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Islamisation of Fiji Islands , New Caledonia , Papua New Guinea , Maluku Islands , Solomon Islands , Torres Strait Islands , Vanuatu , Palau Islands , Nauru , Timor , Flores Islands , Sumba Islands and other Islands in the region

Reader comment on item: Countries Threatened with Extinction
in response to reader comment: INDIA THREATENED WITH EXTINCTION

Submitted by Margaret (India), Aug 8, 2007 at 11:35

For several years Melanesia has witnessed a phenomenon all but ignored by the international community; amongst the Pacific islands the diffusion of Islam has obtained highly successful results and in every country in the region an Umma, Islamic community, has been founded.The term Melanesia indicates the region that extends for the western side of the Western Pacific to the sea of Arafura which touches the northern and north-eastern coasts of Australia. The islands belonging to the area are: he Bismark archepelego, the Fiji Islands, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, the Maluku Islands, the Solomon Islandsm the Torres Strait Islands, Vanuatu and Palau Islands. Nauru, Timor, Flores Islands and Sumba are not entirely part of the region.

Islam is the religion that diffuses itself faster than any other and this tendency has been confirmed in the Pacific. Islamic organisations from Saudi Arabia and Malaysia are actively promoting Islam in the region and are actively involved in creating numerous Umma in Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji. The level of diffusion is unparalleled throughout the world. The Melanesian culture is characterised by religious dynamacy and a tendency to experiment: the concept of Kastom (the traditional social model, also tied to magic) and the Christian movements continue to evolve, mix, change and create new beliefs. Now even Islam can be added to this mix and its effect on Kastom, on national politics, and regional security will have to be monitored very carefully. It is estimated that thousands of natives have chosen to convert to Islam in the states of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji alone. In New Caledonia there is a consistent presence of Islamic communities that have appeared following migratory flows from the Francophile world over the last 100 years.

Parallels and cultural differences
There are numerous point that link the Islamic culture to that of the Pacific. First and foremost the fact that Islam developed from the Arab tribal culture and maintains decisional bodies (shura) that, in the social organisation and in their non hierarchical nature, are similar to the chief's councils in Melanesia. Even the concept of ‘an eye for an eye' is common to both cultures, while Jesus' example of ‘turning the other cheek' had never been taken into consideration by the Melanesians despite the strong Christian influence throughout the region. Western law has never been fully accepted in that it does not, as opposed to Islamic and Pacific traditions, offer compensation to the victim. Polygamy and the division of the sexes, such as separate structures for men and women, are other common points. In addition given that the Melanesian population is used to sitting on the ground the mosque results as being a more natural environment than a church. Westerners tend to be more secular and give greater importance to the role of the State, give greater importance to corruption and unemployment, while a Melanesian's view of life tends to be based on the principals of Kastom, religious obligations, and agriculture.

Little emphasis is placed on the role of the State in as much as it is a concept of recent implementation and only really of interest in the major cities. It can be deduced that in this region there is no great concept of the separation between religion and state. It is clear that the Muslim communities continue to augment in number, as happens with Christian organisations the Islamic counterparts supply medical assistance, schooling, morals and religion, and access to global networks capable of facilitating political and social goals.

The conversion to Christianity has also been guided by practical considerations and the very same in happening with Islam. The violent tsunami that struck the Solomon Islands last April demonstrated the presence of Islamic organisations, the International Muslim Aid Organisation acted swiftly in supplying medicines and aid to the most damaged areas and, as is obvious, this was greatly appreciated. Another factor that has facilitated the penetration of Islam as opposed to other religions consists in the fact that the process of becoming a Muslim is easy: to be accepted all that is asked for is to take a conscious decision and to recite, three times, the basic dogma of the religion in the presence of other members of the faith.

Missionaries believe that this is not a conversion but an invitation to come closer to ancestral traditions. It is in any case difficult to understand how Islam can separate religion and philosophy from the practices of Islamic culture. Those interested in preserving Kastom are sceptical and believe that the rise of Islam risks damaging local traditions in the same way Christianity did during the past century. It is important to underline that these Pacific islands are not entirely knowledgeable of the ‘varieties' of Islam which range from the most tolerant to militant Salafism. Islam is spreading rapidly and thus it is in the interests of these nations to encourage the penetration of non violent groups.

Financing local communities
Last January controversy broke out between Australia and Saudi Arabia over the suspicion that the Saudi Embassy in Canberra had financed around twenty Imam in Australia. Riyadh categorically refuse to identify the groups even though Canberra's version of the facts was supported by witnesses amongst the local Muslim community. The Saudi diplomats have conducted a number of visits to the Pacific communities and have placed a lot of attention on financing international students, allowing them to study abroad, through the assistance of the Islamic Development Bank.

