Many in Asia look at the Middle East with a mixture of expectation of stable energy supplies, hope for economic opportunity and concern about a potential fallout of the region’s multiple violent conflicts that are often cloaked in ethnic, religious and sectarian terms. Yet, a host of Asian nations led by men and women, who redefine identity as concepts of exclusionary civilization, ethnicity, and religious primacy rather than inclusive pluralism and multiculturalism, risk sowing the seeds of radicalization rooted in the despair of population groups that are increasingly persecuted, disenfranchised and marginalized.
“For Muslim customers only. Leave your shoes outside,” The owner of a self-service laundrette in the historic town of Muar in the Malaysian state of Johor likely had little inkling of the hornet’s nest he would stir up by putting up a sign barring non-Muslim from using his services.
Little girl prepares to have her scalp slashed open in Islamic ritual
See also Wall Street Journal (subscriber only)
The Evening Standard (UK)
The Independant (UK)
[Seemingly larger amount of coverage in the Western media this year than in previous years. If others have urls of sites to be added to this list, do send them to me.-Ed.]