Thailand: It’s Shirt Time Again!

Our Bangkok correspondent H. Numan sends this update on the latest unrest in Thailand.

Thailand: it’s shirt time again!

by H. Numan

I’ve reported extensively about the red vs yellow shirt crises during last decade in Thailand. In the end the green shirts (army) won. At this moment we see the white shirts (students) battling it out with the brown shirts (police). Who will win is not clear, but I’m absolutely certain we are witnessing the beginning of what could become large-scale riots, if not something a good deal worse.

As usual, a bit of groundwork. What’s that with colors in Thailand? Well, you have to understand: Thailand is not a western country. It is one of the few Asian countries that was never colonized. Therefore it was able to keep its identity. In Thai culture colors have names, and every day of the week has its own color. The late king was born on Monday, which has the color yellow. In Thailand yellow is reserved for the king himself. All members of the royal family have their own personal color.

When people started to organize themselves into opposing camps under the Thaksin administration, royalists wore yellow shirts. They were mainly middle class citizens of Bangkok. Adherents to Thaksin started to wear red shirts. Not because they are communist. Communism is explicitly forbidden in Thailand. Red is the color of blood and of love for the country. Thaksin supporters (red shirts) were predominantly lower-class citizens outside Bangkok. In other words: a huge majority. Both the red and yellow shirts were monarchists. The monarchy was not an issue. That’s why you have the weird situation in which both parties were carrying large portraits of the late king Rama IX.

Those colors are important. When the late king Bumibhol left the hospital one day wearing a mint green jacket, I saw lot of people the next day wearing mint green shirts.

In the end, the green shirts won. They committed a coup d’état in 2014 and are still in control. Both the yellow shirt and red shirt leaders were arrested and put on trial. Both movements were disbanded. As usual they claimed no other solution was possible but a coup, and they would put things right and fight corruption. And, of course, as soon as possible democracy would be restored.

And, of course, that didn’t happen. This military government may not have been the most corrupt government in Thai history, but they sure tried. One nice juicy scandal involved the many watches of General Prawit Wongsuan. He was spotted wearing an expensive watch he hadn’t declared when he took office. Soon it was clear he had a collection of 24 watches. We’re talking top-of-the-line watches costing many thousands of dollars. Each watch is more worth than the annual salary of a general.

We do have a national anti-corruption commission — which is akin to Marlboro running anti-smoking campaigns. That NACC did its utmost best to keep Prawit out of the wind. After a lengthy investigation they accepted his excuse: those watches were from a friend, who sadly passed away. That friend had loaned him those 24 watches, and matching jewelry. He will return them to the next of kin, some day in the far future. He wears them today. As a badge of (dis)honor, even. After all, he, an honest hard-working underpaid officer, defeated the evil corrupt NACC.

Last year the military government announced they had re-written the constitution, would resign from office, and called for democratic elections. When Prayuth announced his candidacy for premier, I knew he was going to win. No Thai PM would ever announce his candidacy if he wasn’t 100% certain he was going to win. Which he did.

Were the elections rigged? Probably. A vote costs Bt. 500 ($16) each. Thai politics are not based on national parties, but on persons. For example, scumbag first class, I mean police captain Chalerm Yubamrung. Talk about every crime in the book, he will assure you he committed more. His youngest son Duangchalerm shot a police officer in a bar. He fled to Singapore. There the Thai ambassador personally escorted him home, where daddy had arranged a hero’s welcome for him on the airport, with thousands cheering the returning hero. He never had to see a judge, the court has ruled that the bribe was sufficient there was insufficient evidence for prosecution. Daddy was member of parliament and even vice-premier under the Yingluck administration. He supported the wrong team, and was arrested shortly after the coup. Now he is retired in comfort.

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Islam: A Permanent War Institution

Michael Copeland’s latest compilation affirms the inherently warlike nature of Islamic ideology.

