Sunday, October 17, 2004

Jake the Musslim 

A fascinating article in the Sunday Star Times today: radical Islam is being promoted among Maori prisoners in New Zealand, and is gaining a foothold, particularly among gang members.

The attraction of Islam to "downtrodden" groups (especially the soi-disant variety) is a well known phenomonon. It has finally been noticed in New Zealand.

The article focusses on an individual called Te Amorangi Izhaq Kireka-Whaanga, a Hallal slaughter-man and self-proclaimed fan of Osama bin Laden. He claims that one of the chief selling points of Islam among Maori inmates is hate for the west, and specifically NZ Pakeha.

One can see the attraction for many Maori convicts. On the positive side, there is discipline, order, a set of rules, and (best of all) a ban on alcohol and other intoxicants.

Unfortunately, Islam also tends to bring with it misogyny, homophobia, and legitimation of nihilistic violence (Kireki-Whaanga feels the attack in Beslan was Islamically legitimate). Most importantly, it can provide a religious justification for rage-fueled aggression.

Unfortunately, I predict the second set of characteristics is the dominant one.

Most interestingly, Kireka-Whaanga conflates tino rangatiratanga and jihad. Let's see if NZ manages to maintain its uber-PC world image if some renegade hikoi marchers start attaching explosive belts to themsleves...

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