On Thursday, Indonesia’s Friends of Obama Foundation erected a bronze statue of a 10-year-old Barack Obama in Taman Menteng Park (Jakarta), near the place where Barack Obama lived with with his American mother, his Indonesian stepfather and his half-sister, from 1967-1971. The statue is reported to cost more than US$10,000 in a country where 17.8% of population live below poverty line (Israel has 21.65% of its population living under poverty line even after USAID$3,000 billion since 1960s).
Indonesia is world’s largest Muslim nation-state. Muslims make 89% of its total population of over 220 million. Such a country honouring a Christian leader, who just announced to kill tens of thousands of more innocent people in the occupied Muslim lands such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine – is not only amazing but borders at stupidity.
Interestingly, while Obama’s national popularity has taken an historic dive – from 78% down to 53% (Gallup Poll, October 2009) – he is still idolized in several Muslim countries.
Well some Muslims may boast it as an act of Islamic tolerance – but doesn’t change how Muslim minorities are persecuted in the US, France, Switzerland, Russia and many other countries. Such Muslims should study Haroon Siddiqui’s (a former member of the Editorial Board of Canada’s largest daily, The Toronto Star) column, titled Why it is essential to stand up to bigots, saying:
Last winter the Israelis attacked minarets in Gaza. Last month the Swiss voted to ban non-existent minarets. The reasons proffered in both cases were patently false. Bombed Gaza mosques probed by Justice Richard Goldstone (a South African Zionist Jew) were found not to have been hiding Hamas arms or militants.
Minerats are definitely not proliferating in Switzerland, there being only four in a nation with 350,000 Muslims – most of them refugees, ironically, from European ethnic-cleansing in Bosnia and Kosova.
Minarets, aesthetically as pleasing or irritating as steeples, pagodas, or onion domes – are as symbol of Islam. Those targeting them may use different methods but their mission is the same.
There is little traction for the argument by some Muslims that they should be explaining Islam better, as though good PR is antidote to xenphobia and hate. There is no sugar coating what has transpired Swiss church spires won’t come down but minarets won’t go up. Churches will continue to dominate the Swiss landscape but mosques remain hidden.
Such Muslim-only-rules, so reminiscent of some Nazi laws against Jews, have been popping up across Europe – and Canada.
German restrictions on mosques, the French ban on Hijab in schools, Canadian bans in soccer and tae kwon do tournaments; Nicholas Sarkozy’s (a Zionist Crypto Jew) proposal to ban the niqab, Ontario’s hysteria over letting Muslims use the Arbitration Act or having their religious schools funded, and Stephen Harper’s bid to ban niqabi women from voting.
While European and North Americans have learned not to invoke free speech to peddle anti-Semitism, they routinely cite it to rationalize anti-Islamism (the Danish Cartoons, and the tirades of Maclean’s magazine, the National Post, etc.)
It follows that it’s not Muslims who need defending – they can’t possibly demonized any more than they have been post-9/11 – but rather our secular democracies. So the relevant Canadian lesson of the Swiss vote on minarets is this: “When liberals fail – as have Canada’s Liberasl and New Democrats – to stand up to demagogues, they commit the cardinal sin of silently watching the erosion of some of our most cherished collective values.”