Today's date:
Summer 1999

Jefferson vs. Mahathir: How the West Came to This Muslim's Rescue

Munawar A. Anees, a scholar who founded and edited the prestigious Kuala-Lumpu based journal, Periodica Islamica, was released last spring from a Malaysian jail. He had been serving a six-month sentence after being tried for having sexual relations with former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, a charge Anees denied, saying it was a part of a set-up to imprison Anwar and remove him from his political life. Anwar has been sentence to six years in prison.

Washington - A large inscription on the rotunda of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington - "I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny upon the mind of man" - had impressed me deeply on my first visit to the United States as a student nearly a quarter of a century ago. With the tears of experience welling in my eyes, I revisited that site recently. My arbitrary arrest and torture in Malaysia had engraved Jefferson's inscription on my heart.

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