GayandRight

My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (www.freethinkingfilms.com)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Malaysia jails bloggers....

Yes, they've decided to go after the really dangerous people in society....
The Malaysian government has applied its Internal Security Act (ISA) several times in recent weeks in order to protect citizens from the imminent threat of . . . bloggers. That’s right. The sixty-some jihadi militants, foreign agents and ethnic “rabble-rousers” locked away without prospect of trial in the country’s infamous Kamunting Detention Center were joined recently by a handful of minor opposition figures working the Internet fringe of Malaysian politics.

By definition, arbitrary arrest precludes any clear articulation of what legal offenses detainees may have committed. We are thus left to construe allegations of criminal activity based upon accusations made by various government spokespersons or politically affiliated groups.

Political blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin, already facing formal defamation charges for vilifying senior politicians, was detained under the ISA in September. Government leaders apparently judged Kamarudin a danger to society as a result of a blog post in which he rather indelicately argued that hypocrisy among Malaysia’s Muslim leadership is the root cause of moral decrepitude in the country. Although Islamist opposition figures have made such claims for years, Raja Petra’s statements, taken out of context, can easily be interpreted as criticism of Muslims in general rather than simply a rant against Malaysia’s current Muslim leaders. Government functionaries in charge of Islamic affairs took exception to a number of Raja Petra’s views including his assertion that “only Muslims talk about their religion non-stop while going against everything their religion stands for.” In the days preceding his arrest four government religious bodies filed complaints with the police alleging that the writer “insulted Malays, Muslims and Islam.”

Meanwhile, Teresa Kok, an opposition parliamentarian and Internet pamphleteer from Kuala Lumpur’s Seputeh district, was held for seven days under the ISA in September. Ms. Kok has built a successful political career around her image as an antagonist of Malaysia’s ruling patriarchy. She blends a knack for pop polemics with a commitment to serious human rights causes. In addition to her responsibilities to her constituency, she has lobbied Asean leaders to support the Burmese democracy movement and has urged the Malaysian government to broaden protection for the predominately Muslim Rohingya refugees fleeing the Burmese military state. It is thus surprising that religion was again used as a pretext for Ms. Kok’s detention. The self-described “Sassy MP” was allegedly detained for the subversive act of petitioning a local mosque to reduce the volume of its loudspeakers—an allegation Ms. Kok vehemently denies.

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