Thursday, May 31, 2007

People Cannot Join and Leave a Religion as they Wish

The wisest in the land has ruled. “People cannot join and leave a religion according to their whims and fancies.”

Thus saith the Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim (of Malaysia) in delivering the main judgment of a case involving a Malay woman, Lina Joy, who converted from Islam to Christianity nine years ago and wanted to have “Islam” deleted from her identity card.

This was supposed to be a ‘test case’ because it is binding on all lower civil courts, and will affect a number of apostasy cases pending in civil courts. For example, there is this case involving Mrs R. Subashini, a Hindu woman who is fighting to prevent her estranged husband from converting their one-year-old son to Islam. Her husband, Mr T. Saravan converted from a Hindu to become a Muslim last year. And he has already converted their elder son, three, without her knowledge.

According to the wise chief justice's reasoning, Mr. T Saravan is guilty. He cannot ‘suka suka’ (any how) convert to another religion. And he certainly cannot change his children’s religion according to his ‘whims and fancies’. At the very least, he should consult and get the approval of his wife, don’t you think.

And there's another case involving a former soldier M. Moorthy who also (allegedly) converted to Islam – so said his colleagues, but they have no documents to prove it - without even telling his family. This caused a lot of problems when he died, because both his widow and the Islamic authorities claim his body for burial.

By the way, do you think it is a coincidence that both the judges who ruled against Lina Joy were Muslims, and the third judge who ruled for her was a non-Muslim? Make you wonder if the verdict would have been the same if none of the 3 judges were Muslims doesn't it?.


Victor said...

Islamic laws are under the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court in Malaysia. They are very different from our laws here. Another example is the khalwat (close proximity between an unmarried couple) which is not considered as an offence here, as far as I know.

zen said...

You cannot win an arguement with the ruling govt, as what the Chinese says the word 'kwan' meaning govt official has two mouths, whereas an ordinary citizen has only one. When ordinary people ask whether there is democracy or human right in the country. They counter: " Then why did you vote us in?". When the people question about race or religion. They counter: " don't you dare to touch on such sensitive issues which can spark off riots, and if you persist, remember we can use the law in the ISA on you". So where do the common people stand?

Anonymous said...

Westerners should be discouraged from visiting Malaysia.
Singapore is much more civilized and safe.

zen said...

It is no point wearing a label of a certain religion, even acting like one, but in actual fact in his heart, he is already converted to another faith. All this play-acting is to avoid the persecution of the authorities. Do not forget that victim may not go the public place of worship, but he can still privately pray in his bedroom and can communicate with his 'God' who will answer his genuine prayers.

Anonymous said...

so sad, people, commenting about this and that. you guys are so shallow. u don't really understand anything, do you? our laws are different from yours. we are different. stop making 'civilized' comments. you only show your stupidity