Thursday, May 31, 2007

Malaysian Muslims under siege?

This refers to the plethora of articles on Lina Joy in malaysiakini.

The hadith of Islam says "Whosoever changes his religion, kill him."

Naturally some hardline Muslims embrace this rather harsh punishment, whilst on the other side of the fence, many non-Muslims in Malaysia have raised concerns for Lina Joy, as the Federal Court has just ruled (2 – 1) against her appeal to remove her religious status of Muslim from her IC. The Court wants her to get approval from the Syariah Court before she may have that done.

As she has already declared herself as a Christian, and she is now legally confirmed as still a Muslim, that makes her an apostate.

However, only a few Islamic nations like Saudi Arabia has the death penalty for apostasy, while according to Islamic scholars only male apostates would face capital punishment while females a life sentence.

Islamic scholars also remind us of the historical context of the hadith on apostasy. It was issued during a time when a new emerging Muslim community in Medina was fighting in perilous circumstances against its enemies.

Naturally they feared their enemies would entice their followers to jump ship. Thus the hadith was against political treason rather than a religious one.

The Qur'an (2:256) actually says: Let there be no compulsion in the religion: Clearly the Right Path (Islam) is distinct from the crooked path.

In a similar manner, the reason behind Article 121(1)(A) was political. The case of Abdul Rahim in the 1980’s was the galvanising force that developed the legal constraint on the civil court, for it not to make rulings on Muslim issues.

But cases like Abdul Rahim were rare – yes, not entirely absent but rare. There were also less polemics and aggravation as the ones we see today. It would be the rare Melayu who left his or her religion.

Why then does this current feeling of siege exist amongst many Muslims?

I suspect it all started when someone in Malaysia allowed millions of migrants to slip into our country, thinking, hey, it’s great the number of Malay Muslims would be increased. Little did they realise, or perhaps overlook, that it’s only in Malaysia that Malays must be and thus would be Muslims.

What had happened then was that among the millions of Muslim illegal migrants (who subsequently became legal residents) were some Christians and a smaller number of Hindus.

Now, get this whether you like it or not, but some religions are missionary, meaning their followers have an obligation to spread the good word. Whether the words of God are from the Muslim, Christian, Bahai God or or even the god of the Jehovah Witnesses, these must be spread.

So in KTemoc’s opinion, that’s where Christianity took hold in the Malay community and started to slowly spread among them. It hasn’t reached ‘critical mass’ yet, but there’s now real concerns among the Muslim leaders.


  1. Religion is something very personal.Let everyone chooses his religion in his own way.Why force people?Kita hidup dalam era baru.Tak payah paksalah.Itu bukan semangat 'Malaysia Boleh'.

  2. It is very clear now to all of us and to the entire world that Islam is NOT about freedom , Islam is NOT about peace , Islam is NOT about compassion , Islam is NOT about tolerant .Islam is just a dead faith or blind faith teachings.It just teaches its followers NOTHING at all.

    Islam is NOT as it claimed to be .
    Lets get over with this, no further proofs required.

  3. "So in KTemoc’s opinion, that’s where Christianity took hold in the Malay community and started to slowly spread among them. It hasn’t reached ‘critical mass’ yet, but there’s now real concerns among the Muslim leaders."

    So that is the main reason that Muslim leaders are concerned; once one is let go, the rest might follow? Interesting.


  4. Khun Pana: Yes, stick with broad generalisations, why don't you?

    KTemoc: I don't know if the concern is real or imagined, but it's certainly there nonetheless. I know for a fact that there are a number of Christian Malays practicing in secret, and there are many, many more Malays who just don't give a crap.

    Interestingly, Malay Muslims seem to be the opposite of the missionary doctrine of some religions, in that they aren't interested in spreading Allah's word, just that people leave them alone in their own little kingdom. And with Malays automatically registered as Muslims, there really isn't any need to go missionary anyway.

  5. pAS missionaries converting aborigines - get a 4WD plus financial incentives; then Sabah ... yes there are Muslim missionary activities

  6. Okay, I was not aware of that. Financial incentives to convert? Yikes.

  7. Khun Pana,

    It does not affect you, does it? You are not a Muslim, so there wont be any issue of conversion. So mind your &^%$%$# business!!!

  8. So non-muslims should mind their own business?

    And where does it end?

    You are not Malaysian so mind your own business?

    You are not of the correct gender mind your own business?

    You are not a pure Malay mind your own business?

    F%^$ that. I am a human being. Lina Joy is a human being. It is my business full stop.

    If you don't like that, you don't need to get out of Malaysia. Instead, what you and all your ignorant holier than thou ilk can do is go f%^$ yourselves.

  9. i am a christian but i have few family members/relatives who have embraced islam. Amazingly i never hated them for making this decision. i'm respecting their desicion because for me religion is about freedom and faith. i believe every person has the right & freedom to choose their religion and more ever they themselves will take full responsible of the consequences while on earth & life after death.
    Therefore, i strongly believe that Lina Joy should be given the same freedom to choose her faith. Why other people have to forced Lina Joy to remain in Islam as they are not the one to be answerable to God? Why force her to be labelled as an Islam while her live is devoted to Christianity?

  10. Is Islam a religion? - never mind if it is a tolerant or a peaceful one. Islam means submission to Allah and its way of life evolve around it. Sounds very much like a cult following to me.

    Lina Joy was born into a Muslim family - hence being "forced" as a Muslim in Malaysia even before she was out of age. Freedom of religion in Malaysia?

    The Muslims are rejoicing the victory without thinking that they are being denied the freedom of faith. How ironic!

    Laws in Malaysia is a joke. How can you classify someone who is a Christian, a Muslim? This is pure politics.

    Muslims are subjected to harassment for minor issues such as Klawat (close proximity)and alcohol consumption but corruption and abuse of power seems okay.

    If the law can define someone who profess a different religion but still being classified as Muslim, then Islam is a religion that cannot define what their followers (Muslims) truly believe in. I guess the court might as well classify all Malaysian as Muslim, a win-win situation.

  11. KTemoc said, "So in KTemoc's opinion, that's where Christianity took hold in the Malay community and started to slowly spread among them. It hasn't reached 'critical mass' yet, but there's now real concerns among the Muslim leaders."

    Question: What is wrong with Christinity for Malays then? I understand Muslims revered Jesus Christ as one of the prophets. If so, they shouldn't have any problem accepting him, right - like in Lina's case? Or else, what is the barriers?

    Another question for curiosity sake. How is it Indonesia allows her people to be free to choose? Is their "Islam" different from Malaysia's? Why the difference?

  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  13. discuss the process & practice & hypocrisy of followers but please don't insult the religions

  14. (hope u don't mind)

    commercial time…

    Lina Joy – English Translation of the Majority Judgment

    Lina Joy - Malaysian Islamists Won the Battle But Losing the War?

    Magical Powers of MyKad