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Saturday, November 21

The tide suddenly turns

All right people we have some serious action, out of the blue. Malaysia's prime minister gave an off-the-cuff, rousing keynote speech today at the ASEAN summit that branded Islamic State as "evil" and a blasphemer of Islam.

If you ask, 'This is news to him?' -- it is huge news when the leader of a Muslim-majority country in Southeast Asia comes straight out and says such things in public. These leaders have been walking a fine line with the Islamists in their nations but I think it's finally dawned on them that they stand a real chance to lose their nations. 

It's all very well for Muslim heads of state to nod politely in response to talk about the "ummah" but a caliphate wipes out national borders. Al Qaeda had very carefully avoided raising just such an alarm, but IS has rolled the dice on a caliphate and managed to grab a large chunk of land from two nations.

So now Malaysia's PM is calling for all world leaders to forcefully confront the threat. Moreover, he's saying that the threat must be confronted at the ideological level, not only the military one.

The call will not be lost on China's Communist Party bosses and Xi Jinping, who've been very reluctant to directly counter any threat from Islamists that isn't localized to Chinese regions. It will be a different story if all ASEAN nations throw their weight behind the Malaysian PM's call.

I would be looking for many Saudi-funded mosques to be shut down in those countries, and the governments replacing Arabic-language Korans distributed by the Saudi government with ones published in the country's native language. In short I think the governments will go to town on Wahabbism. Especially now, when ASEAN nations have formally launched, today, an integrated economic 'community.' That's the only kind of borderless rule they want.    

From the Associated Press report filed today at 11:55am EST by Vijay Joshi and Eileen Ng:

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — President Barack Obama promised Saturday that Islamic extremists would find no safe haven anywhere, while the leader of Muslim-majority Malaysia branded the Islamic State group as a “new evil” that has blasphemed the religion, and urged world leaders to confront it forcefully.

Obama and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak were speaking separately at an Asian summit taking place against the backdrop of recent violence including the bombing of a Russian jet over Egypt, a suicide bombing in Beirut, a series of attacks in Paris, the slaying of a Malaysian hostage by militants in the Philippines and Friday’s attack on a Mali hotel.

Najib said he had planned to begin his speech by talking about the achievements of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, of which he is the current chairman.

“But the events of recent days and weeks have cast a shadow over us all,” he said in remarks to open the ASEAN summit. “Be assured that we stand with you against this new evil that blasphemes against the name of Islam.”

“The perpetrators … do not represent any race, religion or creed. They are terrorists and should be confronted as such, with the full force of the law,” Najib said in a stirring speech that repeatedly emphasized the tolerance of Islam.

He also cautioned that a military solution alone will not be enough to defeat terrorism. “It is the ideology propagated by these extremists that is the cause of this sadistic violence. … We must not lose sight of the fact that the ideology itself must be exposed as the lie that it is — and vanquished. For it is not Islamic. It cannot be."

The rest of the report is also interesting but focuses largely on the ASEAN economy, although it touches on China's complex relationship with ASEAN and gives a few words to Obama's stumping for TPP -- and his use of Rohingya Muslim refugees in Malaysia to politic for the home audience [eye roll].   

Believe Saudi mosques closed when it happens.

Meanwhile that begs the question of what to do about Saudi Arabia?

Delenda Est. I'm consistent.
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