Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Response to BlogtoAmerica

UPDATE: Malaysia Today (M-T) has now reprinted this article. The comments that follow this posting at M-T are largely full of contempt and vitriol for the US, as well as for the cause of freedom in general. If you want to see the hatred that Malaysians hold in their hearts for freedom, for Americans and for America, look no further than here.

SECOND UPDATE: M-T was recently seriously hacked. As a result, the above listed article at M-T is now gone, along with all the aforementioned anti-American comments, likely forever.

***

Recently I was asked to compose a letter for a blog calling itself 'BlogtoAmerica.' Here is my response:

Dear Global Community,

I thought I knew what it meant to be an American citizen. After all, I went to college for all those years, kept up with current events and international affairs, and happily counted many foreigners as personal friends. It took my moving overseas to show me how uninformed and downright ignorant I was.

I lived in Malaysia for over two years, from mid-2004 until the end of last year. It was an immensely educational and sobering experience, because Malaysians by and large do not have the same freedoms that we Americans have and take almost universally for granted.

For instance, if Americans wish to show displeasure with their government, they can write a letter to the editor or representative, or post to any website, or even stand on a sidewalk and yell slogans about it. They don't need anyone's say-so or permission before doing any of this. So, you can stand on a street corner and hurl invective at (for instance) President Bush all day long, to your heart's content. Then, you can go home and sleep peacefully, knowing that the authorities will never come after you because you openly criticized the government.

Don't believe me? Just ask Michael Moore. Not only does he protest against the US government on a fairly regular basis, he's gotten quite rich doing it. You may have even heard of his movies, such as 'Fahrenheit 911' or his books, like 'Dude, Where's My Country?', all of which savage the current administration. How many times has he been arrested for his political views? Zero, zip, nada.

In Malaysia, on the other hand, books and articles that are critical of the government are suppressed and not allowed in the local media. There is a lengthy list of books and movies that are banned by the authorities. All public gatherings require police permission beforehand. The police can and routinely do deny permission to any groups that are suspected of having views that are critical of the government. 'Unlawful' demonstrations that do occur are subject to harsh measures such as tear gas, water cannon, the truncheon, and arbitrary arrest.

Malaysia's leading political dissident, Raja Petra Kamarudin (usually referred to by his initials RPK), is someone I can happily count as a personal friend. In 2001 he was arrested and held without charge under Malaysia's draconian Internal Security Act for a number of months after openly and repeatedly criticizing the government. Earlier this year, he and his wife were summoned by the police for interrogation after a high ranking Malaysian minister in their government alleged that RPK had posted 'seditious' material on his well read political website, Malaysia Today. He and his wife has also received a number of threats to their physical person for materials on his website that expose government corruption. RPK is a brilliant, principled man, an asset to his nation who constantly lives in fear.

All Malaysians are required to have a national ID card that identifies the bearer's religion. If you are born to a Muslim parent, you are by law a Muslim, for life. You are also not allowed to convert out of or leave Islam. Those that attempt to do so are subject to fines and 'religious rehabilitation', which nothing more than an evil mix of brainwashing and coercion, and involves indefinite detention without trial. It is an official system specially designed to torment innocent people. Even the more fortunate Malaysians, the non Muslims, are not allowed to state their 'religion' on their IDs as 'none', 'athiest', 'secular humanist', 'Wiccan', or 'Jewish', among other things.

Could Americans imagine living like Malaysians, where dissent is discouraged and freedom is stamped out? Would Michael Moore or his spouse appreciate official harassment from the US government, as RPK must endure? Would you relish having an ID card that names your religion?

I know America is not perfect, and I am painfully aware of the many problems. But I also know that millions of foreigners would happily trade away everything they own for just a chance to live in America, the land of the free. If you were in their shoes, wouldn't you?

Cordially,

Johan (aka The Anti Jihadist)

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

u have absolutely hit the nail on the head. For all you people that might say the anti-jihadist is exaggerating, well he's not. everything said here is happening right now.

cheers mate

Anonymous said...

Nice depictions:
http://bodohland.wordpress.com/

Johan may need to translate for some others certain words though... but the illustrations themselves are already quite clear, per se.

LOL!

~wits0~

AstroJew said...

Strongly Agree.

Anonymous said...

See the insanity of the allahus when they can't argue:
http://tinyurl.com/2n8trg

Anonymous said...

"The comments that follow this posting at M-T are largely full of contempt and vitriol for the US,... "

It's how the Bodohland education system systematically inculcates on the quiet for decades, especially after the Iranian revolution.

~wits0~

Anonymous said...

Remember?

http://images.google.com.my/imgres?imgurl=http://202.188.124.43/bernama/newspic/am/NAZRI%2520AZIZ3.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.westernresistance.com/blog/archives/001815.html&h=300&w=197&sz=26&hl=en&start=6&um=1&tbnid=6kQSWJAW-TGQOM:&tbnh=116&tbnw=76&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dmalaysia%2Bminister%2Bof%2Blaw%26svnum%3D10%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26sa%3DG

Anonymous said...

Working link:
http://tinyurl.com/ysmv6h