Thursday, September 24, 2009


By Mansor Puteh

One never knows what the future holds, unless if one is too short-sighted and only sees what’s standing before oneself and who doesn’t care what history had taught many others.

From past experiences, we have seen how murderers and criminals who led a small band of ‘terrorists’ could later become their country’s freedom fighters who are feted by the White House and most other countries in the west.

But don’t get me wrong; I am not siding with anyone here. I am explaining what lessons from history some people in authority had neglected to take into account when they take action on something.

They were once ‘wanted men and women’ who operated clandestinely attacking colonial powers until they finally won. Yet, at an earlier time, they were hounded by the colonist government.

Gandhi was one. There is Nelson Mandela. And there are countless others who may very well become the national heroes of the countries which they had during their short life wanted to free from foreign aggression.

Besides, who gets to define who is a crook and who is a hero anyway? It’s best to leave it to time and not to anyone else, for time is all inclusive.

In Malaysia, we have Maharaja Lela who killed James W Birch in Pasir Salak in Perak was a crook during his time, but now anymore after the British left Malaya to allow the formation of the Federation of Malaysia.
We also have another local ‘crook’ called Mat Kilau who later became a national hero by default when the country became independence.

Unfortunately, the list may very well also include Azhari and Nordin who were killed by the Indonesian authorities in Jawa Island this year who are buried in simple graves in their hometowns in Malaysia.

They were charged for trying to create an Islamic Republic in Indonesia with other Muslim countries in the region, an idea which may seem to be too far-fetched for anyone to believe. But could they be deemed to be a visionary in the near future, if what they had envisioned happens?

I dread it if it does happen, since we do not know what the future holds, like Saddam Hussein also did not know what his future held when he was in power and was in the good books of America and its then presidents.

Ghadaffy of Libya was smart enough not to have made the wrong turn, and from being one of the most dreaded persons in America, he is now one of its ‘allies’ and being feted in England.

Mugabe, too, can become America’s darling if he knows how to outwit them in their own game.
Who knows if Indonesia finally becomes an Islamic Republic by virtue of its sheer population size, these two men, could very well be acclaimed as the heroes of this new Islamic Republic with roads and airports, being named after them like what Indonesia had done to remember their national heroes such as Diponogoro, Sudirman, Sukarno and Hatta.

Who are we to say that such a possibility cannot become a reality in the near or even distant future?

Wasn’t Sukarno, too, considered to be a traitor of Indonesia and who was put under house arrest until he died? Many years later, he became acclaimed as a national hero, with the new airport outside of Jakarta originally known as the Cankareng Airport renamed as the Sukarno-Hatta Airport?

One cannot foresee what will happen in the distant or even near future concerning Indonesia, which seems to be led by mobs in the streets armed with bamboo spears, but not by those who were turned in to their parliament of Majlis Perwakilan Rakyat (MPR), whose members seem to be unaware of what its citizens want anymore.

So one is not surprised if in the near future, there are avenues in major Indonesian cities called Azhari Avenue and Nordin Highway to commemorate their success in turning the country into an Islamic Republic.

To many, killing them does not kill the cause. And the more Muslims are being turned into ‘militants’ or ‘terrorists’ many others will continue with their struggle which was originally created by foreigners anyway because they think it is their duty to defend their fellow brethren in other countries whom they think are being persecuted for no reason other than for being Muslims like them.

If left alone, Indonesia and Iran would have become more secular than they were. But if they are being put under intense scrutiny and pressure, they can react in ways that their enemies would not even dream of.

Now even Turkiye has become more Islamic than what Kamal Ataturk could ever imagine. More of their women are wearing the headscarves, as a sign of protest, although they cannot do it on campus and some other places, but they are wearing it everywhere, psychologically speaking that it.

Worse, even America and non-Muslim Europe and the west are starting to cover up and adopting more Islamic way of life although they may not want to admit it. After all, covering up was the way of life and dressing of their ancestors up to the Second World War and many Hollywood film stars had scarves over their heads which was such a trendy thing for the women of the period to do then.

Islamic Banking is also one of the most powerful ways Islam is being accepted even by those who claim secularism as their ideology.

It was once thought that the reign of the Shah of Iran was going to last for very long. Now many political analysts also think that the present democratic system in Indonesia will also last for a long while.

But do they know what is stirring in the hearts and minds of the Indonesians, most of whom are Muslims?

Their last general elections may not have turned in any Islamic-based political party to power, but the next one may very well do it.

If more secular Turkiye could experience such stirrings of Islamic revivalism, despite the Islamic-bent politicians experiencing hardship, yet, they still persist. Slowly, Turkiye, too, can become another Islamic Republic, if it is not one already in spirit.

Nobody knows what the future holds for both Turkiye and Indonesia… Only time will tell.
The same scenario can happen or be duplicated in Indonesia, which is less secular compared to Turkiye. And the hounding of ‘Muslim militants’ in the country and elsewhere particularly in the Philippines and other countries, can cause many more ordinary Muslims to think that the time has come for their country to become and Islamic Republic.

Muslim ‘militants’ were never there before; they were created by outside forces which were alien to them and the regions their countries were in, and which acted unilaterally against some Muslim countries that forced many to leave their hibernation and meditation and their caves where they had lived in contentment for centuries.

And thanks to western aggression which has caused them to feel pushed too much.

This, of course in a coarse way on how this issue can be looked at from the psychological perspective.

And what will happen to today’s ‘heroes’ in the near future, if things change dramatically in the world, especially if the Muslim World finally manages to find a way to create their own international media organizations and reshape the thinking of the Muslims and non-Muslims so that they are not influenced by the traditional media in the west anymore?

Lastly, it was certainly a grave mistake made by those who had said how Azahari and Nordin had wanted to create an Islamic Republic, when it was not known if this was their cause in the first place. They could very well have other lesser lofty ambitions.

But now some know.

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