Monday, July 09, 2007

Politics behind Revathi Masoosai?

'There are truths on this side of the Pyrenees, which are falsehoods on the other'

'We know the truth, not only by the reason, but also by the heart'.

- Balise Pascal

The time has come for the ‘truth’ about the religious belief of Revathi Masoosai to be acknowledged by the Muslim authorities, regardless of their (unfounded) fears of allowing her to be the Hindu she wants to be, which her heart tells her to be, and her will directs her to be.

One of the fears of the Islamic authorities is of course the adverse snowball effect, that by allowing a Muslim to leave the folds of Islam, it may cause a stampede of people from the Muslim community.

Quite frankly, that’s unlikely because if we take the example of Buddhism, a religion where Buddhist parents (or even the monks) may not convert their children into Buddhists (though they may bring their children up in accordance with Buddhist teachings), we see that today, in many parts of the world, Buddhism is the fastest growing religion.
So when malaysiakini tells us that Revathi Masoosai, born to Muslim parents but brought up as a Hindu by her granny and married to a Hindu in accordance with Hindu rites, declared: “I am a Hindu and I choose to remain this way", it's time for the authorities to hear her.

Unequivocal has been her assertion about her belief, yet one may wonder why religious officials at the Islamic-run rehabilitation centre were still confident she could be ‘rehabilitated’ to embrace Islam ...

... to which she stated clearly:
"What are they talking about? They have separated me from my child and my beloved husband for six months. Even if I was given a million dollars, I will never follow them."

The seemingly blind and obdurate insistence that this woman, who has made such a strong declaration of her religious preference, could be rehabilitated into the Muslim community beggars belief. So it may seem!

But in Malaysia, one has to look for the politics behind the authorities’ unrelenting ‘punishment’ of a woman whom we (and they) know would never ever surrender away her Hindu faith.
Yes, there’s always the politics, and it’s precisely this politics that saw Revathi subjected to an indoctrination which has now ricochet into adverse publicity for Islam - an unsuccessful rehabilitation which had driven her into open defiance against the religion which officials had attempted to make her re-embrace.

With the general election just around the corner, the UMNO-led government is acutely aware that PAS is waiting to pounce on any retreat on the Revathi case. ‘Tis a case of the olde ‘holier than thou’ struggle for the hearts of the Muslim community, so bugger the virtue of ‘compassion’.

And one would not be completely astray in suspecting that the spin has continued that Islam has not yet lost Revathi, that she has only been released into the guardianship of her Muslim parents, and that the authorities is convinced that the recalcitrant woman will eventually be rehabilitated to become once again a member of the umma wahidi.


  1. To the mullahs holding the reins of power in this god-forsaken land, the children born to muslim parents MUST be muslims from birth till death. Period. A similar fate awaits Revathi's child.

    This explains how there are a billion muslims in today's world. The much-detested and NEP-based Hindu caste system also plays a major role in contributing to the large number of South Asian converts to islam. In fact, had the caste system not existed, islam today would only be confined to the middle-east arabs. The mighty Hindu empires of Funan, Srivaya, Majapahit ect fell because of the caste system

  2. It defies logic that the Shariah Court ordered a woman who is obviously an adult under the guardianship of her parents.

  3. They can pull the wool over our eyes, but they can't knit for sh*t...

    You've hit the proverbial nail spot on, buddy... it boils down to politics. More precisely, the politics of mindshare...

    Where it's more important that something done is perceived to be done in the name of Islam, and less importance on whether or not what's being done is really Islamic to begin with.

    Sad part is that many Muslims in this country see this act of mental torture as being "merciful", and that it is being done for the good of the religion. And so this round of political mindshare games goes to the incumbent...

    PAS, of course, is caught between Iraq and a harb place, and will have spin it such that the authorities weren't close to being harsh enough...

    Well, if that's their idea of 'mercy'... in the words of Syed Ali Akbar - welcome to the Club of Doom.

    When religion, any religion, is used as a political pawn, and the sorry ass followers buy into the rhetoric, the one-uppance will get to a point where EVERYONE loses.

    And we're already starting to see the signs of this...

