"A new era has dawned for Malaysian politics." Such is the flavour of the commentary greeting the shock election defeat of the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition after 61 years of uninterrupted rule. But it is too early to tell how deeply things will change as the familiar figures of Dr. Mahathir Mohammed and (soon) Anwar Ibrahim return to leadership under the banner of reform and rejuvenation.
Some five months after Philippine troops flushed out Islamic State-aligned militants in the southern city of Marawi, recent military-militant clashes show the Islamic State's local affiliates have regrouped and spread since last year's siege, still gaining recruits and threatening once again to become a rallying point for jihadists across the region. But the persistent regional threat has spurred ASEAN countries towards greater security cooperation.
"This nation [Muslims] should know that it was [...] created to spread Allah's religion and lead the nations, and this could only be achieved by Jihad for the sake of Allah!"
These words were not said somewhere in the war ravaged Middle East by a supporter of ISIS or other extremist groups. They were not whispered in a dark room, hidden from public sight. This call for holy war, or jihad, was voiced loud and clear to a large crowd in a Sydney mosque just a few months ago.
AIJAC's Executive Director Dr. Colin Rubenstein responds to the vicious campaign waged against Middle East expert Dr. Daniel Pipes, during his recent speaking tour of Australia as a guest of AIJAC.