Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Islam Amok, Asian Style



The photo above is a shot of a deserted street in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where, in May of 1969, the Chinese who lived in that neighborhood were massacred by roving gangs of Muslim Malaysians.  

As the Gloria Joy Victor blog reports:

This area was previously known as "Kampung Baru"; [it] was a place where the rich Chinese business community resided.  (Example: Mr Loke Yew (1845-1917) lived here in his "Loke mansion" at Jalan Medan Tuanku until he died of malaria.)

Kampung Baru was the first targeted area of massacre where Chinese people were slashed to death by malay rioters and their corpses thrown into the Klang river which flows nearby. Before the killings started malay people were evacuated out by trucks purportedly by the Army. I had relatives who lived here and they escaped from being hacked to death by jumping into the Klang river to hide throughout the night till morning. They saw dead bloodied bodies floating down the river.  However their immediate neighbour and his family perished - killed!  The neighbour could not run to the river because of their elderly parents whose movements were not so agile, so they had no choice but to stay inside their house thinking it would be safe but no one could believe the cruel brutal violence of the attackers.  

The blogger provides a link to a longer article on it, which includes some personal memories by various Malaysians old enough now to have experienced that event first-hand.  This one from a Muslim:

"Suddenly I saw several chaps wielding parangs [large curved dagger] running towards our car. They were shouting Allahu Akhbar (God is great). I quickly rolled down my window and shouted the same and they stopped."

This attack sounds like a somewhat more concerted and widespread incidence of the recent attack at the Kunming Railway Station in China by Chinese Muslims, murdering some 30 people and injuring over 100 in violence involving mostly knife stabbings and slashings and machete hackings.  As the Investor’s Business Daily reported:

Muslim terrorists hacked to death 29 people and injured 143 at a crowded China train station...

Over the weekend, a terrorist cell of eight Islamists — six men and two women — traveled hundreds of miles from their home in China’s Muslim province of Xinjiang to serene Kunming to carry out their bloody jihad on innocent civilians.
 
Dressed in black and armed with knives and machetes, the well-trained terrorists randomly hacked and slashed at the heads and throats of passengers in what the state press is calling “China’s 9/11.”

Both attacks resemble the classic social psychosis that used to be clinically known as “running amok”.  Indeed, that phrase is in the old Dorland’s Medical Dictionary.

As I wrote on here a couple of years ago:

Postscript: “Running Amok”

I recall, a few years before 9/11 while working in a doctor’s office, I was looking through a Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary (26th edition, 1985), and my eyes happened to alight on the word “amok” (a word I never would have expected to see in a medical dictionary). The definition provided an intriguing multicultural glimpse:

amok [Malay "impulse to murder"] — a psychic disturbance seen chiefly in Malaysia, the Philippines,and parts of Africa, marked chiefly by sudden homicidal mania, screaming, and attacks on people and inanimate objects, tending to result in social retribution and leading to the death of the individual.

While I commend the 1985 Dorland’s medical dictionary for being so “culturally incorrect”, I suspect they, and the Western medical and anthropological community in general have not even bothered to consider the Islam factor in explaining this “psychic disturbance” — particularly as the regions cited are all heavily influenced by Islamic demographics and historical conquest.

More recently, I checked the charming “Hobson-Jobson” reference, subtitled A Glossary of Colloquial Anglo-Indian Words and Phrases, and found some interesting entries for “amok” (and its older variant, “amuck”). We see that the problem of running amok also included India. Hm; another place where millions of Muslims live. Coincidence?

On pages 18-19, for example, we read:

A MUCK, to run, v. There is we believe no room for doubt that, to us at least, this expression came from the Malay countries, where both the phrase and the practice are still familiar. Some valuable remarks on the phenomenon, as prevalent among the Malays, were contributed by Dr Oxley of Singapore to the Journal of the Indian Archipelago, vol. iii. p. 532; see a quotation below. [Mr W. W. Skeat writes --

"The best explanation of the fact is perhaps that it was the Malay national method of committing suicide, especially as one never hears of Malays committing suicide in any other way. This form of suicide may arise from a wish to die fighting and thus avoid a 'straw death, a cow's death'; but it is curious that women and children are often among the victims, and especially members of the suicide's own family. The act of running amuck is probably due to causes over which the culprit has some amount of control, as the custom has now died out in the British Possessions in the Peninsula, the offenders probably objecting to being caught and tried in cold blood. I remember hearing of only about two cases (one by a Sikh soldier) in about six years. It has been suggested further that the extreme monotonous heat of the Peninsula may have conduced to such outbreaks as those of Running amuck and Latah."

