Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Setback to Malaysia as a secular nation

"It is a major blow and a grievous setback to Malaysia as a secular nation," said Lim Kit Siang, who heads the Democratic Action party, the main opposition group in the country.
Rather than punt the Joy case over to sharia court, the Federal Court should have appealed to the constitution's guarantee of freedom of religion and ruled that as a baptized Christian she had removed herself from Islamic jurisdiction. The court should have ordered the Malaysian bureaucracy to amend her identity papers accordingly.
Malaysia is not the only Muslim country to subordinate freedom of conscience to religion. Many do. Saudi Arabia prohibits conversion from Islam. In Afghanistan, a Muslim was threatened with the death penalty for renouncing the faith. And a few years ago, Jordan convicted a Muslim for converting.
Typically, those who impose such draconian measures claim to be defending the "dignity" of Islam. But what dignity is there in coercing people to proclaim what their hearts and minds do not believe?
That is something Malaysia's high court might have pondered. the

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