Islam: A Permanent War Institution

by Michael Copeland

Here are some statements about Islam by Islamic spokesmen:

  • “…it’s an eternal endless war.” — Sheikh Dr. M. Rateb Al-Nabuls
  • “Jihad fighters everywhere! …Come closer to Allah through the blood of infidels, do not relent in spilling [their blood].” — Sa’ud Bin Hamoud Al-Utaybi, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (quoted by mortimer, comment May 21, 2018 at 4:00 pm
  • “Islam is not Christianity …Islam is the religion of agitation, revolution, blood, liberation and martyrdom.” — Shaikh Morteza Mathari
  • “Those who are against killing have no place in Islam. If the survival of the Faith requires the shedding of blood, we are there to perform our duty.” —
  • Ayatollah Sadegh Khalkhali, IRI Judge
  • “Islam is a religion of blood for the infidels.” — Ayatollah Khomeini
  • “…always … war and conflict.” — al Baghdadi
  • “…warfare … is the highest expression of fidelity.” — Hassan al Banna
  • “Battle, animosity, and hatred.” — Osama bin Laden
  • “Jihad is a permanent war institution.” — Al Azhar
  • “…jihad will remain as long there is Islam.” — Sheikh Saleh Al-Fawzan
  • “We are at war and I am a soldier.” — London 7/7 killer
  • “The kafir is the enemy.” — Saudi government ruling
  • “We shall conquer their countries, whether you like it or not.” — Muhammad Ayed, Al Aqsa Mosque
  • “…their right and duty to make war.” — Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, ambassador to Great Britain 1786
  • “…those who study Islamic Holy War will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world.” — Ayatollah Khomeini
  • “Britain has always been Dar al Harb [Realm of War].” — Anjem Choudary
  • “Nothing … is mentioned more than …fighting in the Koran.” — Anjem Choudary
  • “Islam isn’t in the world to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant.” — Omar M. Ahmad, founder of CAIR
  • Muslims in the past conquered, invaded, and took over countries — Sheikh Huwayni (Translating Jihad, 11 June 2011)
  • “To the rulers of the West, this is the religion of Allah. Either you pay the jizya poll tax, or else you will bring the sword to your necks.” — Sheikh Nader Tamimi
  • “…then we fight them, and we abduct their women, and destroy their churches — This is Islam!… Come on! Learn what Islam is!” — Grand Ayatollah Ahmad Al Baghdadi to interviewer on Iraq television.

Non-Muslim statesmen and writers who inform themselves about Islam come to the same conclusion:

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No More Smiles

Here’s H. Numan with the latest Coronanews from Thailand.

No more smiles

by H. Numan

I guess it’s about time for an update about the land of the smiles. Not that there is a lot to smile about. The corona — or as I rather refer to it: the Wuhan virus — has been gone for +100 days in Thailand. In that period no new cases developed locally. Some people had to be hospitalized, but they were repatriated citizens or foreigners. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Thailand won’t be lifting lift travel restrictions for the coming peak season (December to February). Almost certainly including the next high season (Chinese New Year in February) as well. Rumors are that restrictions will remain firmly in place until after Songkran, in April 2021.

That means that Thailand will no longer have a tourist industry to speak of when the restrictions are finally lifted. Right now I hear over and over again news that worries me sick. People have started to notice that businesses are disappearing. Famous night markets close down permanently. Beaches are completely empty. Zoos and attractions are declaring bankruptcy. Almost all elephant camps are gone. Their elephants have been released into forests. People don’t realize it, but that is the disappearing of the infrastructure.

Just think about it: many coach companies work exclusively for the tourist market. Sure, they pick up a group of Thai travelers for a wedding or a party. But that is not their core business. They can’t live on it. That means their drivers and mechanics are out of work. Same for tour leaders or staff in hotels and attractions. Those people are now doing other work. You can’t wait forever for a miracle. Not here. It may not be a high-end technical job, but you do need some experience. That experience is now disappearing.

Even if, unlikely as it may be, the government were to lift all restrictions right now, the tourist industry could recover. It will take at least several years for a complete recovery. Possibly the entire decade. Only the government isn’t going lift any restrictions. That means hotels cannot apply for loans at the bank. Nobody knows how long this is going to last. Banks do not extend loans on that premise. Smaller hotels don’t have large financial reserves. Large hotels have some, but not indefinitely.

Practically every hotel in Thailand has been closed since February. Local travel restrictions have been lifted, but that is nowhere near what hotels need to survive. Not to make a profit, but to survive.

The media and the government are insanely positive. The media report widely of the recovery of nature. The famous Maya Bay has been restored completely after a year-long closing. Tigers in wildlife parks have multiplied in larger numbers. All nature parks were and still are closed to tourists since the lockdown began. Wildlife, not surprisingly, is thriving. “See how good this is for nature? We have to focus on sustainable tourism when this is all over. This is really a blessing in disguise!”

As said by the media who don’t make their money in tourism. And by government officials who basically leech off tourism. How bad is it? Really, really bad.

