Monday 31 January 2011


It's the Hate that dare not speak its name - with apologies for manipulating Lord Alfred Douglas's quote.

This 'cartoon' is from the most liberal of Liberal newspaper in UK.  And this was before Sept 11 2001!  The side notes were inserted by 'Disgusted, Leicester'  aka the Spouse and AsH
Sometime last year the Prime Minister of Malaysia praised the President of the United States for the latter's stand against Islamophobia.

It's a phobia that was fanned and fed by hate-mongers from the low-caste British National Party (BNP) and the followers of Le Pen,  to the high-caste academics and literati like Malise Ruthven,  Bernard Lewis, Mark Cohen, Henri Bernard-Levy and Rushdie and Naipaul and countless others.  If you want to be loved by the West, all you have to do is to write about nasty Islam and fanatical Muslims. And that is also a good route for wannabe Muslim writers, both male and especially female.  Or if you want to boost a flagging career, you can capture the headlines with  "England is  'cesspit' breeding Islamists, says Solinka".

 Technically 'phobia' connotes exaggerated fear, something that is illogical and unexplainable as in agoraphobia, claustrophobia and arachnophobia.  However,  the word 'phobia' does not get near to capturing the bigotry and the ferocity of the anti-Islam agenda that exists in "Islamophobia".  Indeed, "Islamophobia" is neither illogical, nor inexplicable, nor irrational.

It did not begin with 9/11 .  You have to go as far back as the Crusades, through the triumphant victory of Ferdinand and Isabella in Spain in the 15th century, to the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire which had once been  described as 'the barbarians at the gates'.  The machinations of Christianist Western policy during and after the First World War were inspired by the agenda of fully destroying a Muslim Empire  already on its last legs.  The realization of the Zionist dream of Israel, the betrayal and the corruption of the Arab States, and the bloodbath in the Middle East today all have their beginnings in that history - a history we were never taught in school or University.

The two maps above illustrate the diminishing size and power of the Ottoman Empire.

You can also locate this bigotry in innocent children's story books.  This is just one of many.

Please DO  NOT click on this image.
The above text is taken from  "Stories of Robin Hood" told to the Children by H.E. Marshall.  This is about Richard the Lion Heart a well known hero of the Crusades.  I quote  " But Richard did not stay in England.  Far, far over the seas there is a country called Palestine.  ..........  it had fallen into the hands of the heathen.  It seemed to Christian people in those days that it would be a terrible sin to allow wicked heathen to live in the Holy Land.  So they gathered together great armies of brave men from every country in the world and sent them to try to win it back.  Many brave deeds were done, many terrible battles fought, but still the heathen kept possession."
Note: The heathens are of course, the Muslims.  I cannot find the date for this book but I reckon it was probably from the 1920s or the 1930s.

And so, this attitude towards Islam and Muslims  is not just a "phobia" or an irrational fear.  It is a deliberate policy of  Demonisation.  The transmission of bigotry and prejudice has been sanctified in Western universities as  'objective scholarship' - what used to be described as Orientalism.  

In The Observer of August 1990 Dr Shabbir Akhtar,  education officer for the Bradford Racial Equality Council and author of 'A Faith for All Seasons' had this to say: 
    It is no coincidence that those who teach Islam in western universities are either Jews and Christians, simplistic Muslims ignorant of (and hence incapable of) challenging Western traditions of thought or else Third World champagne socialists passionately trying to 'cauterise' Islam from their minds and souls.
The intellectual bullies have had the whole playground to themselves.  But that was only because it was the Muslim child's first day at school.

Well, it's 20 years hence and  Muslim children since then have been seduced  into becoming Westernized or Arabified.

 Muslims cannot turn the other cheek.   By our default, youngsters blow their bodies up for the cause.   So we should be harnessing our intellectual muscle to find other ways of seeking our goals.    To find other ways of giving our youngsters hope and dignity.

When will our universities and academics get to grips with the problem - and I'm thinking of Malaysia here.    When will we think of countering this demonisation with a few well-resourced Departments of Occidentalism and Critical Studies.   Have we, as thinking Muslims, even considered such a remedial step?

