Grave violation

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…

oh dear.


  1. Eric MacDonald says

    You know exactly what this means. There is no truly moderate form of Islam, and it’s high time we all realised that. El Salvador shows that there is no truly moderate form of Roman Catholicism either, and that where it has the upper hand, women will be, not only placed at risk of death, but of imprisonment, for offences against the so-called “pro-life” dogma of the Roman Catholic Church. If the new pope can’t do something about El Salvador, and other similarly situated nations, then he’s not worth squat, despite is show of humility. But it’s not quite in the same league as Islam; for it is clear that, despite the apparent moderation of many Muslims who have resettled in the West, Islam itself is not moderate, nor will the Muslim population of the West be moderate when push comes to shove either.

  2. says

    @Eric MacDonald #1,

    You know exactly what this means. There is no truly moderate form of Islam, and it’s high time we all realised that.

    There’s a large and important difference between “no currently moderate Islamic nation” and “no truly moderate form of Islam”. It’s appallingly easy for moderates to be silenced by authoritarian extremists, whatever the ideology, not just in religions and not just in Islam.

    It’s a lazy and dangerous line of thought to get too attached to “Us and Them” thinking with regard to who is capable of violating human rights. My nation is a secular Anglophone country with a traditionally Christian majority, and we’re currently engaged in some appalling violations of human rights against asylum seekers while giving a modicum of lip-service only to acknowledging (let alone ending) our appalling oppression of our indigenous peoples for the last few centuries. In the last election, the authoritarian extremists effectively demonised the moderates as both an incompetent government and as dangerous PC ideologues, all the while fearmongering about the Muslim hordes coming to take our country away, and now they are dismantling decades of our social safety net in the name of Not Raising Taxes, holding refugee children in offshore detention and threatening to revoke passports at the drop of a hat.

    Every single member of our current Australian Federal government claims to be a conservative evangelical Christian. Our PM even once trained in a Catholic seminary. It doesn’t take Islam to make authoritarian extremists seek power and impose their ideologies upon others.

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