Skip to comments.Malaysia's Islamic identity at issue [ROP Alert]
Posted on 08/24/2006 11:43:11 AM PDT by ZGuy
Lina Joy converted from Islam to Christianity eight years ago and since then has endured extraordinary hurdles in her desire to marry the man in her life.
Her name is a household word in this majority Muslim country. But she is now in hiding after death threats from Islamic extremists, who accuse her of being an apostate.
Five years ago she started proceedings in the civil courts to seek the right to marry her Christian fiancé and have children. Because she had renounced her Muslim faith, Joy, 42, argued, Malaysia's Islamic Shariah courts, which control matters like marriage, property and divorce, did not have jurisdiction over her.
In a series of decisions, the civil courts ruled against her. Then, last month, her lawyer, Benjamin Dawson, appeared before Malaysia's highest court, the Court of Appeals, to argue that Joy's conversion be considered a right protected under the constitution, not a religious matter for the Shariah courts.
Threats against Joy had become so insistent, and the passions over her conversion so inflamed, he had concluded there was no room for her and her fiancé in Malaysia.
For Malaysia, which considers itself a moderate and modern Muslim country with a tolerance for its multiple religions and ethnic groups of Malays, Indians and Chinese, the case has kicked up a firestorm that goes to the very heart of who is a Malay, and what is Malaysia.
In rulings in her case, civil courts said Malays could not renounce Islam because the constitution defined Malays to be Muslims.
About 60 percent of Malaysia's 26 million people are Muslims.
Because of the death threats, including some calls to hunt her down, Dawson said, he could not make her available for an interview.
Similarly, her fiancé had received death threats and was not prepared to be interviewed.
(Excerpt) Read more at iht.com ...
Malaysia is frequently held up as the best example of a moderate muslim country.
Some have said Turkey. Digging deeper generally leads to disturbing realities in either one though.
They probably take it as seriously as we take various inconvenient sections of our own.
Funny, seems if the constitution defines Malays to be Muslim, then 100 percent would be Muslim. I guess Muslim math is different the the rest of the world.
Sad case. I want to know why the ACLU doens't go to these Muslim nations and demand the tollerance and acceptance the they do so agressively here in the USA.
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