Indonesia’s being ruined by the jihad. Fundamentalists hate Islam lite almost as much as they hate Western hedonist consumerism. Actually I’m not that crazy about that blind materialistic part of Western culture myself, but religion is everyone’s personal choice, isn’t it? Not in Islamic countries, it’s not. You don’t get to change your mind. In that they’re similar to the previous Communist regimes, lack of freedom and the lack of fun. But Islamic countries stress non-materialistic goals while many of them are rich beyond imagination, yet the communist regimes were totally materialist with barely a pot to piss in. If I didn’t know better, I’d almost think that the downfall of Communism and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism were timed by some cosmic clock. It’s funny how most, if not all, the Communist countries and client states joined the rush to capitalism with hardly a second thought while very few have joined the jihad. That’s too bad for Indonesia, which traditionally shares affinities as much with the South Pacific and Southeast Asia as it does with Islam. They became Muslim to facilitate trade centuries ago, and the rest is history. Philippines made the switch from Islam to Christianity under Western imperialism, except for Mindanao, but Indonesia didn’t. It’s no problem until fundamentalists decide to impose their negativity on the rest of the populace. I was asked to leave a Muslim mosque in Malaysia once, simply because I’m white. I’m a student of religion, a BA in philosophy, but unmistakably white. So are Bosnians, but that’s another story; they ‘surrendered’. I was sitting there minding my own business, soaking in the atmosphere, meditating just like everyone else, but to no avail. I was asked to leave. I decided right then and there that Islam is probably not the religion for me.