    I actually have a solution to all this... perhaps a post beckons, soon.

  4. The Shariah Court is populated by so-called ulamas who are divorced from thr reality of 21st century Malaysia.

    Perhaps they should read up on the Spanish Inquisition where the Muslims of Spain were forced to convert to Christianity or leave their homeland of 400 years. Some went on to internal exile in the God-forsaken Extremadura and were made to hang legs of ham in their front doorway.

    Had the bigots of Ulu Yam have any degree of learning, they can see that their acts in forcing Revathi to pray like a muslim and ear beef are no different from the 'barbarians' who expelled the Moors almost 500years ago.

  5. KT,

    During the Lina Joy case, you mentioned about her having an option to go through the Sharia courts.

    Well, now you know what will actually happen had she chosen that path.

    And what would people wanting to apostate like Lina have to lose?

    A: Like Revathi, 6 months of her life in a detention camp...

  6. Bright Eyes, you're right, yes, I did. However, we know that Syariah courts don't necessarily act on the English legal system of 'precedence' - it depends on the individual judge's interpretation - this lack of 'precedence' was apparent in the two more-or-less recent cases of burial for Moorthy and an elderly lady, where the remains of the latter (born Malay Muslim) was surrendered to her Buddhist-Chinese family.

    I would still like to see Lina Joy use the judge's recommended avenue but preferably after the GE ;-) [thanks walski matey], and she needn't necessarily have to front up herself at the court - she could be represented by a Muslim lawyer.

  7. KTemoc said...
    "Bright Eyes, you're right, yes, I did."

    indeed u did!!

    "One cannot but get the feeling that those who have been vehemently criticizing the court’s ruling are actually delighted that the Lina Joy case has provided them with the ammunition to bash Islam and the Muslims."

    "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."

    just for ONCE, KT, could u just admit that u were WRONG (or NAIVE), n offer me an apology?

    "I would still like to see Lina Joy use the judge's recommended avenue but preferably after the GE ;-) [thanks walski matey], and she needn't necessarily have to front up herself at the court - she could be represented by a Muslim lawyer."

    nice, blame it on the election.

    r u SURE that u don't have to attend in person, can just send a lawyer??

    don't wanna give out stupid advice again now, do we, KT?

    FACT 1:
    only 1 reported case of a living person applying to syariah court for apostasy order LIKE THE WAY U SUGGESTED/SUPPORTED, n she ended up being LOCKED UP n INHUMANELY SEPARATED from her family - THE VERY MOMENT SHE APPLIED.

    FACT 2:
    there has been NO reported case of wannabe apostate applied to syariah court for apostasy order n succeeded.

    still wanna push them to the syariah court, KT?

    i guess YOU TOO want to tell them:

    go bang your head on the syariah court wall, don't come to civil court. If u bleed, KEEP banging.

    'just once', please??
    or u still want to keep pandering?

  8. juslo, you haven't even had the civility thus far to offer me an apology for abusing my (blog) hospitality, and you want me to apologise to you ;-)

    quote ... nice, blame it on the election ...unquote - shows you haven't even bothered to read what I posted

    I reckon you're too close to the issue to make balanced opinions - are you one of those ultra-staunch Christians? Don't be shy to admit your interest or your affiliation. My pal Lucia Lai has never hesitated to tell the world she's a staunch Catholic, and that's why I respect her.

    Hmmm, I'll wait to see whether your faith is srong enough for you to admit to your particular interest in pursuing the Lina Joy issue with such aggression.

  9. KT,

    1. y should i apologise TO YOU when YOU were the one who was WRONG?

    WHEN u WROTE those posts, u DID NOT have ANY FACTUAL support for your suggestion/support for the idea of 'give syariah court a try', YET U STILL FIERCELY ASSERTED THAT POSITION.

    in other words, u made a BASELESS claim - which has now been PROVEN WRONG & NAIVE by the latest episode.


    i guess u r (still) not a big enough man to do that, huh???