The Saudi refusal to respond to the Australian demands has underlined a lack of transparency, something that is cause for concern. At the same time a training program entitled Pacific Islam Training Course, available to Australians and those living on the islands, has been made available at the Islamic University of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, and, from what is understood, there have been numerous inscriptions. It remain to be seen exactly if Saudi Arabia and Malaysia are competing or cooperating.

The question of security
Generally speaking a peaceful form Islam has been absorbed in eastern Melanesia, however, in the western part and in particular in the area under the control of Indonesia a certain level of disorder has been noted. These areas host violent groups and there are periodic outbreaks of violence, as happened in Ambon in the Maluku Archipelago where, at the end of the nineties, more than 10.000 dies in clashes between Christians and Muslims. The local population accused the Government of being responsible and of promoting a policy that obstacles integration between the two communities.

The Government's position is based upon the fear that these territories are seeking independence from Indonesia. In West Papua, that is the Indonesian part of New Guinea, the Free West Papua Movement has for years sustained that some groups, such as the JI and the Laskar Jihad, are involved in subversive activities aimed at suppressing independence movements. In addition to this they are accused of attempting to extend their activities to neighbouring countries such as Papua New Guinea, Australia, and other Pacific islands.

It is also feared that numerous training camps have been set up in West Papua where the militant Islamic groups have had a foothold for a long time. All considered, apart from public disorder in Indonesia, it has to be evidenced that in the rest of the Pacific no violence has been notes, in addition the Muslim communities live in harmony with the rest of the population. All of the nations in question provide for religious freedom in their constitutions. There is the risk that these countries are taken advantage of by violent groups.

The November 2002 arson attack on the mosque in Port Moresby, capital of Papua New Guinea, raised concerns. The cause of the incident may well have been the declaration of the Deputy Prime Minister who claimed that the constitution needed to be revised in order to include an article which banned violent religions, something a number of individual consider Islam to be. Whilst the Muslim population suffers attacks from time to time in 2005 a group of Indonesian militants were accused of recruiting inhabitants of the Salomon Islands and training them in camps in Indonesia.

Far from encouraging signals in regards to the spread of Islam are arriving from the Pacific: if on the one hand pacific movements are being formed the opposite is also true and vigilance is required. It would appear that the danger lies with foreigners rather than inside the local communities. The local communities should, in their own interests, make an effort to accept the peaceful message of Islam while being wary of the violent currents. Local governments will have to understand that placed too much emphasis on the role of the State will not permit the freedom of the daily spirituality typical of the Pacific islands.

There is also the issue that while Australia and the USA are concentrating on the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan they are not following what is taking place much nearer to home.

Spread of Islam in these countries will pose a grave threat to Australia , New Zealand , Singapore and other Non Muslim Countries in this areas.Islamisation of these Islands will also threaten US interests in Pacific areas.

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".


