On Monday, the highest court in Malaysia is scheduled to hear the appeal of four people who wish to have their conversions from Islam to Christianity legally recognised.
In a country where there is no legal way to leave Islam, the four people are asking the Federal Court to have their names and their faith changed on their national identity cards.
Three of the four were raised as Christians but converted to Islam in order to marry Muslims. Jenny Peter divorced her Muslim husband in 2006 and returned to Christianity. Salina Jau was divorced by her Muslim husband in 1992, and then she returned to Christianity. Tiong Choo Ting began to practice Christianity after his Muslim wife died in 2007.
All three signed “statutory declarations” that they intended to return to Christianity. They were required to undergo “counselling” regarding their faith. No coercion is exerted in the counselling, which takes place at the state department of religion in two to five sessions running from 30 minutes to an hour. According to court records, “All appelates attended counselling sessions and remained firm in their stand to renounce Islam.”
A Malaysian rapper is facing up to a year in prison for allegedly insulting Islam with a video that features dancers wearing dog masks.
Rapper Wee Meng Chee, known by his stage name Namewee, released a video for his song ‘Like A Dog’, filmed in Putrajaya, earlier this month.
Several black-clad dancers wearing masks of dogs – an animal considered unclean in Islam – gyrate and mimic sex acts around the rapper, who is sat in an office chair in a public square.
Malaysia sorry for Chinese New Year rooster ad cock-up
KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) – Malaysia has apologised after a government ad in Chinese-language newspapers featuring a picture of a barking rooster to mark the Year of the Dog sparked a flood of mockery.
The full-page advert by the domestic trade, cooperatives and consumerism ministry showed a rooster emitting the word “wang”, used to represent a dog’s bark in Mandarin.
The advert, printed in Chinese-language newspapers in the multi-ethnic country on Thursday, also carried a message welcoming a “prosperous Year of the Dog”.
Malaysian businesses ‘self-censoring’ dog images to avoid Muslim outcry
WITH five weeks left until Chinese New Year (CNY), several businesses in multi-ethnic Malaysia are steering clear of dog images on their products and displays to avoid upsetting the country’s Muslim majority.
In February, the Chinese community will be ushering in the Year of the Dog, one of 12 animals in its zodiac calendar, but a photo of a CNY T-shirt which made its rounds on social media in recent weeks showed cartoon images of the canine and also the pig missing, creating a stir among netizens.
Man slaps a Muslim woman across the face after she told him it was her ‘right’ not to wear the hijab
This is the moment an irate man slapped a Muslim woman in Malaysia when she told him it was her ‘right’ not to wear the hijab.
Footage shows the attacker berating a number of women sitting at a bus stop in the state of Penang, north west Malaysia and asking one about her faith and why she was not wearing a headscarf.
But when she explained that the hijab ‘is our right’ and a personal choice, he lashed out with the back of his hand, striking her across the face.
That Hijab sure is empowering…
IPOH: A woman was sentenced to jail and fined by a magistrate’s court here after being found guilty of deliberately uttering words that insulted the Islamic faith at a mosque last year.
Tham Yut Mooi (pic), 46, was accused of uttering the insulting words at Masjid Abu Ubaidah in Taman Perpaduan, Ulu Kinta here at about 5.30pm on May 4, 2016.
The housewife and mother of two, who was slapped with three charges, was sentenced to six months’ jail and fined RM5,000 for each charge under Section 298 of the Penal Code
Perhaps the government should also look into setting up a Muslims-only neighbourhood, so we Muslims no longer have to be doubtful when inhaling air contaminated with unholy (read unclean) particles exhaled by the non-Muslims, or accidentally touching objects touched by the contaminated hands of the non-Muslim pork eaters and dog lovers.
Laundrette operator: I’m not racist, I just want cleanliness
PETALING JAYA: The operator of a Muslim-only self-service laundrette in Muar says he is not racist as some have claimed but only wants to ensure that cleanliness can be maintained at all times.
Speaking to FMT today, he stressed on the issue of cleanliness, explaining that 95% of the customers at his laundrette were Muslims.
“If we look at the issue from an Islamic perspective, cleanliness is very important to us and something we must strive for at all times.
“There are other laundrettes available nearby. So, it wouldn’t be a problem for non-Muslims if they needed to find another place to wash their clothes,” said the laundrette operator, who did not wish to be named.
In other news… Kota Baru man to undergo counseling for wearing shorts in public
When a 15-year-old Malaysian girl voiced her dream of becoming the country’s first female prime minister on Twitter earlier this year, she was roundly abused online for not donning the hijab. Surekha Ragavan asks if Malay Muslim women encounter more rage on social media.
Apostasy is not a federal crime in Malaysia, but critics say the country’s increasingly conservative trajectory is threatening religious freedoms.
Muslim in funny hat wants to kill atheists
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 8 — Atheists in Malaysia should be “hunted down” by authorities as there is no place for groups like this under the Federal Constitution, a minister said today.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim said the public should aid authorities in locating groups like the Kuala Lumpur chapter of Atheist Republic so that action could be taken.
“The (Federal Constitution) does not mention atheists. It goes against the Constitution and human rights.
“I suggest that we hunt them down vehemently and we ask for help to identify these groups,” he said in a press conference at Parliament today.
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia is investigating an international atheist organization, a minister said on Monday, after a picture of the group’s local chapter went viral, sparking claims that Muslim apostates were involved.
Apostasy is not a federal crime in Malaysia, a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country. But critics say deepening fundamentalism within the Muslim majority is threatening religious freedoms.
Malaysian states, which have their own laws governing Islamic affairs, do not allow Muslims to formally renounce Islam, preferring instead to send them for counseling, or fining or jailing them.
The Kuala Lumpur chapter of Atheist Republic, a Canada-based organization, posted a picture of the group’s members attending a gathering last week, sparking uproar among some Muslims and leading to threats of death and violence against the group on social media.
The pic below is found in the “Atheist Republic” “fan section”.
The owner pointed out that his restaurants suffered losses because Malaysia has a Muslim-majority population that doesn’t consume pork. Incidentally, pork is the main ingredient in dim sum and dumpling dishes. He further stated that having a Chinese restaurant in Malaysia is like “operating a sauna business in a remote desert.”
KUALA LUMPUR: An American expert on terrorism said he was baffled by Malaysia’s decision to work closely with Saudi Arabia in promoting moderation and countering terrorism through the establishment of a new centre in Putrajaya.
Zachary Abuza, a professor at the National War College in Washington and an expert on Southeast Asian conflicts, said he failed to understand why Prime Minister Najib Razak is partnering with Riyadh, which is known for its spread of Wahhabism which he described as an “intolerant version of Islam”.
“Saudis have been spreading Wahhabism throughout the world, especially Southeast Asia, from a more tolerant brand of Shafi’ite Islam to a more austere version,” said Abuza in an interview with FMT.
“To reach out to Saudis to form a centre of moderate Islam is a joke. Nothing moderate about Saudi Arabia,” said the professor, who has done extensive research on terror-related activities as well as the conflicts in southern Thailand and southern Philippines.