    2. oh, did i 'abuse your (blog) hospitality'? that's true if n only if:

    a, i was WRONG. not true - YOU were wrong.
    b, there's no FREE SPEECH here in your blog, n u expect all commentators to limit themselves to 'mild' criticism of u. in other words, u r too fragile-/feeble-minded, 'cant handle' HARSH BUT REAL criticisms.

    true? which is which?

    3. yes, your post basically argued that it's politics which forced the government/authorities to take this extremist, hardline course of action, WHICH I AGREE. i DID NOT attack this part at all.

    read my comments above AGAIN, please. what did i say? WHICH PART of your post did i attack?

    answer: NONE.

    all i did was to attack ONE VERY SPECIFIC POINT made in - NOT your post - your COMMENTS responding to Bright Eyes @ 2:53 AM, July 10, 2007.


    not only did u MAINTAIN your misguided, baseless position/suggestion to ask apostates to go to syariah court, u did NOT even have the intellectual courage/honesty to ADMIT that u were WRONG in your previous postSSS.

    n yet u have the audacity to tell me to apologise TO YOU?!!

    (ya, i know u're going to shoot me with 'how dare u insult the host while being a guest in his house' again. if that's the level of respect u have for free speech, then u've just destroyed another reason y many of us come here.)

    4. "admit to your particular interest in pursuing the Lina Joy issue with such aggression."

    KT... KT... tsk... tsk... tsk...

    ad ho·mi·nem [ad hom-uh-nuhm‑nem, ahd-]
    –adjective 1. appealing to one's prejudices, emotions, or special interests rather than to one's intellect or reason.
    2. attacking an opponent's character rather than answering his argument.

    i'm NOT going to state my 'faith'/'affiliation' not only bcos i want to deny u that 'pleasure', but also i hope u would admit (instead of 'realise' - u ALREADY DO) how childish that statement is.

    since when does free speech requires disclosure of identity n interests as precondition, especially when u allow anonymous comments???

    n u mean, simply as a HUMAN BEING, i can't b 'aggressive' or passionate about abuse of human rights n freedom of conscience?

    will the real KT please stand up??? (n the false one, shut up before he embarrasses the real one?????)

  10. too emotional lah - you're stuttering - look, I am not going to debate with you until you calm down ;-)

  11. huh? NO anwar or tian chua here?

  12. KT,

    oh, really?

    well, after a good night's sleep n a nice nutricious breakfast, i've 'calmed down'.

    so, what's your answer?

    still can't find any?

    or u want to continue to buat tak tau aje??

    or keep evading the questions by focusing on your opponent's hair, shoes, colour of his tie, the pimple on his cheek?

    how ingenious... u know, i never thought about those lousy tricks -- maybe bcos i was just a tiny bit more mature than u, n bcos i have always been taught that IF I LOSE A DEBATE, I SHOULD GRACIOUSLY ADMIT DEFEAT but u were not. (which school did u go to, by the way? care to share with us YOUR 'affiliation' too, since u asked so much about OTHERS'?)

    frankly, this makes u sound more n more like the bn politicians n the pkr hypocrites u criticise so much about.


  13. Juslo, I know you're right in this case... KT himself is STILL pretty evasive and naive to think that apostates can get redress in the Sharia court without great risk of being hauled for a half-year stay in a prison camp. Revathi isn't the only apostate who went to the Sharia & got shipped to Ulu Yam. But no need to get all confrontational, man...

    KT, you also ignore that Lina Joy was represented in the courts by a Muslim lawyer. His name was Malik Imtiaz Shawar. But the fanatics started posting his picture and address on the web with calls for retaliation. It'll be easy for Lina to get a Muslim attorney willing to represent her, but the hard part is getting one who's willing to withstand the threats he (and his family) will receive.

  14. bright eyes, how nice to be able to converse with you without having to suffocate in poisonous volcanic fumes and indeed without the lack of civility.

    I did not ignore, as you suggested, that Lina Joy was represented in the courts by a Muslim lawyer. Incidentally which court was it?

    But we need to ask, has Lina exhausted all legal avenues?

    As I mentioned, there is a lack of standardisation and use of 'precedence' in Syariah courts. Islamic affairs and laws are in fact generally within the State's bailiwick. I have already provided the contrasting examples of Syariah courts' decisions for Moorthy and one Nyonya Tahir (name?? I think).

