Saturday, June 22, 2019

Religious conversion of Aborigines?

From MM Online (extracts):

Religious conversions of Kelantan Orang Asli? Stop preying on the weak, Muslim preachers warned


Juli said that any intention to convert must come from one's own volition

Picture by Choo Choy May 

KUALA LUMPUR, June 21 — The Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa) head today warned religious preachers not to take advantage of vulnerable Orang Asli communities and trick them into religious conversions of any sort.

Speaking to Malay Mail today, its director-general Prof Dr Juli Edo pointed out that everyone has a right to their beliefs, and this must be respected.

He added that any intention to convert must also come from one's own volition.

"Rightfully, it should not happen. It cannot happen because we have the (Federal) Constitution. We have laws.

"It shouldn't be that way. You cannot force them to convert and then you cannot trick them or take advantage of their situation," he added.

Juli was commenting on a new report by Utusan Malaysia, in which the Kelantan Islamic Religious and Malay Customs Council (Maik) announced an ambitious plan to convert all the Orang Asli within its state borders to Islam by 2049.

In a report on its website today, the Malay daily cited Maik deputy chairman Nik Mohd Azlan Abd Hadi saying the council has over 100 preachers, including personnel from the federal Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (Jakim), and is working with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) on the proselytisation mission.

“If we can preach to 500 people about Islam, then God willing, in 30 years more, we can convert all the Orang Asli in this state to Islam.

The dictionary informs us that the word 'covert' in its verb form means:

1. to change (something) into a different form or properties; transmute; transform. 
2. to cause to adopt a different religion, political doctrine, opinion, etc. (eg. to convert the heathen). 
3. to turn to another or a particular use or purpose; divert from the original or intended use (eg. They converted the study into a nursery for the baby).

I believe the word 'covert' used in this topic, as referred to the Malay Mail Online article mentioned above, pertains to example No 2, specifically 'to cause to adopt a different religion'.

I don't see any indications of 'forced to' in the dictionary meaning of 'convert', though of course we could always argue that intrinsic in those words 'to cause to adopt ...', there would be 'force'. But that's drawing a long bow.

But there are mainly three (3) religions in this world which individually likes (or 'has a duty') to 'convert' non-believers - today the religious converters (missionaries, clerics or laypeople) don't use the word 'pagan' to describe their heathen targets, though in their hearts the targets are indeed 'pagans', like kaytee, wakakaka. 

The dictionary again informs us that 'pagan' means:

1a. (no longer in technical use) one of a people or community observing a polytheistic religion, as the ancient Romans and Greeks. 
2a. a member of a religious, spiritual, or cultural community based on the worship of nature or the earth; a neopagan. 
Disparaging and Offensive 
1b. (in historical contexts) a person who is not a Christian, Jew, or Muslim; a heathen. 
2b. an irreligious or hedonistic person. 
3b. an uncivilized or unenlightened person.

Indeed, to a Christian, Muslim or Jew, anyone who doesn't belong to his/her respective religion is a 'pagan', but as I mentioned, that term today is considered disparaging or insulting.

The three evangelistic religions I have in mind are:

1. Islam,
2. Christianity, and

... strangely enough for some of you (no, modern Judaism as I know it does not evangelise nor proselytise),

3. Bahá'í Faith.

The Bahá'í evangelism of Malaysian natives had been quite significant in Sarawak. I learn this from a Bahá'í mate who rejoice-fully informed me (years ago of course) that there existed a rich trove of unconverted natives (meaning not yet belonging to the Bahá'í Faith) in Sarawak, and he was raring to go there during the school holidays to 'convert' (he & wife were teachers).

The main competition was then between Christianity (eg. Seventh Day Adventist Mission) and the Bahá'í  Faith. Today the Seventh Day Adventist Mission has 98 churches, almost 20,000 members in Sarawak, a state with a population of 3.6 million. But the Bahá'í Faith is embraced by 50,000 people in more than 250 localities in the state.

So I am not sure what Professor Dr Juli Edo (of aborigine heritage himself) has in mind when he said he was against religious preachers taking advantage of vulnerable Orang Asli communities and tricking them into religious conversions of any sort.

While he said 'religious conversions of any sort', I am certain he has in mind the Kelantan Islamic Religious and Malay Customs Council (Maik) announcing recently an ambitious plan to convert all the Orang Asli within its state borders to Islam by 2049.

But the good Prof should know every evangelistic religion converts mostly by 'presenting over-glorious and quite frankly questionable/challenge-able fantasies of its respective religion', through various tactics, some of which would even be scaremongering (ticket to hell), rewards (ticket to heaven or materialistic rewards), disparaging other religions and sometimes even through intimidation.

I have experience of the tactic of 'disparaging other religions'. On 23 February 2016, I posted Tony Pua insensitive to Chinese folk religion in which I penned the following (extracts):

When I was a kid I accompanied my mum to the funeral of a neighbour. The deceased was a Christian so a Chinese Christian preacher was there at the gravesite to say the last words for her.

What shocked many of the villagers who attended the funeral, 99% being Buddhists, Confucianists and Taoists, were the extremely harsh and insulting words of the preacher during the sermon, with his derogatory words directed specifically at Buddha and Chinese gods. The sermon was delivered in Penang Hokkien, wakakaka, so the funeral party understood what he said.

