Thursday, June 28, 2007

If it's good for the Ummah, it's good for the Infidels.

I propose the following laws to even things up a bit:

- outlaw the conversion of non-Muslims to Muslim; and
- outlaw the proselytising of non-Muslims.
- anyone found guilty of the 2 crimes above will face a penalty of six lashes of the cane, five years in prison and a fine of RM10,000.

And here's where I got my inspiration from (read below). If non-Muslims are to be punished for preaching to Muslims, we should have the same punishment for Muslims who preach to non-Muslims. It's only fair, don't you agree?

What's good enough for PAS and our Muslim countrymen - is good enough for the rest of us, I reckon.

Tougher law for Malaysia converts
Al-Jazeera

The only opposition-ruled state in Malaysia has approved stiffer penalties to deter people from trying to convert Muslims to other faiths.

Under the revised law passed by Kelantan state, anyone found guilty faces a maximum penalty of six lashes with a rattan cane, five years in prison and a fine of almost $3,000.

Kelantan is the only Malaysian state led by the opposition Islamist party, PAS.

Hassan Mohamood, who heads Kelantan's Islamic affairs committee, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the stiffer laws are useful "as a form of deterrence".

The previous maximum penalty was two years in prison and a fine of RM5,000 ($1,400).

Proselytising of Muslims is forbidden under federal laws, but the recent case of Line Joy, a Malay-Muslim woman who sought legal recognition of her right to pick her religion of choice, raised fears among some in Malaysia over mass conversion.

Attempts to convert Muslims to other faiths are rare, and people found guilty face prison terms in most states in the country where just over half the 27 million population are Muslims with a sizeable number of Buddhists, Christians and Hindus.

According to the latest US state department data on Malaysia, ethnic Malays – who are Muslims by law - make up about half the population but are officially grouped together as Bumiputera, or sons of the soil, with indigenous groups who make up 11 per cent of the population, not all of whom are Muslims.

Religious conflicts

The amended penalties in Kelantan, where PAS has been in control since 1990, are believed to be the heaviest nationwide.

In Malaysia, Islam comes under state-level jurisdiction and religious authorities often send Malay Muslims who try to leave the faith for counselling and rehabilitation.

Some have also been imprisoned for apostasy.

In the Lina Joy case, the woman who was born to Muslim parents failed to get the country's highest civil court to recognise her right to choose her own faith.

The Malaysian constitution guarantees freedom of worship for all citizens but the country's parallel Islamic legal system often gives rise to religious conflicts.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Here's another reason for Islam not to encourage non-muslims to embrace Islam.

1) There is no compulsion in Islam, no one can be forced to be muslims.
2)Leaving the faith means you are entitled to be executed (its in the Quran- our gov still hasn't got the balls to enforce this). So people better be serious about it.

And besides there is no organization in Islam that are actively proselytising non-muslims equivalent to christian missionary movement. PERKIM is passive, you come in if you are interested they don't send missionaries to convert hindus and chinese comunity to muslims. Muslims really are limited to just passive advertistment of our faith through our conducts, which you may or may not agree with.

seantang said...

>>>>>And besides there is no organization in Islam that are actively proselytising non-muslims equivalent to christian missionary movement. PERKIM is passive, you come in if you are interested they don't send missionaries to convert hindus and chinese comunity to muslims. Muslims really are limited to just passive advertistment of our faith through our conducts, which you may or may not agree with.>>>>

These days Christian missionaries do pretty much what PERKIM does. Do charity, school and aid those who in need, but happen to be of a different religion.

But due to the rising standards of living, maybe not so much these days for the Chinese and Indians. But there is still the largest piece of proselytising of all...

Inter-marriages. Because of the local law that non-Muslims must convert in order to marry Muslims, I would consider any Muslim who romantically pursues a non-Muslim or allows him/herself to be pursued by a non-Muslim, and ending in marriage - as proselytising. Just to be fair to all, I reckon they should be punished with 6 lashes of the cane, 5 years in prison and a fine of RM10,000 for this 'crime'.

And as far as specific missionary work, there are concentrated efforts to convert the orang asli:

Kelantan State Assembly
CASH AND CAR AMONG INCENTIVES FOR MISSIONARIES

New Straits Times 27 June 2006
Center for Orang Asli Concerns

AS part of its efforts to convert more Orang Asli to Islam, the Kelantan Government is offering RM10,000 to its missionaries who marry Orang Asli women.

They were also expected to settle down in Orang Asli communities in Jeli and Gua Musang to spread Islamic teachings and act as spiritual figures, the State Assembly was told yesterday.

Other incentives offered include free housing, a monthly allowance of RM1,000 and a four-wheel-drive vehicle.

State Islamic Development and Dakwah committee chairman Hassan Mohamood said the incentives were offered to the six missionaries registered with the State Government’s Orang Asli Dakwah Unit.