Remember the old saying,  'The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak'?   Most times, I feel that way because of creeping physical debilitation of old age.

But our ummah today, especially in my homeland,  seem to be afflicted with the disease of  THE SPIRIT IS WEAK AND THE FLESH IS UNWILLING.   

Wednesday 26 January 2011

Reality Bites

Two days ago  the world  was subjected  to another atrocity -  the bombing at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport.  Once again  a  'massacre'   in a Caucasian country committed by those dastardly Islamists, Jihadists, extremists, terrorists  et al.

Yesterday on BBC Radio 4,  I heard a new coinage to describe these 'murderous Islamists'.  Professor Stephen Hutchings  used the terms  Islamic  Racism  and  Anti- Caucasian   (the twin brother to anti-Semitism?? )with reference to a  pre-Xmas conflict in Russia between  'Islamic Racists' and  Caucasian Christians.  I added the word  ' Christians'  - a reference which Western media and pundits are too coy to mention.

 Furthermore,  as gung-ho Muslims are branded 'Islamists' I think it is quite apt to describe  Messrs Blair and Bush and Sarkozy ( although Sarkozy is of Jewish descent)  as  Christianists - and Wolfowitz, Perle, Ariel Sharon, Netanyahu as Judaists.   You know, that English proverb about  " sauce for the goose and sauce for the gander" ???

Wars and conflicts do not  happen in a vacuum.  The 'terrorism' of the Caucasus (Islamic) States comes from a good pedigree.  During  the First Chechen War  (1994-1996)  an estimated 30,000 - 100,000 civilians were killed,  500,000 were displaced, and dozens of cities and villages were left in ruins by the Russians.

Grozny after the Russians had finished with it

A landmark - by courtesy of the Russian bear

Chechens in pain - 1999

Russian in pain 2011

And this, from GQ magazine:

You reap what you sow
The Second Chechen War  (1999)  saw  Grozny turned to rubble and 25,000 - 50,000 civilians were slaughtered.  (The Moscow bombing 2 days ago killed 38).  The effect of this was the spread of the conflict to other states like Dagestan and  Chechnya became a pan-Islamic Cause.  It's just like post 9/11 which led to the Crusade by the Christianist/secularist  West on the Muslim  nations of Iraq and Afghanistan during which  375,000 ( according to Western arithmetic)  Iraqi civilians were killed and between 14,000 to 34,000  Afghani civilians  were slain.   During 9/11 just over   3,000 civilians were killed .  And oh yes, the Twin Towers were turned to rubble!

And this I found on a website:  "The Bali bombing of 2002 caused the deaths of over 200 people.  Even sadder, 120 deaths were innocent Australians".

What this world needs is a remedial lesson in Political Arithmetic and therapy for Moral Amnesia.

Wednesday 19 January 2011

Suspending Reality (CsH)

I guess I was born to be a rover.   Among  my many warts, I have a mole on  my right calf which, according to my dear old mum suggested that I will travel a lot.  That promise or threat was given to me more than half a century ago.  Indeed I turned out to be quite a traveller pre- and post- marriage  -  a sort of wandering and wondering Malay woman. 

My first and most favourite school Principal,  Mr Charles Lazaroo of Yusof  Ishak Secondary School  teased  Loo Lee and me about our  "itchy  feet"  when we asked him for advice about going abroad for our post graduate adventure.  That was in 1973.

But it was Abah who got me a-wandering.   When I turned 21,  he sent me off to take a solo trip by train to Kuala Lumpur to visit the relatives.  Ayah Long Mahmood  especially and Mamak Kassim  became my chaperones.  I felt quite chuffed  -  travelling all by myself for what was almost a 10 hour journey.  I had an interesting chat with a middle-aged  Australian Czech who was on his way 'home' to see his family in Czechoslovakia.   But most of the time I was too wrapped up admiring the landscape and the little towns along the railway route.

But that was only the appetiser.