    As you, unlike someone, would would have noted, I have even blogged on the side of Revathi whilst urging Lina Joy to exhaust the remaining legal avenue - I didn't ask the latter to returnt to being a Muslim.

    That Malik Imtiaz was threatened has nothing to do with the Syariah court that would/will be hearing LIna Joy's appeal, should she choose to use it.

    You'll always have religious bigots and rednecks in every country who believe in vigilante laws - some rationalise they were being patriotic whilst others think God spoke to them. After 9/11 two turbaned Punjabis were shot by redneck hoons who thought and probably still believe those unfortunate Singhs were Arabs (as if every Arabs should be shot).

    To argue that Lina can't get a Muslim lawyer to represent her because Malim was threatened is not a plausible point. Why not ask Malik himself - that man is virtually fearless and not someone anyone can cowed.

    I do not resile from my two (supposedly different, as would be argued by some) positions, for Lina and for Revathi, for the reason they deal with separate issues, the first being Revathi has already exhausted her legal options but is determined to be the Hindu she wants to be (which has been why I supported her), whilst the 2nd calls for Lina to exhaust her remaining legal avenue which has been what I had urged her to do - and if her safety is in question, for her to be represented by a lawyer in court.

    I do not evade any wrongs I have committed - I only ask, pray tell me where have I been wrong in my advice to Lina Joy?

    The Revathi tragedy, whilst indicating a hardline position by a State's Syariah Court (perhaps of conservative religious beliefs or of political grandstanding), does not automatically determine an as yet unheard Lina Joy's appeal.

    The two contrasting Syariah Courts' decisions mentioned earlier have been ample proof of possible new decisions unbound by western style legal precedence.

    It remains to be seen whether I am naive, as you put it, but I can confidently say that I am at least not someone who would have a fixed stand and mindset, stuck in confrontational concrete.

    What is my religious affiliation? I am an aethist but brought up in a Buddhist home and educated in a Methodist school. I socialise with and have good friends who are of various religious faith.

    As such, I can claim I do not hold any positions of specific religious interest with invincible bias.

  15. "I do not evade any wrongs I have committed - I only ask, pray tell me where have I been wrong in my advice to Lina Joy?"

    read my comments again, n check the FACTS stated there.

    "The Revathi tragedy, whilst indicating a hardline position by a State's Syariah Court (perhaps of conservative religious beliefs or of political grandstanding), does not automatically determine an as yet unheard Lina Joy's appeal."

    it's like saying that although 1 person is dead taking pill X, others should try it too bcos who knows, ALL THE CONCRETE EVIDENCE aside, that person would survive?

    based on your logic, HOW MANY revathis do we need to prove our point, then? 10? 100? 1000?

    even ONE injustice is too much, if u really care about human rights.

    "The two contrasting Syariah Courts' decisions mentioned earlier have been ample proof of possible new decisions unbound by western style legal precedence."

    just bcos it's not a precedent doesnt mean they won't do the same thing like they did to moorthy & revathi, right?

    with all the criminal provisions staring at the apostate, u still think she got a GOOD CHANCE to get it?

    n the moment we have to talk about a LEGAL SYSTEM which u have to GUESS what would b the outcome of a case, please pause, take a deep breath, n THINK - would YOU subject your liberty to this 'system' (which is an OXYMORON - should b LACK OF system)??

    for your info, mr wise legal adivsor, nyonya tahir was DEAD when she was allowed to 'leave' islam - n that was in the midst of all the political fallouts from moorthy before that (using your multi-purpose 'politics' explanation).

