The Malay Mail Online notes that the IHEU report on freedom of thought singled out Malaysia “for trampling on the rights of non-religious sections of society.”
The International Humanist and Ethical Union’s (IHEU) latest edition of the Freedom of Thought Report 2014 gave Malaysia a“grave violation” rating, specifically citing Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s speech in Kuantan on May 14 in which he branded “humanism and secularism as well as liberalism” as “deviant”.
Najib went on to describe these elements as a threat to Islam and the country at a national-level Quran Recital Assembly, the report added.
“This country is found to be declining due to alienating rhetoric against “atheists” and “humanists” voiced in 2014 by the prime minister, as well as ongoing legal disputes over the freedoms of religious minorities contributing to interreligious tension,” stated the report.
But but but but isn’t Malaysia one of those nice “moderate” officially-Islamic states? Like Indonesia?
Although a degree of religious freedom is granted to non-Muslim religious minorities including Christians, Buddhists and Hindus, the report pointed out that Malaysia is far behind in terms of for freedom of thought and expression specifically due to the control exerted on the majority Malay Muslim community.
“Ethnic Malay (are) subjected to strict state controls over an enforced, homogenous religious identity, including mandatory Sharia laws and localised death penalties on the books for “apostasy”,” it noted.
That counts too you know. Even if non-Muslims have all possible freedom, if Muslims are subject to state-enforced religious “laws” and punishments, then that’s not religious freedom. Many Christians in the US don’t want to be governed by the “laws” of the FLDS church or the Southern Baptist Convention or indeed any other religious law, and if the feds forced all Christians to be subject to Christian laws, that would not be religious freedom. At all.
While the Federal Constitution protects freedom of religion or belief and the freedom of expression, it is restricted by Shariah laws and policies in a bid to protect Islam as the religion of the federation including Putrajaya’s ban on the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims, it said.
Brunei, which had recently legislated hudud, and Indonesia, for its suppression of religious minorities and harassment by its religious police, were also rebuked and given the grave violation rating”.
But they’re the “moderate” ones! So…that means…