Jihad, as many know, is not just about bombings and self detonations of Muslims all over the planet. It is also about silencing any skepticism and discussion of the many inherent injustices at the heart of Mohammedanism. It is about intimidation and the threat of violence.
And it works. This sort of jihad recently, and successfully, 'persuaded' a major Western book publisher to not publish Sherry Jones’ historical novel “The Jewel of Medina” about Mohammed’s child 'bride' Aisha. Fear, and fear alone, is a powerful weapon of Islam.
The same reactionary, anti-democratic, anti-free speech, Islamic forces are also hard at work in Malaysia. As usual, in Malaysia this quiet but insidious sort of Jihad enjoys official sanction from the government. A conference last week convened to discuss conversions out of Islam was silenced after a mob of more than 300 Islamists threatened to violently shut it down:
Malaysia spat erupts over curbing religious debate
Malaysian politicians wrangled Sunday about whether to curb sensitive debates on religious disputes in this Muslim-majority nation after protests halted a conference on Islamic conversions.
Police told the Bar Council association of lawyers to abort the forum Saturday after more than 300 demonstrators rallied outside the conference hall and threatened to storm the event.
The forum was supposed to be a rare public platform to examine how Malaysian families are caught in legal conflicts if one spouse in a marriage converts to Islam. The protesters claimed it reflected unfair demands by non-Muslim minorities for religious equality.
Government leaders insisted that Malaysia was not ready for freewheeling dialogues about religion that could undermine multicultural tolerance and social peace [i.e. Muslims will ensure there's no harmony if Islamic supremacy is questioned- ed].
Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar said "there are certain things that are out of bounds for public discussion, even if held in a private place."
However, some non-Muslim politicians called the protest a setback to hopes of resolving disputes in a young nation with a history of ethnic tensions.
"We believe open discussions and dialogues on ... issues (of) religious conversions are imperative to find solutions," said T. Mohan, a youth leader in the Malaysian Indian Congress, a party in the ruling coalition.
Tony Pua, an opposition member of Parliament, said that if lawyers were "not allowed to hold open discussions in relation to our constitution and its laws, then it makes a complete mockery of our legal system."
The Bar Council had organized the conference in response to concerns that the law fails to safeguard minority rights in religious conversion cases.
Malaysia's Buddhist, Christian and Hindus minorities have increasingly felt that they get second-class treatment because of court verdicts that favor Muslims. In a key case last year, Malaysia's highest court rejected a Hindu woman's plea to stop her Muslim-convert husband from changing their son's religion to Islam.
The Bar Council scrapped the forum barely an hour after it began, but denied the protesters' accusations that it was trying to question Islam's position as Malaysia's official religion.
The Bar Council noted that the conference speakers included both Muslims and non-Muslims, proving not all Muslims — who comprise nearly two-thirds of Malaysia's 27 million people — opposed the idea of public discourse that could prove constructive.