What if Muslims wanted to end Umno's rule in M’sia?​​​​​​​

Opinion  |  S Thayaparan
Published:  |  Modified:

“Every accommodation of Muslim demands leads to a sense of euphoria and a conviction that Allah is on their side. They see every act of appeasement as an invitation to make fresh demands.”

- Ayaan Hirsi Ali, ‘Infidel’

COMMENT | Maybe it is just me, but sometimes I want the opposition to win the upcoming general elections not because of the corruption or systemic racism or bureaucratic incompetency but rather because I won’t have to read the dumbest most embarrassing comments coming out the ruling coalition, like the ones most often spewed by Umno information chief Annuar Musa.

In Muslim-led countries, Muslim politicians have this go-to strategy whenever they are in trouble. That is, blame Uncle Sam. When Muslim potentates’ stolen loot is intercepted by interested parties - blame Uncle Sam. When they have been caught with their pants around their ankles - blame Uncle Sam. When they mismanage their economies - blame Uncle Sam. When domestic insurgencies erupt because of tyrannical rule - blame Uncle Sam.

Why would the US, much less its Department of Justice (DOJ), want to destabilise a “moderate” Muslim country like Malaysia? When I say “moderate Muslim country”, I mean a country where there is no public beheadings, hands chopped off at the drop of a hat and women not allowed to do anything without the consent of men. They already have Saudi Arabia for that and are quite content not to have another despotic Islamic state to deal with.

Talking about the propensity of Muslim potentates to demonise groups in lieu of accepting responsibility for their failings, there is an extremely depressing passage (because it all sounds too familiar) in Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s book ‘Infidel’ about how Jews are blamed for everything in Saudi Arabia -

“In Saudi Arabia, everything bad was the fault of the Jews. When the air conditioner broke or suddenly the tap stopped running, the Saudi women next door used to say the Jews did it. The children next door were taught to pray for the health of their parents and the destruction of the Jews. Later, when we went to school, our teachers lamented at length all the evil things Jews had done and planned to do against Muslims. When they were gossiping, the women next door used to say, ‘She's ugly, she's disobedient, she's a whore - she's sleeping with a Jew.’ Jews were like djinns, I decided. I had never met a Jew. (Neither had these Saudis.)”

As you can see whenever the manure hits the fan, so-called enlightened Muslim politicians are quick to look for scapegoats instead of taking the bull by its horns. The real issue that is plaguing Umno is not that Muslim rule would be displaced here in Malaysia, but Umno/Muslim rule is in jeopardy.

As the defenders of “bangsa” and “agama”, they are finally waking up to the fact that their hegemony is in peril. In various articles I have written ever since writing for Malaysiakini, I have expressed two points in one form or another about the futility of "ketuanan" politics that Umno friends of mine tell me is their weak points and a threat to the continued dominance of Umno in the Malay polity. Those are...

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