,i pleaded with YB LIM and even your goodself to refrain from RELIGION IN A POLTICAL BLOG.

    thanks again lakilompat. if i have in any manner offended you, i apologise. BUT I am proud of you that you are able to see beyond .mohon maaf.

  63. #63 by lakilompat on Wednesday, 2 April 2008 - 5:06 pm

    Put a loaf of bread on a table, see what will happen to it after 1 wk or 1 month. Now try renewing a new loaf of bread every day then observe it after 1 wk or 1 month. If you did not replace the bread it will destroyed itself by bacteria. It is the same with ideas, a loaf of bread is like a fresh ideas or interpretation of minds during that time, as we moved on, this interpretation require wise ppl to harness it and change. You will be able to observe simple theory that everything looks fresh and good today might not serve tomorrow. A book is still a book if it is interpret wrongly it must be corrected, as it will affect ppl. to fight and dispute for wrong course.

    Eg. pray 5 times a day, during the ancient time it is permissable as most of the peasant work hard on the field, they will also need 5 times to rest & pray for better harvest. In today world Will this make Muslim less competitive labourer compare to Thais, Indonesian, Burmese? or those oil rich company.

  64. #64 by mysn1st on Wednesday, 2 April 2008 - 5:45 pm

    Prof Farish,
    In short, Selfish is the answer to your question.

  65. #65 by lakilompat on Thursday, 3 April 2008 - 8:54 am

    This prayer of 5 times a day is made during war time, as when war break out during ancient times, the soldiers need foods, inorder to reduce stress on the farmers, it is suggested by muslim scholars to break 5 times a day to rest, and pray for better harvest. In return, the productivity is boasted and the peasants are willing to work comfortably. This practice still survived because ppl tend to think this is a taboo but they “can’t change” as it is a taboo pass on from ancient times.

  66. #66 by ADAM YONG IBNI ABDULLAH on Thursday, 3 April 2008 - 10:52 am


    do you have problems for muslims to pray 5 times a day.?

    do you have problems for taoists to pray on the lunar calendar on the first and fifteen of every month ?

    do you have problems that christians pray ONLY ON SUNDAY?

    do you have problems that Sikhism is also about swords ?

    do you have problems that some buddhist are vegetarians?

    do you have problems that some chinese are burning expensive cars and sexy lingerie for use in the afterworld of their loved ones?

    Religion is about FAITH. Religion is about I BELIEF.

    so lakilompat, if you are a monkey, please behave like a monkey and eat bananas. STOP MAKING REMARKS about religion.

    adminstrator or moderator. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

  67. #67 by lakilompat on Thursday, 3 April 2008 - 4:22 pm

    To ADAM YONG, when some1 come up with something, they will take it as criticism. Did you actually read it and digest it wisely to see, the written guide can solve the ancient problems it might not be practical in today world. The burning of ancestral effigy has been evolving this indicate change as well, previously there is no such thing as refrigerator, or LV bags, or handphone or petrol station (petrol price increases). It is just a moral story to tell the new generation that our ancestor existed. Some ppl just pray at home so that the grandchildren remember their roots. It is just a reminder.

    do you have problems for muslims to pray 5 times a day.?
    It is not for me to decide, just have to compare ancient times and now, what do u think?

    do you have problems for taoists to pray on the lunar calendar on the first and fifteen of every month ?
    Not at all, it is just a date reminded by ancestor and acknowlege by taoism, not sure anything abt it will affect life.

    do you have problems that christians pray ONLY ON SUNDAY?
    Not at all, they can pray anyday at home or church but Sunday is a church mass, a date with god (Christian), for everyone young and old to enjoy the gathering.

    do you have problems that Sikhism is also about swords ?
    Nope, i’m not a sikhs.

    do you have problems that some buddhist are vegetarians?
    Unless u r a monk or nun, else u r not obliged to be vegetarians.

    do you have problems that some chinese are burning expensive cars and sexy lingerie for use in the afterworld of their loved ones?
    Nope becos they miss them, their ancestor, i appreciate the change it’s fun, i believe this is the least we can do to remind our childrens, that such a great and lovely person did existed in this world.

    Religion is about FAITH. Religion is about I BELIEF.
    Yes, but plz do not blend religion to law, law is for everyone it should not be religion biased law.

    so lakilompat, if you are a monkey, please behave like a monkey and eat bananas. STOP MAKING REMARKS about religion.
    Not sure abt that, but what’s the point of having a discussion when you can’t accept the criticism, and point of view from different angles? is this democracy we want?

    adminstrator or moderator. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

  68. #68 by mosa on Friday, 4 April 2008 - 12:46 pm

    As you were saying that “The burning of ancestral effigy has been evolving this indicate change as well, previously there is no such thing as refrigerator, or LV bags, or handphone or petrol station (petrol price increases). It is just a moral story to tell the new generation that our ancestor existed. Some ppl just pray at home so that the grandchildren remember their roots. It is just a reminder”

    First while you could find some logic to that action it is pity that you couldn’t see the logic of 5 times daily praying time for muslim, Just as such regular washing keeps you physically clean, regular prayer keeps you spiritually clean.

    Second 5 times daily praying has got nothing to do with less productivity as what you were saying in fact it is diametrically opposed of what you thinking. If you hear the meaning of Azan (the call for muslim to perform prayer) one of its line is “”Hayya ‘alal-falah” which mean “Come towards the success”, someone that saying or relating Islam with laziness absolutely got the wrong concept of Praying in Islam in fact the 5 daily prayers don’t take much time in the day, maybe 45 minutes in total. But if you think about how much time you are wasting in your day, you will find that prayers help you to use the rest of your time much better.

    Far from being a ritualistic and mindless activity, prayer constantly reminds us of the purpose of life itself, refreshes our faith, and keeps our belief in Allah alive and ever-present. We go back to our wordly affairs conscious of our duties and strengthened against sin. Prayers said in congregation bond Muslims together in love and brotherhood. Prayer also symbolizes the equality of believers; there is no hierarchy, and all stand side-by-side in rows and bow only to Allah.

    Democracy shouldn’t be use to make some remarks on what we didn’t fully understand otherwise it will only show how unintelligent we are.

    And by the way Islam come from the word Salam which mean peace and stop making remarks that you don’t fully understand perhaps you should ask first.

  69. #69 by lakilompat on Tuesday, 22 April 2008 - 10:44 am

    “Democracy shouldn’t be use to make some remarks on what we didn’t fully understand otherwise it will only show how unintelligent we are.”

    Should it be used to invade & hang some leaders for their misdeeds?

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