Dialogue: Malaysia after Lina Joy

Please bring your friends for the religious dialogue.


Date: Thursday, 7 June 2007

Time: 7.30pm

Venue: Armada Hotel, PJ

Speakers: Ambiga ( Bar Council) , Yusri Mohamad (ABIM), Khalid Ibrahim (PKR), Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng (DAP)

Admision free. All are welcome!

The problem with us …
Jun 6, 07 9:18am Malaysiakini

… is that we mix religion with politics. This is a true and fast recipe for chaos. Leave religion and politics alone. Besides, the religious authorities do not run this country. Our leaders do.

On Dialogue on Lina Joy judgment

Nirmala Naidu: I agree with Lina Joy. You can’t force someone to believe in something that they don’t believe in. The moment Lina Joy renounced Islam, she is no longer a Muslim.

I believe one must be free to choose which religion to profess.

And what’s this about BN losing Malay votes? That’s nonsense. BN is a component party.

The problem with us is that we mix religion with politics. This is a true and fast recipe for chaos and anarchy. Leave religion and politics alone.

Besides, the religious authorities do not run this country. Our leaders do. Time to think who were are voting for.

Our leaders need a wake up call.

Amita Chong: The Syariah courts have jurisdiction over Muslims and those who profess Islam as their religion.

Lina Joy has embraced another religion other than Islam as her own and does not call herself a Muslim anymore.

So why do the Syariah courts still apply to a non-Muslim?

What verse in the Koran gives the Syariah courts the right to determine someone’s beliefs?

Indhran: I am writing this letter to voice my dissatisfaction over the Lina Joy decision. Basically I’m stunned by the 2-1 decision. Why did one judge rule in favour of Joy? How is it the other two judges voted a ‘No’?

Article 11 of the Federal Constitution says there is freedom of religion so why does Syariah law come into Lina Joy’s case? It’s unreal that Syariah law can bypass the Federal Constitution. So which is which?

Is the Malaysian government following the Federal Constitution or Syariah law? The Joy decision clearly shows that Syariah laws can supercede the Constitution anytime if there’s a need for it. No wonder the government refuses to talk or let any one talk about Article 11.

I believe it’s high time Malaysians change their mentality and how they look at things. Last but not least, the government won’t exist if we – the people – are not there. We are the government and we decide on the government. Until Malaysians understand this concept no one can save Malaysia..

Untuk Mu Malaysia: The Federal Court has directed Lina Joy to refer her case to the Syariah courts. How sure are they that Lina Joy won`t be sentenced to death for apostasy? This may well turn out to be the case as the Syariah courts may see it fit to set a precedent.

On another matter, ask the Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans, Orang Asli, Bajaus, Thais, Japanese, Koreans, French, Germans, British, Javanese, etc whether they must profess a certain religion in order to belong to their own race For example, must a Korean profess a certain religion so that he is a Korean?

Many races in the world are not defined by religion. Race is race, religion is religion. For example, we have Muslim Chinese, Christian Chinese, Buddhist Chinese, Taoist Chinese, atheist Chinese and so on.

Balanced: Lina Joy is at a crossroads where there seems to be a huge chasm into which all of us are peering down into. The most important thing then is to keep one’s balance. The civil courts could not possibly have come to any other conclusion in the interest of this nation.

Dr Mazeni Alwi’s analysis would be taken with a pinch of salt in places like Turkey, Egypt and even Indonesia and Joy had a firm advocate in Judge Richard Malanjum. That was the balance in the decision if read between the lines.

It would be extremely unwise for any party to take either a triumphant view or an imperialist view of the decision. Therein lies Mazeni’s sense of balance. There is enough hatred in this world to last us till the Second Coming. We need not add to this devil’s cauldron.

There are many, many of our Muslim brethren who may or may not agree with the decision but nonetheless feel deeply for Joy. I fully trust the wisdom of the prime minister; he knows what it is like to be in the wilderness and yet be able to come came back and put this country right.

Concerned Non-Economist: I cannot understand the fuss over this Lina Joy. A Hindu cannot renounce his religion in public in India and a Catholic cannot renounce his faith in Italy.

Freedom of religion does not mean that you can renounce your faith in public. It means that you can practice your faith freely.

In the Malaysian context, it is important to keep emotions in check with the emphasis that we are free to practice our religion but we cannot preach it to others.

Tu Vong: I am concerned as a Malaysian citizen. As a result of the verdict on the Lina Joy case, I believe the world is watching or keeping an eye on Malaysia. I have read many articles regarding the Lina Joy case and I came to realise that people are watching.

After reading the various articles, I came to this conclusion on what they think about our beloved country Malaysia. Firstly, the decision makes the Malaysian constitution a laughing stock among all nations on the face of this earth.

Secondly, the Islam Hadhari which our prime minister introduced is now showing its ugly face after all.