So bad that a sacred institution might be axed. Everyone who has ever been to Thailand knows about double pricing. Especially government-run businesses (famous temples, nature parks, public camping grounds, etc.) have prices in English and in Thai. What you probably don’t know is that Thailand has not only its own alphabet but also Thai numerals. The prices can differ considerably. For example, the entrance fee to the Grand Palace is Bt. 250 in western numerals. The price in Thai numerals is (Bt. 20). Which tourists don’t know, because they can’t read it. Shall we say: An ignorant tourist is a happy tourist? Nobody uses those Thai numerals. It’s a bit like Roman numerals. You learn them, you can read them, but rarely use them. It’s the same here, only we do have a use for them. In double pricing.

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“I am needing to speak with Mr. Edward”

I get a lot of spam phone calls, and the first line spoken by the caller after I say “Hello” is often something like the above. I probably don’t need to tell you that the esteemed gentleman on the other end of the line invariably sounds a lot like Apu, even though he identifies himself as “Dave” or “Mike”.

It’s remarkable how non-multicultural these phone spammers are. Their cultural region lies roughly within a triangle whose vertices may be found at Lahore, Dhaka, and Bangalore.

Such calls are always about Medicare. Either my insurance company or Medicare itself has sold my phone number to the telemarketers. The dodgy entity doing the calling is usually identified as “Medicare Services” or something similar, in an attempt to fool a geezer in his dotage into thinking that he’s talking to an official Medicare representative — who just happens to have immigrated recently from Mumbai — but without being legally liable for fraud.

If I’m in the middle of something, I just hang up on the guy. But if I’m in no hurry, I might play with him a little bit. Sometimes I say, “There’s nobody on Medicare in this house,” making sure that my voice holds a tone of earnest puzzlement. To which the caller sometimes responds with: “I am so sorry; I will take your number off the list.” Which I really like to hear.

Other times I say: “Mr. May died last week. This is his stepson Herbert. Is there anything I can help you with?” After which I receive the deep condolences of the caller before he hangs up.

Today’s call came just after lunch. I responded to his opening line with: “I’m sorry; my hearing is not good. I’m having trouble understanding you. Could you please put on someone who speaks English as his native language?”

Apu:   “But sir, is this not English which I am speaking to you?”
Baron:   “Yes, but it’s not your native language. Your native language is Urdu, or Hindi, or possibly Tamil. I need someone whose native language is ENGLISH.”
Apu:   “So, you are an American, then?”
Baron:   (Patient) “I need someone whose native language is English.”
Apu:   (Sarcastic) “Ah, then, so you are from England?”
Baron:   (Still patient) “Please put on someone who speaks English as their native language.”
Apu:   (Now angry) “You, sir, are a RACIST! Goodbye!”
 

And he hung up.

It was a very satisfying phone call.

Monkey Tricks in Thailand

By now we’re all used to the madness surrounding the Wuhan Coronavirus in Europe and North America. Surprisingly enough, Thailand is in the throes of its own version of the Coronamadness, according to this report from H. Numan.

Monkey tricks in Thailand

by H. Numan

How’s Thailand doing during the Chinese Virus Crisis? Not very good. Pretty bad, actually. Yes, medically speaking, Thailand is doing great. Outstanding is a better word. The number of victims is very low. Thailand enforced one of the strictest medical regimes in the world. That saved countless lives. Fewer than 3,000 people were infected and fewer than 60 people have died. But at what cost?

The number of deaths is actually negative. Sounds odd, right? Well, that’s because of Songkran, or Thai New Year. During the virus crisis the government enforced the state of emergency, including a curfew and a total alcohol ban. You could only buy soda water in the supermarkets. Beer and stronger drinkies were forbidden. I have no idea why Thailand had to go teetotal. Probably because the Thai elite doesn’t like (other) people to drink. Same for a curfew from 10pm until 4am. Makes the streets safer, of course. I doubt it stopped any spread of the virus. But that’s also something the Thai elite really likes.

Songkran is our New Year festival from 12-16 April. It is always celebrated with lots and lots of water. And booze. The extra number of deaths during the ‘seven deadly days’ is usually well over 400, with traffic victims in the thousands. Not this year, because of the alcohol ban and the ban on any social activity. That means that the Thai government saved at least 340 lives. This year the number of extra deaths due to Songkran was zero.

The price the Thai people have to pay for remaining relatively unharmed is steep. Thailand is a tourist nation. About one third of GNP comes from tourism. Thailand has closed its borders completely, so foreign tourism is zero. There you go. We just lost one third of our national income! Nothing to worry about. Local tourism will make up for it, so claims the government. No idea where they picked those numbers from; let’s be polite and say out of a hat.

