Frontpage Interview’s guest today is The Anti-Jihadist, a counter-jihad writer, activist and critic of Islam who resides in a majority Muslim country. He writes under a pseudonym for reasons that do not need to be explained. His work can also be found at Jihad Watch, Infidel Bloggers Alliance and Pedestrian Infidel.
FP: Welcome The Anti-Jihadist to Frontpage Interview.
I would like to talk to you today about the Muslim persecution of Christians in Malaysia. But first, tell us a bit about your background and how you arrived to being who you are.
The Anti-Jihadist: In order to protect my identity, I’d rather not get into too many specifics about my background, for reasons I hope you and your readers understand. Suffice it to say that I grew up in a middle class, educated family where the discussion of politics and other ‘sensitive’ topics was encouraged. I grew to appreciate and then embrace this intellectual sort of freedom.
As I grew older, I began to notice differences between what I heard the government say or what was taught in school, and what was really happening in the world, but I learned to keep such thoughts to myself in order to get along. Then 9-11 happened and it turned the world upside down, my own perception of it in particular. I wanted to be surprised that Muslims had carried out mass murder explicitly in the name of Islam, but I wasn’t. Another shock for me was when I found out that the Muslims — jihadists, Al Qaeda members and others — who planned the attacks in New York and Washington had had a big planned meeting right here in Kuala Lumpur (the capital and biggest city in Malaysia) in early 2000. And the conspiracy theories about 9-11, the increased appearance of anti-Semitic diatribes in Malaysian bookshops (one tome by Henry Ford is popular here) were things that I simply could not turn a blind eye to anymore. Lastly, Malaysian terrorist Azahari Husin had his hero’s sendoff near Kuala Lumpur in 2005, and about the same time the Malaysian Christian convert Lina Joy was told by this nation’s highest court that she was not allowed to become a Christian, despite the fact that religious freedom is supposedly guaranteed by Malaysia’s constitution. By then, I could no longer hold back my pent-up disgust and outrage at what was happening.
FP: So you turned your back on Islam?
TAJ: I don’t want your readers to have the impression that I am now or ever was a Muslim. While I am not a Muslim, I have indeed been asked to become one, on more than one occasion and with varying degrees of seriousness. ‘Dawah’, or Islamic prosetylization, is never too far away in Malaysia.
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Deciding that Islam as an ideology (and not Muslims per se) was my enemy was a personal Rubicon for me, a step that, once taken, could never be retracted. I understood how serious this was, from my own studies of Islam, from my knowledge of what’s happened to other critics of Islam, and from the repeated warnings here in Malaysia regarding ‘insults’ to Islam — i.e. being too truthful about it. And the pointed Malaysian warnings about being ‘respectful’ of all religions (‘respect’ for Islam is all the government here really cares about) make it very clear that criticism of Islam is a big, big red line that should never be crossed. Furthermore, in Malaysia it’s quite legal for anyone to be arrested and held indefinitely without charge, trial or access to legal council. It’s a law called the ‘Internal Security Act’ or ‘ISA’ for short and it’s positively medieval. ISA is one of the reasons that you rarely hear criticism of Islam from anyone in this country, in public and even in private, no matter how outrageous things get.
So around late 2005, when I made my fateful personal decision to take up the cause of counter-jihad, to oppose Islam, I told very, very few people. Thankfully, my significant other, a former Muslima, who has known since the beginning, has fully supported me. I have a very small circle of close friends with whom I’ve shared my views, my articles, and so on.
Beyond that, I’ve told no one–not my family, my colleagues, acquaintances and most of my friends. My counter-jihad writing and work are secrets that I’ve been compelled to keep in order to ensure my continued survival. And it is a wearisome burden, I can assure you. My writing and my political views has, in essence, forced me to live a double life. Beyond my trusted circle I cannot afford to tell anyone about what I know, or my writing, or about what others in the counter-jihad are saying. So there has been a personal toll–I’ve had to become paranoid, and always watchful about what I say around others. But I’ve never considered going back to what I was before. I can’t and I won’t.FP: Share with us what is happening to Christians in your country.