Taking into account the family homes as well,  I have lived in seven cities - Singapore,  Johor Bahru, London, Bandar Seri Begawan (Brunei),  Leicester, Penang and Kuala Lumpur.

My list of addresses included  homes in Kampung Chantek,  Kampung Abu Kassim,  Jalan  Mas Kuning,  Alexandra Park, Boon Lay Avenue in Singapore;  Jalan Giam in JB,  Seven Sisters and Maida Vale in London, and  Anggerek Desa in Brunei.

After settling down,  No.10, Oxford Avenue in Leicester held the record  for keeping me in one place for 19 years.  When we were in Penang, we set up home in Pantai Jerjak.  In 2005 we moved to our present 'west wing'  just a few streets away from Oxford  Avenue and in 2007 we relocated to Kuala Lumpur.

691, Pasir Panjang Road aka 27-G,  Lorong Abu Kassim

58, Jalan Mas Kuning and sunnysideup (photo taken on our nostalgia trip to Singapore last year)

15-89, Boon Lay Garden  (our flat is second from the top-the 15th floor)

Anggerek Desa Flats  (top floor on the right)

10, Oxford  Avenue (picture by courtesy of pickledherring)

Setiawangsa  (picture by sunnysideup)
I've experienced more house movings than I've had  hot dinners!!        And yet ... this is only half the story.

For I am by instinct a rover.   Looking back,  I cannot remember being at home, in one 'home' or another,  for anything more than nine months.      That is, until our latest stay in Kuala Lumpur.    The trouble is,  I cannot stay still for very long.   The nomad in me begins to fret terribly.

I am still basking in the glow of  returning to our ' hearth and home' in Blighty.  For the moment,  it's sheer indulgence - ignoring and suspending  the realities of life around me,  like two of the three wise monkeys.

And I'm gonna go there free
Like the fool I am and I'll always be
I've got a dream, I've got a dream
They can change their minds but they can't change me
I've got a dream, I've got a dream
I know I could share it if you want me to
If you're going my way, I'll go with you.

Moving me down the highway,
Rolling me down the highway.
Moving ahead so life won't pass me by.

Monday 17 January 2011

Pukul Tiga Pagi - 17 January 2011

Eight hours into our flight to London Heathrow,  I  woke up with a start and realised to my horror  that I had forgotten to pack my old passport that had my SWS  (Settled with Spouse) British Visa which  ensured my indeterminate stay in UK.

I broke into a cold sweat worrying about the prospect of being grilled and put on another plane back to Kuala Lumpur.  Shall I wake up the spouse and unburden my fears?   I nudged him awake and told him the dire news.  He muttered  "Don't worry.  We'll sort it out when we get to Immigration" and went back to sleep.

But within half a minute, he sat straight up - now fully aware of  my predicament.  "What other documents have you got with you?", he asked.

There was my Debit Card and National Insurance Card.

But my address was not on these cards and the NI Card is not a valid proof of identity.  My mugshot was not on it!

Then it dawned on me that if I went to Immigration hanging on to the spouse's coat-tail they will want proof of our marriage.  For all they know I could have paid Donald Iain Buchanan millions or billions of pesos or bahts or rupiahs to get a foothold into Britain!

I only cart along our marriage certificate  when we travel in Malaysia - you know, khalwat   and all that palaver.  That piece of paper is quite travel worn by now because it accompanied  us whenever and wherever we travelled  in Malaysia - ever since 4 April 1986.  We keep one copy in Britain and the other in Malaysia with my mother when she was still with us.  It's now safely ensconced in a little case under our bed in KL - just in case.

In my old Singapore Passport I was allowed an aka of Mrs Maznoor  Buchanan - for ease of travel in all the places we've  merayap-ed   in -  like Spain, Ireland,  India, Canada, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Italy  and South Africa.  However no such consideration was allowed   in my Malaysian Passport.

Then the spouse dug into his wallet and discovered our NHS Cards which had our addresses in it.  Phew! What a relief.

We explained our problem to the 'native'  British Immigration Officer.  (I have noticed how in the last few years, a  majority of the Immigration Officers are non-bumiputra Brits.  I wonder why?)

