Plan for socialist Islam stuns adherents

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 8 Jan 2019

Bismillah! Muslims in Hong Kong and elsewhere were discussing yesterday's shock announcement by Beijing that it plans to launch a special Chinese socialist version of their ancient religion.

The official declaration gave no details of the "revised, improved Islam" but this columnist (raised in a Muslim family) and others decided that we could pretty much anticipate what was likely in store.

Old name: Islam

New name: Islammunism

Old deity's name: Allah

New deity's name: Comrade Ah-Liu

Old practice: Bow to Mecca five times a day

New practice: Bow to passing Communist Party officials five times a day

Old declaration of faith: there is no god but God and his messenger is Muhammad.

New declaration of faith: there is no god but God and his office is in Zhongnanhai, central Beijing.

* * *

One of the delicious ironies of life in China is that officials are required to be atheists, yet are also required to speak on God's behalf, such as in 1995 when telling Tibetans that the party's alternative Panchen Lama was the "true" divine choice.

* * *

Shock news: the Dalai Lama has said his next incarnation may be as a woman.

He's copying Dr Who!

* * *

In 2017, Chinese communist party officials demoted one of their members for failing to be sufficiently disrespectful during a meeting with religious citizens.

Local party secretary Jelil Matniyaz did not smoke a single cigarette at a meeting with Uygurs in Xinjiang despite knowing that clean-living spiritual groups disliked such practices.

"A dutiful party member would choose to smoke in front of religious believers in order to demonstrate his or her commitment to secularism," an official said.

* * *

Winston Sterzel, aka the popular Shenzhen-based blogger SerpentZA, released a video rant about the shocking lack of morality in China. He got 300,000 views by last night.

The Chinese government has said the exact same thing, and leader Xi Jinping launched a campaign to revive traditional beliefs and values. "These are the same traditional values that the party spent 60 years trying to destroy," a foreign magazine noted.

* * *

In other news, Hong Kong gym clubs are putting up posters warning members to use hairdryers only on their heads. "Every day you see people slipping them up their towels to dry their undercarriage," said a member who sent the picture on this page.

* * *

The massive international toy fair that opened in Hong Kong yesterday had to cope with unexpected visitors: K-Pop fans.

The news spread like wildfire that Mattel, maker of Barbie dolls, was launching plastic dolls of the seven members of BTS, the hottest of all K-pop boy bands.

Must have been a nightmare for Mattel's designers.

Each BTS members looks identical, having apparently been grown in clone farms somewhere in China.

* * *

Shipping people in Hong Kong were yesterday talking about the mysterious oil spillage spotted by dock workers on Sunday morning.

A huge multicolored stain was seen next to a ship called Maersk Gateshead as it moored at the container terminal in Kwai Tsing at the weekend.

The pictures reminded me of the time I put an infant in the bath before putting it "on the potty."

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