Perhaps you remember we had elections last year. As soon as the (then) prime minister general Prayuth Chan-o-Cha announced he was considering candidacy, I knew he would become the next prime minister. If Prayuth wasn’t dead certain he’d become PM again, he wouldn’t bother to run for it. So we had elections, and all his generals with whom he committed the 2014 coup were re-elected. With a few new parties added to spice things up. The only big difference is that prime minister Prayuth no longer is a(n active) general. He’s a retired general now. So are most of his ministers. Another thing to show you nothing has changed: in the new constitution (the 25th to be exact) a number of generals are automatically appointed into parliament. They can veto everything they want. None of the other parliamentarians can, just them. This system makes any unwanted changes impossible. Except in the tried old way: a military coup is always an option in Thailand… generals replacing generals. Anything else is now impossible. In the present Thai democracy one can only vote for parties that are approved by and follow policy set by generals.

The government has big plans to kill revive tourism. They want to revamp tourism entirely, and focus on rich tourists. We don’t need poor yokels! Only the rich and the best are good enough for Thailand. At this moment, if you own a private plane you don’t have to worry about closed borders or compulsory 14 days of state quarantine. You can fly to Thailand and enjoy your holiday. How many of you own a private plane? Not a lot, I guess. The number of readers owning a plane with trans oceanic range is quite a bit lower. Probably close to nil. Those are the tourists Thailand wants to focus on.

Thailand is not the first country to look at cloud cuckoo land for brilliant ideas. Greece and Spain tried it in the past. They weren’t too happy being the f**k destinations for Europe. Not that many people go to Ibiza or Mykonos to sniff culture. Both countries spent a lot of money to turn that around. In. Vain. Wasted. Money. They could have spent it on prophylactics with better results. Of course Greece, Spain and Thailand as well have lots of culture to offer.

The problem is that not that many tourists want an exclusively cultural tour. In the business we even have a name for it. We call them ABC tours. Another Blasted Cathedral, Another Bourgeois Capital or Another Bloody Church tour. Pick the one you like. As beautiful as Thai temples are: if you have seen one, you have seen them all. At least, that is how 99% of all tourists perceive it. The 1% who do appreciate it are art students or graduates in Southeast Asian history. I’ve been working for 20 years in the tourism business, so I have a rough idea what I’m talking about.

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Islam is Government

I’ve often said in this space that Islam is not a religion, but a totalitarian political system with a quasi-religious superstructure. In the following essay Michael Copeland cites authoritative sources to support this thesis.

Islam is Government

by Michael Copeland

Islam is government. This sober reality is so important that it deserves to be repeated, with no distractions:

Islam is government.

Culpably and very reprehensibly, Western leaders fail to warn the public of this serious concern, and persist in treating Islam as a matter only of worship. Islam, though, is emphatically NOT restricted to worship. It concerns very public matters — territory, criminal law, punishments, marital law, restrictions on speech, second-class status for non-Muslims, rules of dress, diet and fasting — inflicted on all — and a host of other details. More than that, it contains the built-in command that it be imposed over everyone — by force if needed. The imperative is that it must displace all other systems. Our politicians have given us no inkling of this, and very probably have no inkling themselves.

Islam is a system

“Islam is the perfect system for all mankind”, says the placard. “System” here means system of rules, of laws, namely, government. The system is, in Tariq Ramadan’s favoured phrase, “all-encompassing”, that is to say, totalitarian. Though billed as “a” total system there is no choice available. Islam is THE ONLY system permitted: “If anyone desire” [a system] “other than Islam never will it be accepted of him”, says Koran 3:85, part of Islamic law. Islam’s system is neither inclusive nor tolerant:

“My religion doesn’t tolerate other religion. It doesn’t tolerate”, … “The only one law …anywhere… has to be Islam”,

says the cleric Abu Bakr, in Australia. Membership is compulsory. There is no private conscience in Islam. The Egyptian sheikh Yassir al-Burhani makes this clear in an interview:

“…is it the right of the Muslim to convert to Christianity or another religion?”

“Of course this is not a right.”

For anyone who leaves Islam the penalty is death: leaving is treated as treason against the government. Any vigilante can perform the killing: there is no penalty, “since it is killing someone who deserves to die” (Manual of Islamic Law, Reliance of the Traveller, o8.4).

