My Weblog

June 25, 2006

Moderate Extremists in Malaysia

Filed under: Asia, Islam, Multi Kulti, Terror — limewoody @ 3:53 pm

(Reuters) – Five days after she declared legally that she had converted from Islam to Christianity, several officers from Malaysia's state Islamic department turned up at the woman's office and arrested her.

She said they took her, then 21, to a drug rehabilitation centre for men, where a Muslim teacher counselled her on her conversion and on one occasion, caned her back. After two months, she found an unlocked door out of the compound and escaped.


Half of Malaysia's 26 million people are ethnic Malays, who by law must be Muslim, while its Chinese and Indian minorities include Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and Sikhs.

Islamic law is selectively enforced by local officials in each of Malaysia's 13 federal states. Unmarried Muslim couples caught in hotel rooms can be charged, while believers seen eating in the daytime during the fasting month of Ramadan can be fined.


…..Kelantan state, run by an Islamist party, has separate-sex supermarket queues…………………


In December, Islamic authorities gave Malaysian mountain-climber M. Moorthy a Muslim burial against the wishes of his Hindu widow.

Officials said he had converted to Islam before his death, despite assertions to the contrary by most of his family.


Officials also destroyed a commune last July, arresting members of the Sky Kingdom cult which preached a synthesis of all religions and had a giant two-storey teapot on its premises. The government said the cult practised a "deviant" form of Islam.
Malaysia's civil courts have said they cannot recognise conversions from Islam and refer apostates to the Islamic courts, where sentences for various offences range from caning to jail.

Although such sentences are rarely carried out on apostates, Malaysians who leave Islam can find themselves in a legal limbo, unable to register their new religious affiliation or to marry non-Muslims. Many keep quiet about their choice or move abroad.

Some groups, including the opposition party Parti Islam se-Malaysia (PAS), want apostasy to be punishable by death. One government cleric said about 250,000 Malaysians had left Islam.

The Koran forbids Muslims to abandon their faith, but it doesn't specify the penalties, said Sohirin Solihin, professor of Koranic studies at Malaysia's International Islamic University.

But traditional writings, or Hadith, associated with the Prophet Mohammad proscribe death.

The minister in the Prime Minister's Department for religious affairs, Abdullah Md Zin, declined to comment. His spokesman referred questions to the government's Department of Islamic Development where officials declined comment.

But the department's Web site recommends isolating and counselling apostates and then jailing them if they fail to repent.

"If the person remains an apostate, it is left to the respective authorities to impose the fitting sentence that is death," the department said in its Malay-language "Frequently Asked Questions" section.


1 Comment »

  1. i feel sorry for the lady… i hope she is doing fine now

    Comment by sotong — July 1, 2006 @ 6:51 pm

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