Weerachon “Toe” Sattaying, 39, was once the frontman of iconic ’90s rock band, Silly Fools. With his music career behind him, Toe has lived the past six years as a dedicated Muslim, and recently launched a new food business called Company B, selling dry-aged beef under Sharia business principles. He talks to BK about losing millions in “dirty money,” Islamic armed group ISIS, Thailand’s Southern dispute, and why music is a sin.
There is no religion in the world but God. Different religions were born because he sent thousands of prophets to the world, including Jesus.
 
Islam is the truth, not religion. It tells 1+1=2. It covers everything in life: family, faith, politics, finance, laws, astronomy and sciences.
 
Muslims these days are brainwashed by secularism in the education system. It separates religion from daily life.
 
Our education system raises sheep. It prevents people from thinking. When people think for themselves, they’re labeled black sheep.
 
I won’t let my children go to school until they are seven. Just look at the best education systems like Finland. I believe that children’s brains should absorb different things in life before memorizing school programs.
 
My parents [a doctor and a businesswoman] raised me to think, question and criticize. By the age of 17 I had a lot of things I wanted to speak out about. I thought music was the best way to spread my views.
 
The more I played music, the more I suffered. It became a routine: write songs for five months, then go to the studio, then go on tour where drunken people would come to watch us and fight. They never listened to my songs.
 
I would sit alone in hotel rooms asking myself whether music was right for me. Should I do sound checks over and over for the next 20 years?
 
God finally answered all my questions. I was never religious. My parents were secular. But when I started reading the Quran, it gave me all the answers I’d wanted in life.
 
Music is a sin. It’s so powerful that it can change how people feel. It induces people to sway from God’s teachings, so I can’t play anymore.
 
I love to eat beef and I wanted to sell it. God sent me a French-Muslim man who knew how to make dryaged beef, so we became business partners.
 
I can’t do business without Sharia (Islamic law). He wanted to buy cheap supplies and sell at a high price but Sharia doesn’t allow that so I couldn’t work with him anymore.
 
I lost millions in savings to my former dry-aged business. I saw it as dirty money which I got from duping people. I knew God had destined for me to create a pure business, Company B, using money from my fellow Muslims.
 
Islam’s image is tarnished by capitalism. People are afraid of Sharia’s fair-trade rules and rich people will lose their benefits. Campaigns against Islam are orchestrated by the world media owned by a few rich families backed by big companies who make more money.
 
Armed Muslim groups like ISIS are against all Islamic teachings. But those who fight for their country like the Taliban have the right to protect their motherland.
 
The violence in Thailand’s three Southern provinces is not a religious dispute for now. I have visited fellow Muslims there and I can surely say it’s not. Some groups try to paint it that way—mafia benefit from the situation.
 
I like this junta government. I love rules. They’re predictable. The army is good at discipline. I’m not happy with their stance on Muslim migrants like the Rohingya and Uyghur. But I accept that there is more to foreign affairs than what we see.
 
I’m waiting to be in heaven to meet God.