NO MO’ INDONEASY ISLAM

It used to be you’d eat in a Chinese restaurant during Ramadan in Indonesia since the locals were closed (not that the locals have that many restaurants anyway, outside the tourist areas). That’s getting harder. Bali used to get some special consideration for its tourist clout and the fact that it’s not Muslim anyway, Hindu-Buddhist since the early days, written and spoken language deriving much from the same wave of Hindu-Buddhism that converted Burma, Cambodia, and Thailand. Not anymore. The Bali bombers changed all that. They said they were only ‘Sari’ that their victims weren’t American. Sounds like somebody needs a geography lesson. Ever seen students in these madrasahs bobbing their heads and chanting? You’d think you were in a back room in Brooklyn if you didn’t know better. Now if they start strapping little books around their heads… what would a visitor from another planet think? Indonesia would be a basket case if all the Chinese were forced out of the country, but it’s happening, little by little. First they go to Bali, and then they leave altogether. Indo-Aryans have been propping up Islam commercially and intellectually for centuries, but they can only go so far, especially when Iran itself and now Pakistan are both hotbeds of radicalism. Thailand’s better off than Indonesia, but the problem spills over in the three southern provinces where Muslims are the majority, as they have been for centuries. It’s all so much bullshit politics and posturing. Malays will raid Thai whorehouses to make sure there are no Malay girls there, while Surabaya in Indonesia plays host to the biggest red-light district in the hemisphere. As it continues to make gains in the ‘Arabization’ of sub-Saharan Africa, Islam increasingly is the religion of the poor and people of color. David slew Goliath with a slingshot, and they can bring down Consumer Culture with fear. A word to the wise probably won’t be sufficient.

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