Anwar’s remark on Muslim psyche

ANTI-ISLAM FILM REACTION: British paper quotes him as agreeing that there is a ‘problem’ with Muslim thinking

KUALA LUMPUR: A BRITISH publication, The Scotsman, has published an inflammatory remark on the psyche of Muslims, which it attributes to opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar had already sensationally told the Wall Street Journal in a January interview that he “supports all efforts to protect the security of Israel”.

Now, writer Eddie Barnes had produced this passage in The Scotsman: “On the violent reaction to the blasphemous video insulting Islam, he (Anwar) agrees there is a ‘problem with the Muslim psyche… people are easily enraged and emotional’.”

The title of the article reads as “Eddie Barnes: Tough challenge to heal the divides in Malaysia”.

The writer, who interviewed Anwar during his recent trip to the United kingdom, referred to him as “Dr Ibrahim” and suggested that Barisan Nasional “is faltering”.

It went on to say that Anwar was in London with “Azeem Ibrahim, the Scottish businessman who acts as one of his international aides”.

It said Anwar, at the age of 65, was “suffering from a chronically bad back”.

The article, which had been reproduced on Anwar’s blog, highlighted the conflicting ideologies of Anwar’s political allies — DAP and Pas.

“On his right is the Islamist group Pas, whose members would like to introduce hudud (religious) laws to the country.

“To his left, he has the Chinese-Indian DAP, which wants to guarantee a secular future of the nation, and better rights for the country’s non-Malays.

“It already looks tough for him — only last week, people in the DAP were complaining about plans by Pas to introduce hudud.”

Anwar was curiously described in the article as “a modern traditionalist”, one who “avoids easy categorisation as a Muslim leader, and is easy to misrepresent”.

“He says he is not a liberal and remains rooted in the Islamic movement. But he says he believes in taking a ‘hard line’ on harsh views on both sides of the debate.”

The Scotsman also said Anwar “scorns the ‘crazy’ move by Malaysia’s Ministry of Education last week to publish a much-mocked guide on how to spot if someone is a homosexual (which remains illegal in conservative Malaysia)”.