The bloke seemed oblivious of who the majority of the funeral party were or rather, what were their religious affiliation. He was lucky that he was not beaten up kau kau by some of the headstrong village young bucks who had to be forcefully restrained by village elders, who mollified the angry youths by appealing to their neighbourly goodwill to tolerate those insulting words and respect the last rite of the deceased.

Prof Juli Edo should know that he can't stop proselytism (evangelism) by Muslim, Christian and Bahá'í preachers, so long as they don't resort to intimidation, force or threats. As for 'tricks' and BS I can't say that won't happen, wakakaka.

Let's hope the aborigines in Kelantan will 'convert' through their own volition, or remain animists.

Oh, and why isn't Judaism on the evangelistic religious list?

Judaism is not just a religion but a way of life, and a very exclusive and racist one, so to eff with convertees, unless they are absolutely necessary for the rare marriages. Just as the ancient Israelites considered themselves a ketuanan, the modern ketuanan Jews don't want goyims, wakakaka.

* point to note, the child of a Jewish man and gentile woman cannot be a Jew, but the child of a Jewish woman and a gentile man is - the Jewish heritage is via the matrilineal line

Mind, in ancient times there were convertees like the Israelite heroine Ruth, but an ethnic Moabite. Moabites were the descendants of the biblical story of an incestuous progeny between Lot (of Sodom & Gomorrah fame) and his eldest daughter.

The bible says: Lot's daughters may have feared that they were the last humans on earth and wanted to preserve the human race.

Thus they had sex with their father
 who knew nothing as he was made drunk by them. They wanted to ensure their race continued (a la Eve and Cain?)

The 1st daughter named her son Moab, meaning 'from my father'.

But modern biblical scholars have deemed the story of incest as deliberate badmouthing by Jacob (grandson of Abraham, son of Isaac and nephew of Lot) to marginalise his uncle's descendants from the Hebrew race. Jacob went on to name his descendants as Israelites, assigning to them the 'ketuanan' label of the region and religion.

But in biblical genealogy, Israelites (Jacob's descendants), Edomites (descendants of Esau, Jacob's elder twin brother), Moabites, Ammonites (these two were descendants of Lot, Jacob's uncle) and even the descendants of Abraham's eldest son, Ishmael (not today's Arabs) were all Hebrews.

Jacob in naming his descendants as (ketuanan) Israelites deliberately marginalised the descendants of his elder twin brother and uncles (Lot and Ishmael) a la no NEP for them, wakakaka.

Mind, today some fanatical Jews are BS-ing that Ruth was an Israelite born in the land of Moab, wakakaka.

But Christians are more sympathetic and charitable to the so-called incestuous acts of Lot's daughters, especially the first one, because her famous descendant Ruth (remember, she's a Moabite) was destined to become the ancestor of King David and more importantly, Yehoshua ben Yosef, known today as Jesus Christ.

ancestress was a Moabite


  1. I wonder what good it is to convert all the Orang Asli into any one of the Abrahamic faiths or whatever religion all those preachers, missionaries, clerics are so motivated about?

    More points to get a ticket to Heaven for themselves, land or wealth grab, politics of power or really some sort of salvation for the Orang Asli?

    Reminds me of Christian missionaries bringing religion to Africa, Asia, Americas etc but behind them enslaving and taking away their lands and properties and ruling over them eventually as part of their greater empire using religion as their tool of salvation.

    And that has been going on for thousand of years since the advent of various types of religion and when religion was used as a tool for conquest and getting wealth by religious bigots thru the backdoor game of achieving power.

    Is it really to salvage their souls for the after live or make them slaves eventually in the current life?

  2. The population of Malaysian Jews in 2019 is 0.00
    So Judaism is irrelevant to the problem in Malaysia.

    The fundamental problem is State enforced proselytization of Islam among Orang Asal, in this case by a Kelantan State Agency.

    Before GE14, JHOA, a Federal Agency, was also complicit in such proselytization. Non-Muslim Orang Asli often found additional obstacles in dealing with the Government agencies.

    The PH Government , appointing a non-Muslim Orang Asli as its Head Administrator for the first time in Malaysian history, has put put a stop to that, and directed JHOA back on its proper role to focus on their welfare.

    1. Judaism is NON proselytising throughout the world, even in Israel - they don't want non-pure Jews. Unless your mum is a Jewess, you're a non-Jew

    2. Yes, and Ah Mok , like Mahathir is ananti-Jewish racist.

    3. wakakaka, Monsterball is a BS-ter, given to recklessly accusing people of this and that but without substance

  3. Christians have a “duty” or “obligation” to convert and evangelise, but there is no coercion to remain in the faith. No death penalty if you change your mind. That is why millions of Christians openly leave the faith, with no punishment from the church or state. But if you leave Islam....what happens?

  4. Have you made a mistake here....covert vs convert. Or do you deliberately mean “covertly convert” which is descriptively accurate....ha ha ha

    1. typo - no 'covert' issue involved - sometimes can't spot it

  5. I think there is nothing wrong with the conversion itself provided there are no strings attached, trickery (most of these people have little education or are illiterate) or coercion (eg we will help you out of poverty only if you become Muslim/Christian/etc) and if there is the possibility of changing their mind later.No Hotel California. But the reality may be otherwise...