Friday, June 08, 2007

Lina Joy - both sides should re-examine themselves

Here’s an interesting letter about the Lina Joy case to malaysiakini by Abu Mubarak. I have produced relevant extracts for your perusal:

The response from some readers with regards to the Lina Joy case are not in proportion with the real issue dealt with by the Federal Court. Lina Joy is no longer a Muslim and no one disputes that. But then the Federal Court was never asked to ascertain what religion Joy is professing.

In fact, it is beyond Federal Court jurisdiction to ascertain what religion a person is professing. The Federal Court also did not prevent Lina from practising another religion.

It simply said that Joy must abide by NRD procedures when she wants to change information on her identity card.

The Syariah court is the only court recognised by the constitution to be competent in deciding whether or not a person professes the Islamic faith. If a Muslim has no problem going to the civil courts, why can’t it be so for non-Muslims to go to the Syariah courts. In a multiracial and multi- religious society like us, reciprocation is not something we could afford to overlook.

KTemoc comments: additionally there has been great beat ups about the 2-1 decision as “evident” that all has not been judgementally kosher. The reality is court cases all around the western world, including in the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, etc have had such spilt decision by the bench when sitting in 3’s or 5’s or even more, without the world of justice coming to an end.

That’s why there is such a thing as “dissenting views”. If people believe some of the judges were biased, then I have to warn them that that accusation could go either way. As I have often stated, in such cases one can’t cherry pick.

When Joy applied to change her name and delete the word ‘Islam’ from her identity card, it was also a matter of administration rather than an issue of faith. The requirement to provide proper documents for changing information on one’s identity card should be deemed as a normal administrative practice. In Joy’s case, she needs to obtain judgement from the Syariah courts with regards to her religious status.

Does Joy believe that her religious beliefs would be polluted simply by going to the Syariah courts? If not, what is it actually preventing her from seeking clarification from the relevant authority - which is the Syariah court - with regards to her religious status?

I think justice would be better served if Joy abides by normal procedures when dealing with administrative matters like this, just like others would too. I know a person who converted from Hindu to Islam and her request to the NRD to include the word ‘Islam’ on her MyKad was rejected because she failed to produce the relevant documents about her conversion to Islam.

Note: Abu Mubarak also provided an example of his personal experience in the USA where he and wife had to go to a church administrative officer in order to secure administrative assistance for a non-religious issue.

KTemoc comments: I agree with author’s views and arguments.

However having said that, and leaving aside the "interests" of certain sectors in (either gleefully or sincerely) propelling the Lina Joy case into polemical controversy, the Islamic authority including the syariah courts have been unfortunately tainted in many ways by people like the Mufti of Perak.

So while I support Lina Joy seeking justice and an official solution to her religious status, the Muslim community in turn must also play its vigilant part to enhance and protect the perception of reason and justice of its legal institutions.

When unmitigated clowns like the Mufti of Perak make idiotic remarks or spread seditious lies they must be immediately censured, prosecuted or sacked. It’s no different to the sacking of civil personalities in authority or defrocking of Christian/Buddhist priests or monk.

The recent blind protection of the Mufti of Perak by PAS was a most regrettable action. The perpetrator of evil was allowed to get away scot-free whilst those who sought justice were humiliated.

PAS should be ashamed for unwittingly bringing disrepute unto the sanctity of Islam and its institutions through its blind parochialism. The UMNO-led government should be equally ashamed of remaining silent when PAS went on a polemical rampage.

While I urge the non-Muslims to allow Lina Joy to proceed to a solution via the only avenue left, I also urge the Muslim community to be less blindly defensive and examine their conscience towards Allah (swt) by allowing a nasty person like the Mufti of Perak to continue in his role of “providing best advice” on Islam to the Sultan of Perak and the Muslim community.

More importantly if Muslims want non-Muslims to respect their beliefs and institutions, they must be vigilant in protecting Islam's good name BUT not its bad representation, like the malicious evil action of the Perak Mufti.