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Reader comments (124) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
US an unwitting abetor of islamisation of India [142 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
BharatFeb 18, 2013 11:42203611
Many countries/islands in the Indian Ocean are at risk [72 words]BenJan 1, 2016 09:06203611
3Jordanian-Palestinians [89 words]SierramanJul 22, 2012 13:50197355
1geographical minute minutiae [159 words]jennifer solisAug 29, 2007 00:33107155
2Nuclear Iran dreams of Israel's extinction. [423 words]ArcAug 28, 2007 12:26107111
1Not just in the Middle East.... [63 words]TomAug 24, 2007 13:31106907
1Destruction of Ethnic Minorities in Malaysia [1882 words]SeremchaAug 22, 2007 02:45106706
A day not far behind in Malaysia when Hindus, Christians and other minorities will have to convert to"religion of peace" under the threat of beheading!!! [71 words]JaladhiAug 22, 2007 17:53106706
2No Peace between Israel and Palestine [264 words]InfidelAug 17, 2007 00:21106398
Dont worry [38 words]Friend of InfidelJun 22, 2009 07:09106398
2Stop this promotion of showing a wrong image of Islam [244 words]HassanSep 6, 2009 20:20106398
1Yes you are true [73 words]Mohsin AliOct 30, 2009 00:55106398
Who need Israel [124 words]BrianDec 22, 2009 07:37106398
4countries disappearing. .. Sweden [177 words]Phil GreendAug 16, 2007 10:58106342
1ha..... [19 words]lanaaAug 18, 2007 09:21106342
1Countries threatened with extinction: a reply to Phil Greend [324 words]Jaisingh ThakurAug 20, 2007 03:56106342
2Enemies of the peoples of Europe. [367 words]VeronicaAug 26, 2007 06:52106342
Remove Jordan From Your List [212 words]RickAug 15, 2007 13:41106282
2Jordan hates "Palestinians" despite being over 75% "Palestinian" [314 words]Dr RJPAug 22, 2007 11:40106282
You are absolutely right. [293 words]RickAug 22, 2007 16:43106282
19Why are palestinians from Jordan such horrible people [218 words]GGICOJan 26, 2012 23:56106282
the paletinians have the right to return to there land [85 words]danielApr 2, 2013 02:13106282
Then you haven't met me [73 words]MAAug 10, 2015 16:56106282
... jordanians [111 words]Pro palestineMay 26, 2016 07:05106282
So true [14 words]MariamAug 7, 2016 21:55106282
5Muslim rules and etiquette for Jews and Infidels [354 words]InfidelAug 15, 2007 12:27106274
1you should reconsider [36 words]CanadianFeb 11, 2014 23:55106274
Extinction of small states : A response [306 words]Jaisingh ThakurAug 15, 2007 04:00106257
another country? [148 words]John PhilipsAug 14, 2007 21:09106240
Huge leap of imagination required! [141 words]VeronicaAug 26, 2007 07:17106240
Taiwan [135 words]NickAug 14, 2007 13:52106200
Beaten to it [37 words]NickAug 16, 2007 17:42106200
Just excellent [15 words]Ken BesigAug 12, 2007 10:50105957
1Don't Forgot Kosovo and Bosnia [108 words]obilicAug 11, 2007 12:17105900
18Four muslim states in Europe : Albania , Bosnia , Kosovo and Turkey ..................... [90 words]OrianaAug 13, 2007 06:02105900
2Obilic: Go back to Serbia [59 words]Becky MeinhartAug 13, 2007 14:16105900
huh? [105 words]obilicAug 13, 2007 17:49105900
2Bosnian and Albanian muslims are terrorists [100 words]MarcelAug 14, 2007 14:28105900
1Serbia [181 words]JessyoscotlandAug 16, 2007 13:00105900
Sorry Becky..CLINTON AIDED ISLAMIC TERRORISTS IN EUROPE. [475 words]veronicaAug 19, 2007 12:22105900
Fort Dix Six Jihadists are ... [48 words]JaladhiAug 24, 2007 20:33105900
America's Kosovo [125 words]obilicAug 24, 2007 21:43105900
Mis-understanding. [192 words]VeronicaAug 26, 2007 06:09105900
No misunderstanding - Veronica [100 words]JaladhiAug 27, 2007 18:31105900
Turkey is not an Islamic State [219 words]JohnSep 12, 2007 17:24105900
Totally agreeing with you [6 words]Riva Philiop, IndiaMar 16, 2008 06:56105900
1Every muslim in bosnia and albania is not a terrorist [159 words]HassanSep 6, 2009 20:32105900
Good [20 words]Imtiaz AliNov 3, 2010 10:07105900
1We Love Bosnia, Kosovo, Albania,Turkish Cyprus, and Turkey [29 words]Imtiaz Ali MuslimDec 7, 2010 00:36105900
WRONG [38 words]ElisaMar 26, 2014 13:29105900
WE LOVE [2 words]APOKOct 20, 2014 07:17105900
Daniel , You have shown the problem , But what is the solution ??? [385 words]RasiAug 10, 2007 01:49105817
Countries Threatened with Extinction [170 words]Paul la DemainAug 9, 2007 12:31105788
Other countries [35 words]VijayAug 9, 2007 04:34105767
Vijay, what are you talking about? [43 words]Mark MarkAug 10, 2007 17:52105767
Megalomania with no connection to reality [75 words]VijayAug 12, 2007 09:13105767
1"Mark Mark" is just another "Muslim Muslim" who is doing Taqiya to create a divide between Common Non Muslin Front against Islamism [209 words]ImageAug 13, 2007 05:51105767
Image & Vijay, can't believe its true? [108 words]Mark MarkAug 14, 2007 13:56105767
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Countries threatened with extinction: A Reply to Mark Mark [243 words]Jaisingh ThakurAug 15, 2007 04:20105767
