Oddly Enough, Malaysia is Muslim

They ain’t Arab though they is Muslim!


Gee, I'd hate to step on a mirinet!

Not Cinderella’s Castle!

Could I trouble ya'll for a kiss?
Turning heads as they strut by

Blue is a much better color for a mosque
Not a planetarium

While in sitting on a beach in Thailand, I read Roots, and it struck me
how Kinta Kunte was Muslim even though he lived in Gambia. In my mind,
from the slant the US press uses, Islam and Arabs are inexorably linked,
but not Islam and anyone else. To think that Africans would be Muslim
shocked me.

On my way to Malaysia, I then read the Autobiography of Malcolm X (yes,
an A. Huxley theme), and was touched by how Malcolm felt Islam, even the
odd type practiced by the Nation of Islam, was a life-changing force for
him. With this background, seeing women in headscarves and men in
skullcaps here wasn’t as much as shock as when I noticed they were not
Arab either, but Malaysian.

Sometime around 1000 AD, as Kublai Khan’s armies were charging across
Northern Asia, Arab traders brought Islam to South East Asia. With the
exception of Buddhist Bali and headhunting Papua New Guinea, almost all of
the countries or islands between Australia and Thailand went Muslim.

Now don’t get me wrong, the Anglican British, Hindu Indian, and
Buddhist Chinese influences here have kept the Islamic fundamentalism
that’s present in Arabia in check, and though there are many Malay women
in scarves, thankfully, there are plenty more in tank tops and tight
jeans.

Unfortunately, I have plenty of time to notice since the mosque next
door to my hotel calls the faithful to prayer five times a day, starting
at sunrise!

After I stopped cursing the dawn loudspeaker, I went over to the mosque
and wondered for a second why everyone was facing West. Then I realized,
than unlike the USA where its East or Russia, where its South, Mecca is
West of Malaysia. This mosque wasn’t much, an old storefront I guessed,
and one of many in Georgetown. In fact, just outside the city proper is
one of the massive State Mosques built by the government.

I think I’ll try and wander in the gigantic State Mosque near Kuala
Lumpur, though I’ll be sure not to bring along any random women I meet. As
my Danish friends Suzanna and Malene learned in a St Pete mosque (yes,
there is a brilliant blue mosque in St Petersburg), women are not allowed,
even in scarves and pants. In Islam, it’s a Man’s world!

  1. In Islam, it’s a Man’s world!
    I disagree with this sentence. In Islam, we respected women. Unlike in one of the Hindu bible, they loathe women. But Islam respected women. In malaysia alone, women are allowed to drive. Women are allowed to go out all by themselves. In terms of religions, in families, yes, men are da boss. But, in other non-religious matter, I totally disagree if people said it is a man’s world. tq