In Malaysia being Muslim means never being able to say……… you’re not.
In a deplorable 2 to 1 vote, split on religious lines, the Federal Court decreed that Lina Joy, who was baptized a Roman Catholic in 1998, must get an Islamic sharia court to certify she has renounced Islam before she can legally be deemed a convert and the word “Islam” be removed from her identity card. Until then, she cannot marry her Catholic fiance because in Malaysia Muslims can only wed within the faith. She has been shunned, has lost her job and may have to leave Malaysia.
“She cannot at her own whim simply enter or leave her religion,” says Chief Justice Ahmad Fairuz Abdul Halim. “She must follow rules.” Yet the rule is a Catch-22 in that a Muslim-turned-Christian must appeal to an Islamic court more likely to punish her than to approve apostasy.