Bark Mark Bark [73 words]Wing-nutAug 15, 2007 04:55105767
Endangered States outside the ME [48 words]Gareth LewisAug 8, 2007 15:00105711
Endangered States due to other reasons will not pose a Threat to whole world by States threatened by Islamisation will threaten whole world [69 words]PeterAug 9, 2007 05:46105711
Rights to the Land [589 words]M. ToveyAug 8, 2007 14:03105708
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Rights to the Land - A Promise to be Kept [549 words]M. ToveyAug 9, 2007 19:00105708
Hey Archimedes2... consider this [239 words]Wing-nutAug 10, 2007 05:35105708
why should we care? [21 words]susanAug 8, 2007 13:59105707
How many eggs in each basket [127 words]David W. LincolnAug 8, 2007 12:11105702
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Taiwan also threatened with extinction [232 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Dan SchwartzAug 8, 2007 07:36105679
A continent threatened with extinction [193 words]Yuval Brandstetter MDAug 11, 2007 13:26105679
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Confederation [110 words]HarrakAug 13, 2007 11:08105679
Countries Threatened with Extinction [55 words]S.C.PandaAug 8, 2007 04:39105674
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John 8:44 [38 words]infidelAug 9, 2007 03:13105671
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Re: Countries Threatened with Extinction [105 words]JAAug 7, 2007 15:37105638
20INDIA THREATENED WITH EXTINCTION [1217 words]Anti TerrorismAug 7, 2007 15:35105637
1If Indians don't learn from history, they are on a fast track to Islamizatio!!! [124 words]JaladhiAug 7, 2007 16:09105637
Muslim population In India [45 words]VijayAug 7, 2007 17:32105637
5Islamisation of Fiji Islands , New Caledonia , Papua New Guinea , Maluku Islands , Solomon Islands , Torres Strait Islands , Vanuatu , Palau Islands , Nauru , Timor , Flores Islands , Sumba Islands and other Islands in the region [1532 words]MargaretAug 8, 2007 11:35105637
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India's muslims [9 words]VijayAug 10, 2007 04:15105637
2muslims and peacelesness [144 words]G.VishvasAug 10, 2007 14:35105637
Because of the Muslims, the non-muslims get mercy from God. Allah will destroy the Earth if no Muslims existed in it. [40 words]Noor Gul PathanAug 10, 2007 17:23105637
1Tableegee Jamaat is very active in the Far-East (our study shows) [73 words]Barb McDonaldAug 10, 2007 17:43105637
1BBC ( BS Broadcasting Corporation) calls Terrorist activists and militants. [147 words]StevenAug 11, 2007 01:43105637
5Muslims of India needed a separate country of their own ! [113 words]ItihaasAug 11, 2007 01:48105637
1neglecting India [94 words]G.VishvasAug 12, 2007 01:06105637
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1Pakistan's Tableeghis are brand ambassadors of Islamism ! [73 words]DurraniAug 13, 2007 06:12105637
Durrani: You have NO Proofs for your claims. [6 words]constant headAug 14, 2007 14:00105637
From your commets we know you are NOT a Muslim, so your anti-Muslim comments don't carry any weight. [24 words]Gul Khan PathanAug 14, 2007 14:04105637
1What rubbish [238 words]JackAug 16, 2007 17:32105637
dhimmi ..have your all the ideas against islam .....you will find islam among your kids in your own back yard [110 words]syed mohammad aliAug 19, 2007 04:49105637
1Syed Mohammad Ali's screed [145 words]Mel LarawayAug 22, 2007 17:34105637
1How a Democracy can be defended from Invasion of Islamism ?? [3291 words]M.MoorthyAug 25, 2007 10:39105637
Islamisation of Fiji Islands etc [108 words]paarsurreyDec 26, 2008 07:19105637
Arab 'Palestinians' Self Destructive Lying Criminal Drama language [269 words]AprilFeb 15, 2009 14:31105637
thank you [42 words]HassanNov 7, 2009 14:18105637
4The Islamic Muslim Experience in the world is not good [117 words]CAJeffOApr 12, 2011 01:12105637
Why the concern? [169 words]Clement JonesNov 9, 2011 06:10105637
2Yes [77 words]BhaskarJun 22, 2012 10:46105637
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Gulf War 1991 Redux? [56 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
AlexAug 7, 2007 15:58105631
I'd like to take a stab at speculating [276 words]HomefrontAug 13, 2007 21:35105631
1Extinction [32 words]MontyAug 7, 2007 14:05105630
Extinction [78 words]paarsurreyDec 26, 2008 09:31105630
The UN is doing its best [206 words]PatAug 7, 2007 13:36105626
How far behind is the US? [60 words]Steve SimmonsAug 8, 2007 09:23105626
How far behind is Canada, England and the EU? [94 words]Breslan 72Aug 10, 2007 08:52105626
Not far at all [255 words]PatAug 10, 2007 10:50105626
wait a minute 72! [13 words]HarrakAug 22, 2007 21:50105626
Yes On Certain Issues Bush 1 & Bush 2 are similar to Zapatero [98 words]James BurkeAug 25, 2007 14:08105626
Mr. Bush and Mr. Bean [113 words]HarrakAug 26, 2007 23:22105626

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