  1. The Perak Mufti has his 'problems' but for you to degrade him as evil is downright unfair.

  2. The Sariah Court has no legal powers over a Non-Muslim. Only a person who claims to be a muslim can appear in Sariah court, so its the Case of Chicken and Egg.

  3. I agree , the mufti of Perak must be punished for slander , and making mockery of himself and islam . Every religion on this earth is based on mere ' belief " factor of individuals.And no one can proof that their belief is true as all religion has hundred and one mystery beyond man's imagination.Lets not play god here......

  4. I am chinese , my father converted to Islam . I am force to follow. But now I am over 21 years old .
    I still cannot change my religion why? Is it what Malaysia practise freedom of religion ? Is this what the contituency guarantees . If I go to syariah court . 3 years + 5000 fine - is this freedom ?
    I hope the Prime Minister can seriously look in to this matter. It is unfair to others.

  5. The Perak Mufti had set into motion a seditious action based on lies which could have resulted in inter-religious inter-ethnic violence. Was his irresponsibility not malicious and evil, especially more so of a man in high socio-religious responsibility?

    His notorious track record had strongly indicated his irresponsibility was not a one-of.

  6. It is more than an admin matter for Lina Joy to simply go to the syariah court to get permission for changing her religion. Everyone knows that the syariah court will straight away send a murtad like her for "rehabilitation" at the centre in Ulu Yam and that would be the end of her quest.SO IT IS SENSIBLE FOR LINA JOY not to do so to incriminate herself. Don't expect any justice or compassion from the syariah court. Look what they did to separate Marimuthu and his children from his wife on the dubious grounds that she is a Muslim. Lina Joy should just leave the country to practise the religion she chooses rather than to have Islam imposed on her by force to cause her untold misery just to fulfil the political ambitions of UMNO and PAS.

  7. Hi, I think the example given of the author going to the church office for an administrative issue is entirely different from Lina Joy's case. Going to an office is not the same as going to court. Having read the original article in Malaysiakini, the author went to the Church office for coupons. When the author went to the office, he was in no way subjecting himself to Christian laws and religious authority. In this case, the church was not acting in the context of religion, but rather charity.

    Also, the author has totally missed the point of the Lina Joy case. Her not going to the Syariah court is not that she's afraid it will make her any less a Christian. But it's a matter of (1) jurisdiction of the court and (2) and the self-incrimination if she were go to the Syariah court.

    In other words, would he have still gone to the church office for the coupons if by law it's stated that the church can give the coupons only to Christians and thus, by going there, he is acknowledging himself as a Christian. Also, would he still go if by going, he is in high risk of jail time and/or a large fine?

    Thus, we can see that the author's analogy just doesn't hold.

  8. i agree with anon at 11:30 AM, June 08, 2007.

    i think many oppose that decision bcos sending lina joy to the syariah court is basically sending her to incriminate herself, like what the minority judge says.

    there r MANY EXPLICIT criminal laws punishing anybody who claims to want to quit islam (n may well catch the lawyer for the apostate too), but on the other hand there r NO CLEAR provisions allowing a muslim to become an apostate.

    some have claimed that there r ways to do it at the syariah court, n u won't get prosecuted if u apply to b an apostate, but i have yet to read the EXPRESS provisions allowing apostasy.

    or at the very least, EXPLICIT GUARANTEE that any apostate who really go to the syariah court to apply to b an apostate will NOT b prosecuted.

    most r NOT 'bashing' islam n muslims as u said. most would b happy to support that decision PROVIDED going to the syariah court is REALLY going to work n she won't get arrested n put in 'concentration camp'.

    i've written on this: (advert again...)

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

    See criminal laws such as these:



    Section 66 - Trying of Apostasy.