He asked how long I had been away and after getting my answer  he stamped my passport.  And that was that!

So I'm now safely back at No 43.  After a week I'm still waking up at 3/4 am!!   Yaawnn.

Sunday 9 January 2011

" Moving Ahead so Life Won't Pass Me By "

InsyaAllah,  by Tuesday 11 January the two diddies Darby and Joan will be home in Leicester.

We'll open our front door and hope the cold winter has not caused any damp.

Then it's through the backdoor and we hope to see our familiar  backyard address.  This we picked up on the beach at Muara, Brunei in 1984.  It's 27 years old and give it another 73 years it will be a piece of antique wood!

We shall then take a walk to Victoria Park to check if the ducks are still as quacked up as they are supposed to be.

The gulls I'm sure will always be there squawking and screaming for food.

But this is what I really want to to see.  Birds resting on bare trees.  An absolute joy to watch!

I expect to buckle down to 'work'  in my room after a few days (?)  or maybe a few weeks (?).

However as he has just returned from the Tropics, the spouse will have to start his warming-up exercises before he begins an arduous life in the cold.   But the big hole in his right sock tells me that this will take some time.

I  have to keep the kitchen fire burning and cook meals like this.  Ha ha Fat Hope!!  Dream on spouse, Yasir and Jack and Doug!!!  This lady is not for cooking.

But, I will be so glad to be home in our second/first home that I  will even enjoy the ironing.  Hmmm?

Goodbye to Malaysia and friends and loved ones in Kuala Lumpur, Johor Baru and Singapore.  I need to rejuvenate myself  and make a superb start to 2011.

I hope to do much more this year.  Or perhaps I may just decide to hibernate like the dormouse.  See you all in Spring and  take care.

Sunday 2 January 2011


Today is the last day of 2010 in the Gregorian calendar. Almost everyone will be looking forward to 2011 and making resolutions for the coming year
Strangely enough I've been going backwards because I have been rummaging and tidying my collection of Malay 78s before we make another sortie to Leicester on the 10th of January. In this life, few of us have the 'privilege' of having to sing three national anthems. I warbled my way through 'God Save the King' followed by ' God Save the Queen' in 1953. Came 1961 we sang 'Negara Ku' and when Singapore was separated from Malaysia I learned to revere 'Majulah Singapura'.

Most national anthems sound very triumphal and pompous. Some have been specially composed for the occasion via special selection or by competition. For me 'Negara Ku' is the sweetest  and it's not just because I'm Malaysian. There was nothing pretentious or showy about this anthem. It did not flaunt the might of the people and the nation. After all it was once a beautiful love song called 'Terang Bulan' and tonight I would like to show off select bits from my collection of Malay 78s.

Please click on the arrow to play the video.

This record was produced in the mid-1930s by Columbia Records. The centre of the record reads TERANG BOELAN Ternjanji oleh MISS NINJA dan VICTOR TOBING Hawaian Orkest SWEET JAVA ISLANDERS"

The next version of Terang Bulan was danced to in perhaps many dance halls in Britain through the 1930s to the 1950s.

You will notice a moving finger in the video.  It belongs to the spouse,  the  Musical  Director's assistant.   The record is chipped and so the earlier part  is missing.  But it's still much loved and treasured.
 Written in the centre is : TERANG BOELAN - SLOW FOX-TROT (Traditional Malayan Love Song arr.Nestor and Wilson) VICTOR SYLVESTER AND HIS BALLROOM ORCHESTRA.

There are many other versions of Terang Bulan  but these two are the best (to me) AND  I have them in my keep (showing off again).

Actually they were collected by the spouse -  a larger magpie than me -  and I have sequestrated them as mine,  yeah!!!!

This posting was supposed to make its debut on 1st  January  2011 to wish  all of AsH's readers a peaceful and happy New  Year.

But the video posting got snagged and no amount of effort on my part could put it right until  Lely got on the scene and showed  Miss Hamid how!!!!   I always knew she had brains between her ears!!