The revered 20th-century Pakistani scholar Maududi explains:

“Islam is not a ‘religion’ in the sense this term is commonly understood. It is a system encompassing all fields of living. Islam means politics, economics, legislation, science, humanism, health, psychology and sociology. No one can regard any field of his affairs as personal and private. The Islamic State bears a kind of resemblance to the Fascist and Communist states.”

Islam, the system, has a prayer component which makes it also a religion, and the two are inseparably conjoined. In Mohammed’s day the leader ruled through the mosque: there was no distinction between mosque and state. The threat of everlasting divine hellfire is what gave the law its power. Islam has not undergone change since. It continues to meld the two together in one. Scholar Dr. J.S. Idris of Sudan confirms,

“Separation of mosque and state is not an option.”

Islam’s system is a rival system

Islam has no use for man-made legislation: its laws, Sharia, are already established and unchangeable, and have to be enforced.

Dr. Ijaz Mian in Derby, UK, told his mosque listeners:

“… you have to live like a state-within-a-state — until you take over. There will be no House of Commons.”

Islam also has no use for nation states:

“The Muslim nation is one nation, to the exclusion of all others”,

reads the placard in an Oxford Street pro-Sharia march (ThinkAfricaPress at 0.31).

It is through the mosques that Islam administers its government.

Islam’s system is hostile to the West

The Islamic system of government, as applied in mosques, is hostile to Western laws. It is instructed as intrinsically superior to them, being not man-made, but from Allah. The Islamic system has no room for any other system. Democracy, monarchy, republic, communism, all must be made to yield to the Global Caliphate under Islam. Muslims are under a duty to impose Islam’s system, Sharia, on non-Muslims. Hear what spokesmen say:

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Is China Going to Trigger a World War?

Our Bangkok correspondent H. Numan sends his take on the ChiCom flu and related matters.

Is China going to trigger a world war?

by H. Numan

We don’t quite know (yet) what caused the Chinese virus. Probably it comes from an infected bat, butchered and sold for food on an extremely unhygienic open air market. I know all about street markets. We have plenty of them in Thailand. Only with some standards of hygiene. You cannot butcher on the spot for example. In China, no such rule. Hygiene was never butchered. You can’t butcher what ain’t there, right?

We hear plenty of silly conspiracy theories these days. I get really sick of all the nonsense people dump online about Bill Gates, Soros and NWO. If aforementioned were only 5% as effective as those really dumb people claim, they would have achieved their goals a long time ago.

Another theory is that this Chinese virus didn’t start on a market, but in a nearby laboratory. Not impossible, but highly unlikely. Given that the POTUS makes such claims, I very humbly have to debunk it. I attended the NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical warfare) school in the army. My instructor began by telling us how truly horrible those weapons are and how little we can do against it. Actually only against N weapons. Only within the army itself, and with very limited effect. Forget the civilian population. Y’all gonna die. Sorry about that.

It is technically impossible to prevent. We simply don’t have the resources for it. What we learned is how to detect it, and how to clean up yourself and your equipment after an N or C attack. There is no protection against B weapons at all. None whatsoever.

He told us that compared with chemical weapons, nukes are just firecrackers. Chemical weapons are almost innocent compared with biological weapons. All three are the stuff of horrors. You even imagine how truly horrid they are, not even in your worst nightmares.

A nuke explodes, that is it. Huge damage, and for a limited time, radiation. You can treat survivors immediately, and some infrastructure will remain intact. Large scale chemical attacks (most of them) cover large areas for weeks up to months. Whole areas or even entire countries will biologically die. Most life dies. Plants, insects and animals. Everything. For example, a large scale chemical attack on military installations in Germany would basically exterminate all life in central Europe. The unlucky survivors would slowly die of starvation and lack of medical facilities. Even clearing paths to walk on safely would be a huge effort. Months later gas would still stick to fences, leaves, in puddles, in houses and in cellars. Merely touching it would kill you. All life, plant life, insects and animals would have to be re-introduced to start life again. Forget about restarting civilization. Europe would be a literal valley of death.

The worst of all are biological weapons. This Chinese virus is relatively mild. Moderately contagious, but not very deadly. Yet this relatively mild virus spread like wildfire around the globe. The real danger is in overloading the medical system. Once you catch it, you need to be hospitalized. We simply don’t have that many hospitals or equipment to help everyone. That’s why this pandemic is so deadly and dangerous.

