Friday, August 25, 2006

Persecution

Ms. Michelle Malkin has a very interesting article on her website (http://michellemalkin.com) regarding a Muslim convert to Catholicism.

In 1998, Azlina binti Jailani changed her name to Lina Joy and was baptized a Catholic in a church in Kuala Lumpur. Ms. Joy now wants the government to stop classifying her as a Muslim.

But it isn't that simple: While Muslim-majority
Malaysia is considered a largely moderate, modern society, renouncing one's Muslim faith still is considered both sinful and illegal by Islamic authorities -- who have gained increasing sway of late. Ms. Joy's apostasy case, now before Malaysia's highest court of appeal, has inflamed public debate, divided the legal community -- a Muslim lawyer supporting Ms. Joy has received death threats -- and threatens to set off political tremors in this Southeast Asian nation of 25 million people.

The landmark legal ruling, expected within a month, will help define
Malaysia's character as a nation.

"We are at a crossroad, whether we go down the line of secular constitutionalism or whether that constitution will now be read subject to religious requirements," says Benjamin Dawson, one of Ms. Joy's lawyers.

Malaysia has been governed for more than a half century by a tradition of civil law passed on by former British colonial rulers. A separate shariah, or Islamic, legal system has co-existed with civil law specifically to govern the religious lives of Muslim citizens, who are mostly ethnic Malays. About 40% of the population is ethnic Chinese, Indians and other minorities of other faiths.

But conservative Islam's rise as a political force in the 1980s and 1990s has propelled pro-Western
Malaysia -- and its legal system -- on a steady swing to the religious right. The government has ceded some powers once held by the civil-justice system to the shariah courts.

While the Quran states there should be "no compunction" in religion, Islamic authorities world-wide consider apostasy both a sin and a crime. In
Malaysia, Islamic courts can sentence apostates to "rehabilitation" in prison-like re-education centers that sometimes use caning as part of their program.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home