Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Leaving Islam

Usceae has posted a news story/prayer intention about a Malaysian woman, Lina Joy, who in 1998 converted to Christianity. However, her ethnic group (she is a Malay) is defined as Muslim and subject to Sharia law under the Malaysian constitution, which has a dual court system with Sharia for Muslims and a common law-based system for everyone else.

Lina Joy has pettitioned the Malaysian government to have her religious status legally changed from 'Islam' so that she will no longer be ruled by Sharia and can marry a Christian man. However, to date, the Malaysian courts have insisted that as a matter of jurisdiction she must petition the Sharia court system to recognize her change in religion -- she cannot work through the secular courts until after her religous status has been changed.

Usceae provides significantly more information on the story. Do keep Lina Joy in your prayers.


Chucky Charlie said...

i'm a Malay Muslim in Malaysia, and i'm still confuse about the Malaysian Law that labeled a Malay must be a Muslim. For me Islam is our own choice wether we want to follow it or not. But still many of my friends are Malay but not a muslim and still can marry anyone they want. that is what i a little bit confused about this article.

Usceae said...

Zaki, salam alaikum dan selamat sejahtera, I've been to your country, and spent a certain amount of time there. You are from Labuan, which is part of Sabah (although now a Federal Territory) and which happens to be more open and liberal than significant parts of the peninsular side of Malaysia. I think, if you check, you will find that your constitution defines a Malay as someone who is Muslim, habitually speaks Malay, and is culturally Malay - i.e. a cultural definition, rather than a strictly anthropological one. Additionally, when you say 'Malay friends who are not Muslim' I think you are probably referring to non-Muslim bumiputeras, e.g. the Dayaks, Ibans, Berawans, Bidayuh etc. I wish you were correct - however, at this point in time, it is extremely difficult for a Malay to leave Islam in Malaysia, legally (it has happened, but very rarely). God bless you.