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

Gerald McLoughlin caodemarte at yahoo.com
Wed Sep 26 19:20:47 MDT 2012

I think the  controversy about the Kashgari deportation to a country that does not have an extradition treaty with Malaysia, apparently illegal, actually forbidden by a Malaysian court, and fought by Malaysian lawyers (all the players I understand were Muslims) underlines the fact that such actions are not uncontested "throughout the Muslim world." Beyond the civil law issue of the deportation the apostasy charge itself has generated further controversy among religious scholars in various countries. By the way many scholars believe the Saudi state is the kind of Muslim state specifically forbidden by Islamic law which is one reason the Saudis are so sensitive to challenges from the religious establishment, some would say eager to buy them off with a holier than thou attitude. 

Your point about Lina Joy is very similar to the point raised by the dissenting judge, who protested the ruling that she had not followed the correct procedures. He said that the decision was inherently discriminatory.  Again, this would indicate the contested and controversial nature of the decision.
As I understand most religious scholars hold to the view that one becomes a Muslim by making the declaration of belief so the claim that one inherits the status is also controversial and contested. On a side note many  people where I live believe that they inherited their Protestant Christian status, normally through their father, and to change religions is a betrayal. This view would not be uncontested.



On Sep 26, 2012, at 3:55 PM, curt steinmetz <curt at cola.iges.org> wrote:

> Quoting from the Malaysian Constitution on freedom of religion is like quoting from the old Soviet concerning freedom of speech.
> Just this year Malaysia famously handed Hamza Kashgari over to the Saudi Authorities (and almost a year later Kashgari still languishes in a Saudi prison for the crime of tweeting some poetry about Muhammad). This act by Malaysian authorities was in direct violation of provisions in the Malaysian Constitution, according to prominent Malaysian civil rights attorneys. Anyone who is not aware of this infamous incident should not bother venturing an opinion on religious freedom in Malaysia.
> Then there is the case of Lina Joy, who was officially denied permission to convert to Christianity in 2007 by the Malaysian Supreme Court, whose chief justice, Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim, stated "You can’t at whim and fancy convert from one religion to another".
> Also there is the small matter that Malaysia has two legal systems, one of them run directly by Muslim clerics. This creates a Catch-22: if a civil court grants a person permission to convert from Islam to another religion, that person automatically falls under the jurisdiction of the Sharia courts for the Islamic crime of apostasy!
> Curt
> On 9/26/2012 2:25 PM, Gerald McLoughlin wrote:
>> Curt,
>> 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.
>> ......

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