[Buddha-l] Islam and forced conversion (Was Buddhists Taking a Stand Against Isllamophobia)

jo 05jkirk at gmail.com
Wed Sep 26 14:10:03 MDT 2012

On Behalf Of Gerald McLoughlin
Sent: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 12:25 PM


Both statements would be highly contested in reference to both civil and
religious law across the Islamic world. In the various religious law
traditions what apostasy is (must it include some sort of specific act, like
treason, against  Muslims, for example) and should/can it be punished still
generate heated controversy.

 Each  country is different, of course, but since you cite Malaysia:

Malaysian  law as I understand it, says that you cannot formally convert
before the age of majority, 18 by federal law, 15 in some states. You have
no automatic right to receive religious instruction in a religion other than
your father' s before that age. You are listed under your father's religion
until then.  After that age it is up to you. Since Islam is defined as
essential to Malay identity you have to be Muslim to be Malay which has
great benefits under their version of affirmative action. If you convert you
presumably lose that ethnic identity. I am not sure what identity you could
pick up if any. As you can imagine this is all pretty controversial in

In the most populous Muslim majority state, neighboring Indonesia, I do
remember the pre-democracy state ideology which established the main
religions, such as Buddhism, specifically  because they all believed in the
same presumably Abrahamic God. Ethnic Chinese Buddhists decided not to argue
the definition of Buddhism. 

Now I am really back to Buddhism,

Gerald McLoughlin
Instead of Malaysia, Gerald, have a go at Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, or the
villages of Bangladesh.


More information about the buddha-l mailing list