Malaysia: A 24-year-old Muslim woman where there is "robust democracy, a strong thriving economy, and is a multiracial state without any conflict." now will be subjected to Syariah (sharia) courts
She failed in her application to renounce Islam on the grounds that she did not practise the religion and was never given religious education.!
Syariah High Court judge Jasri Nasip Matjakir said the applicant did not submit any concrete evidence that she was no longer a Muslim in action, behaviour or deed that could expel her from Islam.
In her affidavit, read by counsel Hamid Ismail, the Sino-Kadazan said her non-Muslim lifestyle would cause society to look down on her and she would be subjected to the judgment of the syariah court.
The applicant’s father was a Muslim while her mother, a Sino-Kadazan, converted when the couple got married.
Hamid said the basis of her application was under Article 11 of the Federal Constitution — that she had the right to choose her religion and must not be prevented from doing so by anyone.
The second basis was that Islamic law on apostasy is not applicable in Malaysia because there is no total application of Islamic law in Malaysia.
Jasri, in his judgment, said although the Federal Constitution did state that every individual deserved to choose his or her religion, it did not give authority to the syariah court to allow Muslims to renounce their religion. "The court can only decide whether one’s action is permissible according to Muslim laws.
"The reasons given by the applicant are based on fear of punishment which is against the teachings of Islam. Is fear a good enough reason?
"The court finds the reasons given are weak and not one that can be used as permissible to murtad (leave Islam)."
Source : http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/nst/Thursday/National/20070329080246/Article/local1_html
Malaysia - From fiqh to Quran: Resolving apostasy
For many non-Muslims and a handful of Muslim lawyers and activists in Malaysia, entering and exiting a religion is a question of human rights. It is part and parcel of one of the most universally recognised rights in any human rights charter, namely, the freedom of religion. However, for the vast majority of Muslims in the country, and indeed Muslims everywhere, leaving Islam is an unpardonable crime. For some of the ulama it is a crime that warrants the death penalty!
One of the most urgent tasks facing the nation in 2007 is to establish clear, unambiguous rules on the entry and exit of a person from a particular religion. When a person enters a religion, there should be incontrovertible documentary evidence of his decision. Likewise, when a person exits a religion he should have concrete proof of his action, acceptable to all parties concerned. These rules should apply to all religions and should be effectively enforced.
Ameer Ali, who chairs the Muslim Community Reference Group established by Austrailian Prime Minister John Howard last year after the London terrorist attacks, said it was "quite wrong" to suggest Turkey as a model,stating Malayasia was the better example.
"Modern Turkish law actually infringes on the rights of the individual and it's at the other extreme and cannot be a good model for the Muslims."
"I would prefer instead to quote the Malaysian example where there is robust democracy, a strong thriving economy, and is a multiracial state without any conflict. I think the balance there is quite right."
Fellow Muslim Community Reference Group member Yasser Soliman said "Of course, there are good and bad examples of what Islam should and and should not be, but I don't see any perfect examples of what an Islamic country should look like," he said. But now was a good time to be looking at issues of what makes a modern Islamic state, he said.
Turkey's first president after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Ataturk ruled the country from 1923 to 1938. He is credited with the introduction of representative democracy to Turkey, the complete separation of government and religious affairs, the closure of Islamic courts, the replacement of Islamic canon law with a secular civil code and granting of full political rights to women.
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