Murwillumbah is a modern city with a large port and mostly light industry with a strong trade and services component. The ethnic mix is dominated by a muslim-jewish alliance with strong military (border militia) roots. The eastern countryside is dominated by the Balanda tribes and dotted with several small former Contract settlements with mostly Christian inhabitants. The largest one of these, Eungella, with an evenly mixed population, is the second largest city of the country.
The former Jamahiriya Murwillumbah used to be ruled by the "Islamic Convergence" party by more or less democratic means. In April 2009, a coalition led by the "Free Youth Movement" rose to power and followed a policy of modernization, peace with the neighbouring Balanda Republic and integration in the Federated Micronations. In the elections of summer 2012, the Islamic Convergence again rose to power and started to follow a more conservative policy, propagating religion and censoring the media. This led to a radicalization of the FYM followers. In December 2012, the radical wing founded "Shiat al Nur", Party of the Light, in spite of its name not a party but an armed resistance movement, with a white banner with the golden arabic letters "There Is No God" on it as their symbol.
Supported by Provisional Southern Cross Divison rebel units in the Dershowo and the Balanda Republic, SAN was able to conquer the small port of Eungella in the east of the Jamahiriya. Reports from the town mentioned forced education of spiritual leaders and mosque-, synagogue-, church- and mithraeum-goers in subjects like Astrophysics, World History, Philosophy and Evolutionary Biology. Failure to attend lessons or to pass tests are punished with confiscations and exposure to Heavy Metal music. Protests by the Federation Authorities against this "cruel and unusual treatment" were to no avail.
On 2013-03-16, the forces of the Jamahiriya capitulated after a 10 day siege of Murwillumbah. The state was renamed Scientific Republic of Murwillumbah, and a Constitutional Assembly selected to prepare the structures of the new state. The SAN leadership has issued a declaration to maintain good relations with and membership in the Federated Micronations. The religious symbols of Crescent and Star were removed from the Flag of the SRM, being replaced by the letter Pi, representing the perfection of the circle.
Internally, a certain liberalisation of the originally strict religious suppression has taken place, but the Education Laws, requiring proof of deep scientific knowledge from religious and political leaders, are still in place. Democratic elections, originally scheduled for the year 20156 due to a typing error, are now scheduled for summer 2016.
ProsomismIn 2016, a side effect of the massive exposure of religious persons to scientific and technical knowledge has appeared - leaders of several religions have founded a new religion, called Prosomism, after having come to the conviction that the Universe is a giant Simulation based on quantum mechanical elements creating space as we know it.
The Prosomists regard God as the Artificial Intelligence running this Simulation, operating on the same structural elements which are the basis of this simulation, Called the "Lady", she is seen as a conscious, all-knowing entity who watches the complex intelligences within the Simulation (i.e. us) with interest, but does not usually interfere with them, The possibility of other, possibly competing, intelligent entities operating on the matrix of the Simulation is a matter of discussion.
The Simulation is seen as existing in a totally different and unknowable physical reality, created by intelligences outside its physical reality. Those "Meta-Gods" are acknowledged but not seen as discussable, whereas the Simulation and the Lady are seen as provable and even contactable within the bounds of our physical/simulated reality. Especially High Energy Physics and Astrophysics are seen as means of understanding and probing of the Simulation.
Prosomists believe it should be possible to distinguish between a physical universe and a simulated universe due to the limitations in size a simulated universe would have and due to the structure of space and time, which according to our knowledge about computers and simulations would have to be discrete (ie consisting of small space-time cells). Most interestingly, current astrophysics states the universe is limited, and scientists searching for a fundamental theory of space and time have created a theory called "Loop Quantum Gravity", describing space as being built on such elements.
The core argument for Prosomism, though, is based on logic - if it will be possible to build huge world simulations containing artificial intelligences in the future (something which is highly probable on a time range of some 1000 years), the universe with its billions of habitable worlds will contain uncountably many of such simulations. Even if our physical universe is not the only one, the rate of virtual to physical universes remains the same. Therefore, the probability that we exist in a physical, "real" world is exceedingly small.
As a highly intellectual religion, Prosomism has initially attracted only some 1000 followers, mostly from the echelons of younger spiritual leaders of the religions and also scientists in Murwillumbah. In the last few years, this has grown to about 10% of the Murwillian population and also extended into other republics of the F.M.. As the religion is based on physical evidence and logic, the Shiat al Nur government of the SAN has found no reason to suppress it.