Sunday, April 01, 2007

Moderate Malaysia

Malaysia is generally held up as a prime example of a moderate, modern Muslim state, not at all like the Muslim nations of the Middle East. Really?

A 24-year-old Muslim woman yesterday failed in her application to renounce Islam on the grounds that she did not practise the religion and was never given religious education.

You see in wonderful moderate Malaysia, you need government permission to change your religion.

Jasri, in his judgment, said although the Federal Constitution did state that every individual deserved to choose his or her religion, it did not give authority to the syariah court to allow Muslims to renounce their religion. "The court can only decide whether one’s action is permissible according to Muslim laws.

"The reasons given by the applicant are based on fear of punishment which is against the teachings of Islam. Is fear a good enough reason?

It would seem so to me- especially given all of the actual examples of Muslim violence in Malaysia but the judge thought not. So this women is forced to remain a Muslim.

And then there's this, also from wonderful, modern, moderate Malaysia.

Religious minorities have long complained about obstacles in getting the government's permission to build places of worship in Malaysia. But their frustrations have grown amid recent accusations by religious rights activists that authorities are destroying non-Muslim shrines, heating up racial bitterness that has simmered for decades beneath a veneer of multicultural harmony.

Of course this is completely in line with Muslim laws for dhimmis- they are not permitted to build new places of worship or to repair existing ones which have fallen into disrepair or which are in in Muslim areas.

The issue of churches and temples is part of a wider debate in Malaysia regarding racial and religious rights. Majority ethnic Malays, who are exclusively Muslim, enjoy a host of privileges, while other groups struggle with issues such as a perceived lack of recourse when they get into legal disputes with Muslims over religious matters.

Of course they are treated differently- as non-Muslims they are considered to be second-class citizens, as less than Muslims

Racial harmony between the three groups is a fine balance, maintained mainly because the minorities have not made a fuss about Islam's primacy, and are accepting and thankful for the relative freedom they have to practice their faith.

In order to keep the peace the dhimmis are expected to know their place.

But critics say that although religious freedom is a constitutional right, minorities are being indirectly victimized by laws and arcane rules.

Among them, religious conversion of ethnic Malay Muslims is illegal; authorities have strict guidelines that limit the number of non-Muslim places of worship, partly based on whether there are enough non-Muslims in an area to justify having a church or temple.

According to Town Planning Department guidelines non-Muslim places of worship can only be built after taking into account racial "harmony ... and not touch on the sensitivities of other faiths."

Laws also allow for the demolition of temples and churches built on sites deemed unsuitable by city officials.

All of which is perfectly in line with the standard laws of Islam- dhimmis must be submissive to them at all times and in all ways. Isn't modern and moderate Malaysia a simply wonderful example of a Muslim nation?

1 comment:

pinkerthon said...

hello, i would like to comment, yes indeed Malaysia is a moderate islamic country. Moderate is a right word. for your information, some of arab countries doesnt have a mixed school for girls n boys. here the gov schools are all mixed. n women have freedom to practise hijab as they want, some islamic country put women in jail because they dont cover the heads. up to now all civillians muslim n nonmuslim pay tax, the non muslims do not pay the jizyah like in islamic system had stated. plus we muslims pay an extra tax ie. zakat. here women can drive cars, have right to open bank account or buy property, or travel by ourself n rent hotel. in saudi no women can travel alone especially have a night outside their house.

so... i am grateful i am malaysian muslim women.