The word is by Crawfurd ascribed to the Javanese, and this is his explanation:

“Amuk (J.). An a-muck; to run a-muck; to tilt; to run furiously and desperately at any one; to make a furious onset or charge in combat.” — (Malay Dict.) [The standard Malay, according to Mr Skeat, is rather amok (mengāmok).]

Sounds like inghimas to me.

Pages 19-21 have more on the Indian origins and incidences, as well as Javanese — though of course never do the sources, even old ones before the dominance of PC MC, consider Islam as a root cause. One even went so far as to conjecture that the Indian climate was to blame. How can people be so dense?

Then we have this evidence from the Muslim history of the Philippines, concerning the 16th century (though can we doubt it continued to flare up in the following centuries…?):

With the possible exception of Japan’s kamikaze pilots in the closing days of World War II, warfare has rarely known a more frightening phenomenon than the juramentados. Known as sabers by the Maranao and sabils by the Tau Sug, juramentados were [Muslim] fanatics who, believing that they would enter Paradise if killed in battle against infidels, would whip themselves into obsessed states of self-hypnosis and, kris [a dagger] in hand, charge blindly into the ranks of the enemy, be he Spaniard, American, Japanese or Filipino. In this semimystical trance the juramentados often raced directly into heavy volleys of rifle fire, shrugged off incredible wounds, and had to be killed on their feet literally, before their attack ended.

Sounds like inghimas to me.

The article adds that:

These slashing attacks kept the Spanish in a constant state of terror…

Yep. That’s the Islamic idea.

P.S.: inghimas is an Islamic tactic that has its origins right to the very beginning of Islam, and there is no reason to think Muslims haven't continued this tactic: it literally means "plunge into" -- as in plunge into a crowd of the enemy and kill them (originally with swords and knives) and die while killing (in harmony with Koran 9:111).

Also, my essay suggested that this "running amok" phenomenon is not only probably of Islamic origin, but also far more widespread throughout SE and Central Asia than scholars have appreciated -- not only Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, and India; but also perhaps China.

Post-Postscript:

In a book titled Historical Dictionary of Indonesia, by Robert Cribb and Audrey Kahin (2004), under the entry “Massacres of 1965-1966″, it describes a complex situation of sociopolitical violence in Indonesia at that time in which some 80,000 were killed, possibly one million. It implies that at least in part, Muslims were involved in communal violence against “Leftists” and/or Communists:

In part, the killings were a planned operation by the army to remove the PKI [the Communist party] as a political force… In some other areas, the initiative seems to have come from local people: longstanding social tensions aligned with political antagonisms created deep hatreds between the groups so that the killings, when they came, were not directed simply at destroying communist leaders but at extirpating whole communities. In East Java, where such antagonism was strongest, santri communities represented by the Nadhlatul Ulama (NU) youth group Ansor, waged a sustained compaign of destruction against their abangan neighbors… [note: the Nadhlatul Ulama is a Muslim organization often touted as "moderate"] On Sumatra, the most extensive killings occurred in Aceh… where an estimated 27,000-40,000 died. [note: Aceh is the Indonesian province beset by so many Muslim pathologies as reported by Jihad Watch over the years] … Some observers initially described the killings as a kind of massive running amuck, but this seems an inadequate explanation for the systematic character of the murders.

Also note: the author only supplies his opinion, that the description of these mass killings as “running amok” seems to be “an inadequate explanation”—but why is it inadequate? Only, apparently, because of the “systematic character of the murders”. With Muslims using mass running amok as a terror tactic, however, combined with the fact that Muslims can become fanatically inflamed on a mass scale, what is assumed to be “un-systematic” can easily acquire a systematic dimension if one simply remembers that Muslims are in certain respects uniquely different from other sociopolitical groups.

Elsewhere in the encyclopedia, under the entry for “Amuk”, the writer adds that “…it may have developed, like the Viking berserk, as a technique for inspiring terror in enemies during battle…


2 comments:

Egghead said...

Hi Hesp, A former co-worker once said of my old boss that "she will stab you in your back to your face."

That description seems apropos with regard to Islam.

1389 said...

Nobody teaches kids this history in the politically correct school systems, and you don't see it on the History Channel or other documentaries.

You have to do a lot of digging to find it out on your own. I never thought of making that connection with "amok" but it makes good sense.