If the region did not embrace Islam

We inherited our religion. Some times back, our forefathers or parents were not religious. Then one of them decided to embrace a religion, be it Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism or whatever, it became our religion. Some have the choice to discard the religion and change to another religion, some did not have that choice. Changing a religion can be tantamount to a betrayal, becoming an outcast or could even be killed.

Once a religion has been chosen, the whole lifestyle and thinking process changed. The affinity to what is good, comfortable, familiar, changed. The social and economic behavior and system also changed. In this region, Malaysia and Indonesia are Islamic countries with varying degrees. Indonesian polity is still secular while Malaysia is as good as an Islamic state. Singapore is secular and rojak as far as religion is concerned. The Philippines are more Catholic while Myammar and Thailand are Buddhists. The attitude towards life changed.

The primary religious forces that are making a lot of demands on the state in these three countries are Islam and to a lesser extent Christianity/Catholicism. Islam has been the domineering force in Malaysia and Indonesia and to some extent Singapore. Christianity did surface now and then to contest their rights as a religious group but nothing that unmanageable other than the Marxist Conspiracy episode. The other religions are not so demanding on the state in their own ways.

What kind of countries or societies would these three countries turn out today if the regional communities decided some time in the past to embrace another religion other than Islam? I am not placing any subjective views on the values or goodness of any religion but just pondering what could have been when the first base was changed.
Imagine a Malaysia and Indonesia that are more like Thailand or more like the Philippines with the accompanying life style changes, belief system and culture. This is only a hypothetical situation that would not happen but would have changed the socio political map in the region.


Anonymous said...

The Indian holy men the best. Everyday sit under the tree naked and be holy and pure. Never disturb anyone. They live in their own holy world and holy lives.

The said...

If only the 3 Abrahamic religions of the desert tribes have not been fabricated, the world would have been a much, much better place.

Anonymous said...

Whatever religion and faith one belongs or changes to, should be the
Right of an individual. Having said that, the Individual Believer should practise his/her belief within their privacies. They should not intrude, impose, interfere or influence any others.

Be good.
And sin not, by respecting the freedom
of others.

Anonymous said...

Goodness is inside, in the heart. Showing off by appearance is cheap and often fake.

The Buddhists said buddha is in the heart of everyone.

The Christians said God is inside you.

Wearing a chain or a symbol does not make a person more holy or virtuous. If not anyone can put on a robe and be called holy and be respected.

The ascetics are more holy than many in beautiful robes and religious symbols and amulets.

Anonymous said...

We can dream all we want with the what if's and the maybe's and the but's. Just like what if the Japs did not allow LKY to be excused and go home to take something when he was rounded off like the others to be shot at Changi beach. Islam is here and has been here for 500 years and the Muslims are breeding like rabbits and they are getting more fundamentalists in their attitudes. S'pore has limited space and our population has a limit and there comes a time when we cannot import anymore Ah Tiongs anymore. The birthrate of Muslims are the highest, so one day they will be the majority in Singapore. Of course by that time, we would be dead but our great grandchildren will be around. I don't foresee a S'pore nation in 100-150 years time. Most probably merged with Malaysia with a sultan installed. Penang too will be reclaimed by the Kedah sultan.

Anonymous said...

Some are smart
Some think they are smart
Some act innocent
Some act stupid

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...


>>We inherited our religion.

No, we are actually ALL born as ATHEISTS.

Anonymous said...

Tiok, born atheist. Then inherit religion.

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...


Actually no. Religion is usually FORCED upon you by your parents/ family/ guardian. As a toddler you have no choice -- if your parent are Christian, then you become Christian; if family is Hindu, then so are you.

This is essentially how the FAITH VIRUS is spread from generation to generation -- by force, without the consent of the children involved.

By the time you have grown up to know more about the world, your mind is already "corrupted" by believing in shit there is no empirical evidence for, yet entire cultures and civilizations are built on and depend on people who believe that "faith" is actually a "virtue".

It is not. "Faith" is for people who are too lazy to think.

b said...

God is great but religions are toxic. It serves as a tool to divide and rule. This world is better off without religions.