    (1) Whenever a Muslim deliberately, by conduct or word or whatever other way, admit to want to leave Islam or declares himself to be non-Muslim, then the [Syariah] Court shall, if satisfied that that person has done something which could be interpreted as has tried to change iktikad (faith) and belief in Islam whether it is by his own admission or conduct, make order so that the person is detained in Pusat Bimbingan Islam (Islamic Guidance/Rehabilitation Center) for a period not more than 6 months for the purpose of education and such person be requested to repent in accordance with Hukum Syarak.

    (2) If any person who has been ordered so that is detained under subsection (1) -

    (a) repents immediately, the [Syariah] Court shall, after confirming his repent, free that person; or

    (b) if that person at any time during detention has repented, the Observing Officer shall report the matter to the [Syariah] Court and the Court shall call that person and after confirming his repent, shall make an order to free him.

    (3) The Observing Officer shall send a progress report about that person being detained to the Syariah Court every week.

    (4) The Islamic Guidance/Rehabilitation Center shall be gazetted as a detention centre.

    And these:



    Section 13 - Act or word of Apostasy.

    A Muslim who deliberately, whether by conduct or word or whatever other way, admits wants to leave Islam or declares himself as a non-Muslim is committing an offence offending Islam and shall, when found guilty, be given punishment of fine not more than RM3,000.00 or jail for for a period not more than 2 years or both together.

    [### Perak has no qualm about calling it jail instead of 'education'. The frankness is commendable! ###]

    And also these:


    (1) Depends on subsection (2), any person who says or indicate by words, whether verbal or written, or by sign or picture, or by any act, activity or conduct, or by organizing, promoting or create any activity or otherwise by any way, that any person professing Islam or people who are categorized in any group, entity or description of people who profess Islam-

    (a) is a kafir/unbeliever;

    (b) no longer profess Islam;

    (c) should not be accepted, or could not be accepted, as professing Islam; or

    (d) do not believe, follow, profess or group within, Islam,
    is committing an offence and when found guilty can be fined not more than RM5,000.00 or jailed for a period not more than 3 years or both together.

    (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to -

    (a) any which is done by any [Syariah?] Court or religious authority created, formed or appointed or under any written law and is given power to make or issue any decision regarding any matter related to Islam; and

    (b) any which is done by any person according to or following any decision made or issued by the [Syariah?] Court or any such authority, whether the decision is written or if written, whether it is published in the Gazette.

    *** Found, in similar wordings, in at least:






    so, KT, r these the so-called 'laws and procedures' mentioned by the Chief Justice, which u've again & again urged Lina Joy to follow???!!!

    would YOU have gone to syariah court with all those laws pointing at u?????

    put yourselve in her shoes. open your eyes. then, u'll realise what a big LIE the majority judges have told us.

    -- note that just because you have BEEN fined, jailed and 'educated' under these criminal provisions does NOT mean that the Syariah Court will therefore give you an apostasy order.

    the truth is, there is NO SUCH 'avenue', 'laws' or 'procedures' available for lina joy to convert out!!!

    i've raised this point in your last post, but u seem to have conveniently turned a blind eye.

  9. only 1 simple question:


    y is it so hard for muslims to give a straight answer to that?

    do YOU have the answer to that question, KT, seems u've been pandering to the conservative muslims again n again on the lina joy decision?

    DO YOU?????


  10. juslo, you've not only shown an intolerance to my views but you've the effontery to tell a blogger to shut up in his OWN blog!!!

    Just coz you informed me of your views, you deemed it mandatory that I obey you and not blog any more on something you consider as not to your liking/inclination.

    I've been extraordinarily courteous to you, allowing to spam your goods here; the least I can expect is for you to extend the same courtesy especially when you visit my "house".

    You have presumptously closed off the only avenue left to her with your woes of calamity awaiting her.

    Though I would be the last person to tell you, maybe you should consider clamming up.

    You're coming across as a party with vested interest and biased intolerance with your astonishing discourtesy.