My sincere hope and appeal to all Malaysians regardless of our religious beliefs is to come to your senses and wake up and think of the implications as a result of the decision. Voice out your concern via e-mails to our prime minister.

Previous Vox Populi


6 Responses to “Dialogue: Malaysia after Lina Joy”

  1. ronnieliutiankhiew Says:

    I hold the view that Lina Joy should proceed to seek her renouncement at the Syariah Courts as instructed by the Federal Courts. And I hope the judges of Syariah Courts could allow Lina Joy to embrace her new religion for the simple reason that she has a right to choose any religion that she wants and it’s pointless to force Lina to embrace a religion she does not believe anymore.
    Lina must make an effort to exhaust all the avenues available to her, in this case, the Syariah Courts. Let the Syariah Courts prove its worth to all Malaysians, Muslims or non-Muslims.
    On the same note, the Interfaith Council (to include Islam institutions) must be established soonest possible and given the task to resolve situations similar to Lina Joy. Going to the courts should be the last resort.

  2. sampalee Says:

    It is an irony with mankind.You can reject your religion and select any or no religion,yet we can cannot reject democractic system for one of our choice.Our will prevail as secularist call the shots.All religions will point out in their holy scriptures that it is only god’s will that prevail.INSHAALLAH.So much for the pious muslim[esp the umno malays]Until mankind come to term with truth,buddha,lao tse,jesus and prophet mohammad have all wasted their time with us arrogant fools mired in deep ignorence.

  3. ronnieliutiankhiew Says:

    more than 1,500 people showed up for the dialogue. members of the floor were keen to ask questions and give their comments. the dialogue ended at before midnight. the atmosphere of the dialogue was intense, cool and peaceful. the crowd must be commended for their maturity, discipline and tolerance on such an explosive subject.

  4. malaccastrait Says:

    Lina Joy case is actually simple. Only those opportunists and people with some ‘fears’ and/or being badly influenced have stirred this into an issue.

    Islam promotes freedom. Religious freedom here doesn’t mean that one can embrace Islam and then leave. Islam here allows non Muslims to practice their religions and beliefs. They can choose whatever beliefs, be it Christian, Hindu, Buddha etc. If Islam really doesn’t promote this, there mustn’t be any other religions here. Our ancestors would have killed off other beliefs long time ago, if this is so. There wouldn’t be any churches, temples etc built here in Malaysia. Muslim Malays might also force your non Malays ancestors to convert to Islam if really there is no religious freedom. But, it didn’t happen.

    Once you are a Muslim, you are obliged to follow Islam law. The biggest sin in Islam is to renounce Islam. Once you’re Islam, there is no turning back. You can’t renounce Islam. Lina Joy was born as Islam and she cannot renounce Islam. You might say it’s too bad to be born as Islam but we don’t care. We believe in this religion and we should not leave Islam. If one member of Islam wants to leave Islam, it’s every Muslim responsibility to ensure nobody leaves Islam. Islam is about unity and there is no such thing as personal relation between one person and God. When one Muslim doesn’t follow Islam rule, we Muslim are responsible to correct his/her wrong action.

    We don’t care if somebody from Hindu wants to convert to Christian or a Christian wants to convert to Buddha. In this case, it involves a person who is born as Islam and we have responsibility so that the person doesn’t leave Islam.

    When a non Muslim wants to be champion in this Lina’s case, he/she is seen as wanting to be involved in Islamic matters. This makes the case more sensitive. For example, do you like if a Muslim wants to change trinity concept in Christian into one God concept? If Christians feel annoyed, that’s the same degree Muslims get annoyed when someone non Muslim wants to be involved in Islamic matters like in this Lina’s case.

    Imagine, Lina’s mother, Mak Som, is so devastated to learn that a girl that she had raised so well had done something she would never imagine – to renounce Islam. Would you love this to happen to your kids one day?

  5. sampalee Says:

    Malaccastrait should read the koran,more in depth,instead of exposing a concept so inconsistent to the truth as revealed in the koran.The chinese in china have embraced islam much earlier than the malays and when admiral cheng ho[a muslim]visited malacca,the malays and their sultan were hindu.The chinese experience the islamic faith for longer time than the malays are aware and until today,they have no problem with muslim converting to other faith.All is in the will of god ‘Inshaallah’Islam have no problem.It is the muslim that cannot tolerate others approach to the same truth.Even when they have one Allah,the muslim are devided into 73 sects,all disagreeing with each other.So what is the chances of agreeing with non-muslim.Islam greatest enemy is not other religions,but the munafik muslim within their fold.How come the muslim remain silent,when almost all thier muslim leaders are heavily involved in corruptions.I do not see the muslims rise in masses to condemn such evil acts clearly stated in the holy koran.Our kid may become muslim and chances are your kids may become hindu again as your forefather

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