Friday, April 14, 2006

Malaysian Chinese protest Islamization

A Chinese couple were arrested in Malaysia and face a potential one year jail sentence for kissing each other. Ooi Kean Thong and Siow Ai Wei were arrested on indency charges for kissing one another and hugging each other --- that's it.

Chong Chieng Jen, of the youth wing of the Democratic Action Party, said: "We want to send a message that it is inappropriate for local government to be the moral police." He also noted: "If we don't check the trend now we are heading towards a real Islamic state, or going backwards to the medieval time." A Malaysian court ruled the prosecuting the couple for kissing is acceptable because kissing is deemed indecent by Islamic and Asian cultures and only acceptable by Western standards.

Alas fundamentalism is fundamentalism. And the comparison between Islamic radicals and Christians fundamentalists is an easy one to make. Take this article, concerning the fundamentalist Bob Jones University. It notes that "displays of affection such as kissing and hand-holding are banned" for the students. They are banned also from going to movies, owning TVs or DVD players or listening to music that is considered rock, country, jazz or contemporary Christian. It is hard to tell which version of the Taliban one is dealing with without a score card.

Of course the university is allowed to set any kind of rules they wish. But the similarities in values is something to note. And the real question is whether such people are inclined to impose those values on others when they have political power. And the consensus from the Religious Right is that will impose such values the moment they can. Take this quote that was brought to my attention today. It comes from Michael Marcavage of the fundamentalist group Repent America: "According to the scriptures, it's the government's job to enforce God's law." Now Marcavage went on and seemed to suggest that gay people be put to death. He later said that the remarks were off the record and that his entire comment was not printed.

But David Chilton, another Christianists author, reveals that just because some of his kind pretend to endorse free markets does not necessarily mean they advocate freedom. Chilton said: "The government must enforce God's law." And he says "The free market is only free with respect to state intervention. It is never free from the providence of God." As for laissez farie, well that means "the state enforces God's law, and leaves men free to make choices." Free to make choices only if they don't violate what Christianists say is "God's law" then no such freedom would exist.