    "As such, I can claim I do not hold any positions of specific religious interest with invincible bias."


    well, that still doesn't exempt u from the 'civility' of apologising when u r WRONG.


    well, i don't believe in being nice when it comes to free speech. either u can handle the truth, or u cant. that's me.

    if it cant BITE or HURT, then it aint free speech, mate.

    but deep down, u got to admit that reading this 'all confrontational' exchange with mr coward KT was fun & entertaining, right???

    come on...!!! ;P

  16. as a blogger I have been very tolerant of visitors' comments, only deleting those I feel could intrude on religious sensitivities or libellous grounds. howveer, I reckon I am about to delete the comments of juslo, who has demonstrated more than once his immature, rude and uncivil behaviour - last warning, and quite frankly, juslo is no longer welcome to my blog unless he pulls up his socks on civility, and learns how to post coherent comments

  17. yes boss!
    u r ABSOLUTELY right!!
    my sincerest apology, sir!
    what an honour to b allowed to converse with u on your blog, sir!!
    have a nice day sir!!!!!!

  18. awwwwww, juslo, now now now, calm down, you are quite a nice chap when you aren't emotional ;-)

  19. what an idiot. (i'm talking about myself, sir!!!)

  20. Dear Ktemoc, I have only recently visited ur blog. As such, I have yet to understand ur views and stands on certain issues. Hence, I am free of any prejudices against you.

    My opinion is that juslo has been speaking like a man, that is with common sense and logical conclusions.

    But from my observation, you are speaking like my gf. Inconclusive and evasive.

    I just hope u mean what u say and say what u mean...


  21. kaki.ayam,

    thanks for your support.

    given your talent in putting things sharply n straight to the point, i wouldn't mind being your gf, n KT would b lucky if u r willing to accept him as your gf... ;P

    well, looks like the country begins to forget lina joy & revathi now... sigh... :(

  22. The people who forced this decision, lack empathy. I feel sad for the trapped individuals and worse still for the children. They suffer when they see their poor parents victims of biggotry and myopic outdated views.

  23. Back to reality...whats actually happening in the revathi case?

  24. about your stupid legal advice on lina joy/revathi, HERE'S ANOTHER case proving that apostates CANNOT GO to syariah courts - this time, 3 months lockup for 'rehab'.

    now, do u STILL maintain your legal advice to the little piglets to 'try out the butchery first'????? or should we wait for ANOTHER proof, n ANOTHER 1, n ANOTHER....?!???!!!

    HOW MANY do u need, aneh KT?!?!

    u have the audacity to criticise others but NO moral courage to accept that u were WRONG/MISTAKEN/IGNORANT.

    b a GROWN UP - try, at least, ok??
    11/08: Rehabilitation for convert who wants to leave Islam
    The Straits Times

    A MALAYSIAN Chinese woman who converted to Islam in 1998 but now wants to leave the faith was yesterday told to go for religious rehabilitation first.

    Penang's Syariah High Court ordered Ms Siti Fatimah Tan Abdullah, 38, to undergo guidance and counselling for three months at a unit of the Penang Religious Affairs Department (Jaip) before it decides whether she can leave the religion.

    Judge Othman Ibrahim will rule on her application to declare herself a non-Muslim on Dec 3 this year.

    Her counsel, Mr Ahmad Jailani Abdul Ghani, told reporters that yesterday's decision was 'to appease everybody'.

    Ms Siti Fatimah, who was born Tan Ean Huang and initially practised Buddhism, applied to leave Islam on July 10 last year. She has also applied to change the religious status in her identity card from Muslim to Buddhist.

  25. even though she's been released, she's STILL NOT ALLOWED TO LEAVE islam.

    KT - should apostates still go to syariah court?
    11/08: Malaysia releases woman in Hindu marriage case

    (Reuters) - Islamic authorities in Malaysia have freed a Muslim woman after detaining her for four months for marrying a Hindu, the couple's lawyer said on Saturday.

    The Selangor state Islamic authorities have, however, ordered the 25-year-old ethnic Indian woman to live separately from her husband, arguing that her year-old marriage was illegal under Islam.

  26. may I know what's the verdict here? Im thinking of marrying my wife ( chinese ) and im a muslim born atheist .

    I dont wish to raise my kids as a muslim . Financially , i am able to leave the country or bribe jabatan agama with legal surat nikah .

    Is there anyway i can legally marry or convert out from this religion of evil ?

    1. in malaysia a muslim, especially one born as, can't leave the Islamic religion, full stop!

      the key phrase is "in malaysia"