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Thursday, April 23, 2009


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Related post: Opinion poll: Should forced conversions of under aged children be outlawed?

Here’s one more reason why the Malaysian government really pisses off Walski sometimes.

And in one fell swoop, it’s made the most recent opinion poll moot

Moot, Walski tells ya… freakin’ MOOT!

Damn it… and after all that effort, too. 
(all that is moot, and all that is not, in the full post)

But all kidding aside, folks, Walski’s happy with the announcement. It’s fair, and it’s the right thing to do. And boy, those guys were lightning fast in reaching a decision, weren’t they? Walski wonders if it has something to do with the fact that this case occurred in Ipoh, capital of that embattled state, Perak Darul Messed-up.

In any case, whatever the reason, it’s the right thing to do. And don’t just take Walski’s say so for it, either. The “experts” agree, too.

Earlier today, The Sun today (on page 6) published a report touching on the issue of forced conversions, quoting International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) CEO, Mohammad Hashim Kamali.

“In my opinion, such ‘forced’ conversion is un-Islamic ... to use Islam in order to inflict or for purposes that are not part of the spirituality or aqidah of Islam, whether it is marriage, whether it is divorce or custody and there is a tussle between the wife and husband over the children does not make sense,” said Mohammad.

“To go to the Syariah Court and claim that the child, who is two or three years old, has been converted to Islam, what does it mean? You convert a twoyear-old child or five-year-old to Islam, it doesn’t really make sense when you look at this phenomena from the texts and guidelines of Islam,” he said.

(source: The Sun)

Also included in the same report were statements from former Indonesian foreign minister Dr. Alwi Abdurrahman Shihab, who responded to questions after a lecture at the IAIS center yesterday (emphasis by myAsylum).

Alwi said such issues (conversions) were unknown in Indonesia.

“I do not really see any such phenomenon (forced conversions) in Indonesia today. Muslims might sometimes raise complaints over the Christian missions, but today I think we are not very concerned over forced conversions. I do not know whether there are isolated incidents but we are proud to be a nation respectful to other faiths,” he said.

(source: The Sun)

Which, Walski might add, is something that Malaysia only pays lip service to. We might say we are respectful to all faiths, but the actions shown in the past several years, both by individuals and various governmental agencies, tell us otherwise.

No surprise that while Indonesia is slowly getting back in sync with the rest of the free world, Malaysia is headed in the opposite direction, at least as far as basic liberties and human rights are concerned.

And if the freedom to believe is not a basic human right, Walski doesn’t know what is…

But today’s announcement by the cabinet is more than welcome, Walski thinks. Whether or not it will be met with resistance by certain quarters, and whether or not the little Napoleons at the various departmental levels will live up to the Government’s directive, is left to be seen.

Walski expects some resistance to this, by the way. The only question is: from whom? And that is a question that’s far from moot.

Unlike poor Mr. Survey… thanks, and no thanks, to the government. But Walski thinks he’ll leave it up for a while, and see if there are any interesting results. Maybe for another day or three.

Meanwhile, we wait with bated halitosis to see if the government announcement amounts to anything more than just talk. Yes, Walski’s sceptical and yes, he’s cynical, to boot. It’s just that talk hasn’t amounted to a lot more than just that of late.

And Walski doesn’t mind one bit to be pleasantly surprised if it pans out that talk is followed through with some real action...