While liberalism is often treated as a bogeyman in Malaysia’s political discourse, a Turkish journalist has offered a reminder that liberals have stood up for the rights of Muslims in countries where they are minorities.
The award-winning author Mustafa Akyol said Muslims – and other minorities – seem to love liberal democracies a lot, but only when they are not the ones in power.
Citing the French policy of laïcité as an example, he said liberals where the ones who had defended Muslims’ right to wear headscarves and burqinis in France, when the government had sought to restrict the practice.
“That (headscarf ban) is illiberal, and who defends the rights of Muslims to wear burqinis in France? The liberals. The Muslims love those liberals; they defend our rights...