Again, this is a fairly mild virus. Imagine — better not do that — something designed in a lab that’s not so innocent and much more contagious. Such a virus would not be easy to counter. Designing a deadly virus is one thing. Designing one that only kills what you want or to have an antidote for your own population is quite another. Even if a vaccine is possible, inoculating 1.5 billion people is a massive undertaking.

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Quiz: Who is Being Referred To?

Quiz: Who is Being Referred To?

Compiled by Michael Copeland

No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. — Winston Churchill

…utterly incompatible with civilised society. — David Hume

…they beat out each other’s brains from generation to generation. — John Wesley

It is the principal cause of the decadence so visible today in [their] world — Alexis de Tocqueville

…undistinguishing and exterminating war… against all the rest of mankind. The essence of his doctrine was violence and lust: to exalt the brutal over the spiritual part of human nature. — John Quincy Adams, sixth president of the United States

…ferociously intolerant. — George Bernard Shaw

…the most fatal enemies of Civilization, Liberty, and Truth, which the world has yet known. — Sir William Muir

…the enemies of civilization. — Theodore Roosevelt

…unspiritual, concerned to win the empire of the world. —Bertrand Russell

It has always been about hate. It has always been about violence… a militant cult that is based on violence — Amil Imani

[They] refuse our culture and try to impose their culture on us. — Oriana Fallaci

There never was such scum as these people. — Lord Weidenfeld

…their systematic criminalization of free speech; their suppression of inquiry and creativity; and their unending intertribal fights — are the reasons their people have remained in the seventh century. — Uzay Bulut, Turkish journalist

…a unified message of triumphalism, otherworldliness, and religious hatred — Sam Harris

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Happy New Year from Thailand

Our Bangkok correspondent H. Numan sends this report on the coronavirus in Thailand

Happy New Year from Thailand

by H. Numan

Folks, I say it for the last time: Happy New Year! In Thailand we celebrate New Year three times: the Western New Year on 31 Dec-1 Jan, Chinese New Year in February, and finally Thai New Year or Songkran from 12-15 April. We expats sometimes irreverently call it ‘the annual culling of stupid Thais’.

You probably wonder why. Songkran is celebrated with lots of water and almost as much booze. The water splashing and fights are well known all around the world. It started as a ceremony where the elderly got sprinkled with water out of respect and evolved into a no-holds-barred fight where anything goes. I’ve seen people attaching hoses to fire hydrants and hosing down passing motor cycles, cars and buses. It’s also great fun to empty a bucket filled with water and ice over a passing motorcycle. This goes on from early 12 until late 15 April, in some cities even later. Non-stop. Same goes for boozing up. Getting splashed or hosed down goes for anyone on the streets, no matter what. You may be wearing a tuxedo or an expensive laptop, it doesn’t matter. Being on the streets makes you fair game.

Thailand has the second most dangerous traffic in the world. Only Libya is worse. Songkran is one of the two ‘seven deadly days’ periods, the other period being Western New Year. During those deadly days the death toll rises to +400 for each period, with matching numbers of seriously injured people. The government does what it can to alleviate these horrendous figures, with limited success.

This year, however, will be very different. All public festivities have been canceled. For the first time in 25 years I can probably walk the streets unmolested… I don’t like Songkran, and always stay indoors (because of the indiscriminate hosing of water). This year we are in total lockdown, so everybody has to stay indoors. It might even be a limited blessing in disguise: The death toll due to the coronavirus is so far 32, relatively low compared to most nations. Make that 60 in the near future. Very likely the number of traffic deaths will be much lower, maybe as low as 200. Which is a big win. But at what cost…

Thailand is in total lockdown. Air travel in and out of the country is completely suspended. Only repatriation flights leave the country. Travelers have to have medical certificates in order to board. Repatriation flights with Thais are coming in. Those on board have to disembark and go into quarantine for 14 days. Most comply, but not everybody. We had a bit or a row when a group of travelers refused to go into quarantine. The airport police had to detain them, and a general was called in to calm down the situation. A few managed to escape during the scuffle and are now on the most-wanted list of the Royal Thai police.

When I say lockdown, I mean it. Several provinces have declared internal lockdowns. Only locals are allowed in, nobody else. Pattaya (more exactly: Chonburi province) is one of them. The otherwise bustling city looks almost deserted. There is a nationwide curfew from 10pm until 4am, rigidly enforced by the police. Penalties are Bt. 40,000 and/or two years in hell jail. That fine can be translated into $4,500 or €4,000 to give you an idea. Bt. 40,000 is a pretty good salary, unattainable for most Thais. You have to wear a face mask in public. Bt. 100,000 if you don’t. Oh, something else that won’t raise the spirits, literally. An alcohol ban from 8-16 April. Large shops and government offices enforce strict 1.5 meter space at checkouts. Visitors are all checked for temperature. Sometimes that can lead to funny readings, if the temperature is taken right under an air conditioning vent. Seriously: if your temperature really is 32°C, you have bigger problems than a possible virus.

