The Muslim-controlled state government of the Malaysian state of Kelantan has been firmly in the hands of the Islamic supremacist-minded PAS party for many years. This party, always eager to demonstrate how 'moderate' Islam is, has found another way to do this by dictating which architectural styles are to be used for all newly constructed buildings. This includes telling non Muslims what decidedly unIslamic buildings like Buddhist temples must look like upon completion.
But wait, the first basis of Islam is to find 'moderation
', right? And that Islam never, ever pushes around, marginalizes or oppresses non Muslims, right? Muslims and their friends never tire of reminding us of these facts. The problem (for Islam) is that developments like this one quickly explode these 'facts'. And the constant drip-drip-drip of these kinds of developments shows how one never has to look very long or far to find how Islam's first basis, in Malaysia or elsewhere, has very little to do with 'moderation'.
As for this story, as PAS's plans have stirred a modicum of Malaysian opposition, the Malaysian Islamic supremacists in charge of Kelantan are desperately trying to conceal their inherent totalitarian tendencies with a bit of spin control. From "Kelantan MB: Certain buildings can be without Islamic features", by Rahimy Rahim, The Star
, 26 May 2012:
KOTA BARU: PAS appears to make a small consensus following the
controversy on designs of new buildings but insist there be no images of
The Kelantan state government will allow buildings to be constructed without any Islamic features so long they do not have
elements that are against the religion, said Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.
'Mentri Besar' means senior minister of the Malaysian State government, or the equivalent of a U.S. state governor.
“Islam is a universal religion and is suitable for all races. The
Buddhist association can build it (its new building) as long as it does not have elements that go against Islam.
“For instance, they can
have any Chinese designs, architecture or colours but they are discouraged from putting images of idols on the buildings,” he told reporters after launching the state Muktamar Dewan Ulama PAS in Machang Saturday.
There you go. As long as it doesn't have 'idols' or other, um, 'unIslamic elements'. That sounds 'moderate', doesn't it? Of course, a typical Buddhist temple is probably chock-full of non-Islamic elements, but never mind.
He was asked to comment on a controversy involving the Kelantan Buddhist Association, which was required to abide by municipal by-laws requiring new buildings within its jurisdiction to have Islamic features.
It had been reported that the Kelantan Buddhist Association had submitted an appeal to the state government for its
building to be constructed with Chinese features at Jalan Sultan Zainal Abidin here.
Perhaps it's an appeal with a foregone conclusion? Perish the thought--that would no doubt be 'Islamophobic'.