"We are offering this as part of our efforts to increase the number of Orang Asli converts," Hassan said in reply to a question from Abdul Halim Abdul Rahman (Pas-Chetok).

To a supplementary question from Mohd Adhan Kechik (BN-Bukit Bunga), Hassan said these incentives were introduced after the establishment of the Orang Asli Dakwah Unit last month.

"Our campaign to convert Orang Asli has never slowed down. In the past, it was performed on an ad-hoc basis by the State Islamic Affairs Department, State Religious Council and the Malaysian Islamic Dakwah Foundation (Yadim).

"But we only recently established a separate unit with dedicated personnel to focus specifically on converting Orang Asli."

Outside the State Assembly later, Hassan said the incentives were provided to ensure missionaries stayed permanently in Orang Asli communities as imams, hold Quran and Fardhu ‘Ain classes and conduct funeral rites.

Hassan said that 2,094 of the State’s 12,000-strong Orang Asli community converted to Islam last year.

Anonymous said...

Hello Sean,

I am going to start with pointing out the state offers incentives to the missionanry and not the other way around: the future convert.

>>> These days Christian missionaries do pretty much what PERKIM does. Do charity, school and aid those who in need, but happen to be of a different religion. >>>

Dude, these missionary would be the 1st to be in any area disaster hits, then they distribute aid & bible. Cash incentives to converts, its been done before.

You know you are forcing the muslim community their hand when you are being active proselytizing (since its no secret that murtads are entitled to death sentence), because then we'd had to execute them murtads. Actually, these days we can't but the guilt stays with you as a community.

Take ms Lina Joy case for example, according to secular Law there should be nothing wrong with her converting. But this government is a Muslim one, some of them lawyer are too, they have family and neighbours that watches them. No one wants to be the person that shows leniency for Murtads.

You have to realize some of the things to are proposing are not feasable, Sean. The counter law against proselytizing from both ways is fair, I do actually agree but there is another Law for muslims that precedes it and cannot be changed unless you change muslim religion; its the one pertaining to Murtads. We have the Sunnah & Quran. Anything that contradicts theses 2 texts are not going go down well.

The best way for people not to convert are to have solid faith in their religion, and adheres to everything that it teaches.

seantang said...

>>>>>I am going to start with pointing out the state offers incentives to the missionanry and not the other way around: the future convert.>>>>>

Fine. But think about the repercussions if someone were to offer cash rewards for non-Muslims to marry & convert Muslim women.

I think the article was to point out that things are not hunky dory in Malaysia. There are some things that if done against Muslims are considered crimes against the religion, but perfectly OK if done by Muslims against non-Muslims.

>>>>> Dude, these missionary would be the 1st to be in any area disaster hits, then they distribute aid & bible. Cash incentives to converts, its been done before.>>>>>

Yes, and by both sides and at various levels of transparency. The reason I brought it up was in response by the first comment by anonymous who wanted to compare PERKIM to Christian missionaries.

>>>>>You know you are forcing the muslim community their hand when you are being active proselytizing (since its no secret that murtads are entitled to death sentence), because then we'd had to execute them murtads. Actually, these days we can't but the guilt stays with you as a community.

Take ms Lina Joy case for example, according to secular Law there should be nothing wrong with her converting. But this government is a Muslim one, some of them lawyer are too, they have family and neighbours that watches them. No one wants to be the person that shows leniency for Murtads.

You have to realize some of the things to are proposing are not feasable, Sean. The counter law against proselytizing from both ways is fair, I do actually agree but there is another Law for muslims that precedes it and cannot be changed unless you change muslim religion; its the one pertaining to Murtads. We have the Sunnah & Quran. Anything that contradicts theses 2 texts are not going go down well.>>>>>


And I agree. And that's why you won't find one word on this blog that makes recommendations on Muslims in their dealings within their religion and their community.

Where I have a stand on is where the dealings of Muslims intersect with those of non-Muslims or the country's secular laws.

When this happens, I can only insist on nothing less than total and absolute equality. Otherwise, it's like non-Muslims acknowledging that their gods and their faith are inferior to a Muslim's.

>>>>>The best way for people not to convert are to have solid faith in their religion, and adheres to everything that it teaches.>>>>>

Imho, the best way is NO conversions, period. Especially those for marriage. If I wrote the rules, Muslim + non-Muslim marriages must be outlawed.

However if these marriages must persist, and if the concepts of murtad, apostasy and compulsory conversion is to apply to a non-Muslim who marries a Muslim... then the only fair way is to enforce a law that a non-Muslim must convert to a Muslim first, and remain Muslim and unmarried for 5 years (or 7 years or 10 years etc) before he/she can marry a Muslim.

This will ensure that the prospective convert will really think through this greatest of commitments, weed out the lustful conversions and conversions of convenience and make sure they are truly converting for the love of god, rather than that of a mortal man or woman.