A few people even committed suicide due to the virus. Three ladies jumped of a bridge or bridges over the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok. Two of them drowned, one was able to be rescued.

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“I Renounced Islam”

The following article is an updated version of one that was published by LibertyGB in 2014.


Amal Farah

“I Renounced Islam”

by Michael Copeland

I renounced Islam, so my family think I should die” is the heading of the article in the Telegraph by Harriet Alexander. The article illustrates the way readers’ thoughts can be subtly steered towards desired conclusions. Both the journalist and the featured ex-muslim woman she quotes have an interest in not directing the spotlight too strongly on Islam. They both know that this can be the excuse for “repercussions”.

Straight away in the heading there are two influences at work. First the spotlight is put on “my family”, influencing the reader away from supposing that the matter might have something to do with Islam — it is a family thing, you see. This is a standard deflection, often used. Secondly, the wording says, “I should die”. That is a slightly vague and open statement, a whole lot less dramatic than “I should be killed”.

Keeping attention on her family, the article goes on to say,“her family felt she deserved to die.” There you are: it was what they “felt”. The Western reader is inclined to consider that with some loving kind encouragement the family could be influenced to change their feelings. First feelings, then beliefs: “They believe you deserve to die”: the family “believe” this is what she deserves. Silently it is left open to the reader to hope that with the right pastoral care the family could be brought round to more charitable and humane beliefs. Nothing is offered to rule this out.

The pressure is on, though: we next learn that not just the family, but the community shares the same belief about leaving Islam: “within my community, that’s a capital offence,” she said. “They believe you deserve to die.” This is more demanding: there will have to be much more persuasion work done with the whole community to help them modify their beliefs. Steady! There is more detail: “In the eyes of the deeply-conservative Somali community… renouncing Islam was an act potentially punishable by death.” Now we know: it is the “deeply-conservative Somali” community. That is better: we can breathe a sigh of relief: it evidently does not include the presumed modern, fashionable part of the Somali community. Besides, look again, renouncing Islam is only “potentially” punishable by death. More sighs of relief: that really takes the pressure off, doesn’t it? “She is adamant that it is not a problem with Islam…” There you are: of course, it is not Islam: she is adamant. It is that deeply-conservative Somali community with its feelings and beliefs. The only snag is that the phrase “it is not a problem with Islam” has the ring of being a standard untrue disclaimer. As we shall see, this matter is indeed very much “a problem with Islam”.

Now that the pressure is removed we can be fed some handy distractions: “If you look at the Old Testament, there are some shocking things there.” This is another standard technique — “You lot do it, too” — known by its Latin name tu quoque, “you also”. Two observations are called for: firstly, just because certain other people may do the same does not alter the moral unacceptability of the action: it simply means there are others just as reprehensible: no difference is made to the objection. Secondly, in this specific case there is a flaw: the parallel fails to be a parallel. The Old Testament contains many old laws and accounts of killings. To adduce it as evidence is fatuous: it does not form part of British law. The Koran, in complete contrast, is ALL part of Islamic Law, which specifies the death penalty for denying any verse (Manual of Islamic Law o8.7(7)). Every command in the Koran has legal status. Similarly, every speech and action by Mohammed, as recorded in the traditions accepted as reliable, has legal status.

“But Jewish society realises that it’s no longer acceptable to stone someone to death, or to cut out their eyes, or enslave them. And the vast majority of Muslims realise that too.”

This puts the Western reader at ease, but it is another of those we’ve-heard-them-all-before excuses, putting Islam on a par with Judaism. The vast majority of Muslims may have good qualities, but what they realise makes no difference to Islam. Islam is not defined by what the vast majority of Muslims realise. Its teachings are derived from the Koran and the traditions, the Hadith, of what Mohammed did and said. As it happens, stonings, eye-gouging, and enslavements, all of which Mohammed took part in or commanded, do, indeed, continue in the Islamic world. Although not normally reported by the mainstream media, they can be found on the internet. Sometimes, as with the schoolgirls in Nigeria, slave-taking receives some publicity.

Actually, in the reality of Islamic law, there IS a problem with Islam. As the article itself mentions, Muhammad said, “Whoever changes his religion kill him.” His word is Islamic law. As a result the one who has renounced Islam, the “apostate”, has to be killed. This is not something that muslims may opt to “believe” or not. That question does not arise in Islam, which has no freedom of religion. Muslims cannot choose: they are instructed. “It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision”, says Koran 33:36. Islamic Law indeed commands death for anyone who leaves Islam. “Leaving Islam is the ugliest form of unbelief (kufr) and the worst”, says the Manual of Islamic Law (o8.0): “When a person… voluntarily apostatizes from Islam he deserves to be killed” (o8.1).

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The Coronavirus is Allah’s Punishment Against the Kuffar

In the following video Muslim women in India are asked their opinion about the ChiCom virus. All of them are delighted that Allah has sent it to punish the infidels.

Also, they’re obviously unconcerned about social distancing, because they know they can only catch the coronavirus if Allah wills it.

Many thanks to Bose for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Video transcript:

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Praying Muslims Defy the Coronavirus in Bangladesh

Nothing stops salat (Islamic prayer), not even the ChiCom virus. The following video shows more than 10,000 Muslims at prayer in Bangladesh. They know the coronavirus cannot harm them unless Allah wills it.

Many thanks to MissPiggy for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Video transcript:

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The Chinese Virus in Thailand

Our Bangkok correspondent H. Numan sends this report on the impact that the Wuhan Coronavirus is having in Thailand.

The Chinese virus in Thailand

by H. Numan

Let’s call the beast by its real name, shall we? Incidentally, this is the second time China has infected the rest of the world. Without taking any responsibility for it. In 2002 we had the SARS virus going viral. In both cases it began in a fresh market. In both cases the Chinese government tried to look the other way for as long as possible. With the Coronavirus especially China does everything it can — that’s a lot! — to disassociate itself. Anyone (especially a man in a white house) who calls this virus by its true name is a racist. The measures China is taking are exactly what you can expect from a ruthless communist regime. Not to be admired, to say the least.

One of the first countries to enjoy the new Chinese export was Thailand. That was to be expected, with hindsight of course. About a third of the tourism industry relied (past tense!) on the Chinese market. That’s about twelve million arrivals. Once the virus really took hold the tourism industry effectively died. The one third of the market was forbidden to travel abroad. The remaining two thirds seriously reduced or changed travel plans. That means almost no arrivals at the airport. Empty hotels. Empty tourist attractions. Huge fleets of coaches standing idle. Tour leaders without work. We’re talking here about the livelihood of many millions of people.

Elephants are highly revered in Thailand, and no longer used for hard labor. Quite a lot of elephants are now kept in retirement camps, where they are taken care of and work with tourists. Usually by washing, feeding and interacting with the elephants. To a lesser extent rides on them. Only there are no tourists. An occasional Thai and a few farangs (=foreigners), but not enough to make ends meet. Elephants eat a lot. About 10% of their body weight daily. That’s roughly 360 kg of fodder every day, seven days per week. Many of those camps are in dire straits on how to keep the elephants alive. I have no idea what will happen. Will they be released into the wild? (That’s a horrible thought.) Will the government offer support? No idea.

Thailand is doing what it can to contain the virus. I happen to live in the center of Bangkok, in the diplomatic area (lucky me!). Central Chidlom is the most prestigious mall of Thailand. The guards at the door check everybody now for temperature. The bank next door also has a guard who sprays the doorknob every time a customer enters the bank. If you use the ATM, he cleans it. When I went to the immigration police, same story: everybody’s temperature was taken. From what I hear, roughly the same is done in the whole country.

Last week we had a bit of a stir when the minister of health, Khun Anutin Charnvirakul, tweeted that filthy western foreigners were the cause of the virus, as they never showered. It was because of them the ‘good Chinese tourists’ were now staying away. He had to apologize, which he sort of did. He hadn’t posted this on Twitter, but rather somebody else had. He was too busy to manage his Twitter account. In a Western government he would have had to pack his things immediately. All Western embassies did file complaints about his statement. But this is Thailand. Thus, his apology was accepted.

The country is in a nearly complete lockdown. Within the country you still can travel. There is no curfew. Yet. In many cities entertainment has been closed down completely. Some of it voluntary, some of it on orders of the local government. All borders are closed. New arrivals must show a health certificate not older than 3 days, and have valid health insurance covering at least $ 100,000. All large-scale activities have been postponed or canceled.

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