Friday, December 23, 2005

Religious FREEDOM

Though i'm not a stranger to debates, i'm rather sceptical about puting up a controversial post as this one..the post has been lying low in my drafts for couple of days before i put this up...one's religious freedom always bound to policies of lawmakers and choice of one being a Muslim in this country is not a choice after all..

....why?


Malaysia, a secular country which adopted Islam as its official religion..yet, the religious freedom of the others..except for some minor hiccups, i would say we are generally able to practice our religion freely..but there is a flaw which i personally couldn't ignore..that is the issue of conversion to and from Islam..

While i might not be seen as the right person to talk about this, there are issues which i think i should voice out as a Malaysian..for example, the difficulty an apostate would face upon 'converting' into other religion..err..actually, the process of conversion itself shadowed with a fog called uncertainity..there is no clear guides or law (so to say) to let a Muslim convert to other religion of his/her choice..and even if he/she did find a way, life will not be a bed of roses after all..

Altough you may argue that this is none of a non-Muslim's business, but my next point would highlight my worry.. i don't know if the authorites realised that religion is being misused by some parents in case of child rights upon divorce. One classical exampe is the case of Dr Jeyaganesh C. Mogarajah and Shamala Sathiyaseelan. Being Hindus, this couple got married according to Hindu rites and several years later, the marriage turned sour and they decided to part their ways. The problem comes when both wants the rights to their children, Saktiswaran, 3 1/2 years, and Theiviswaran, aged 2 1/2. Malaysian Federal Law generally favours the mother but Dr Jeya converted to Islam (took the name Muhammad Ridzwan Mogarajah) and converted both his kids too. Now, being a "Muslim" father with "Muslim" children, he took the case to the Syariah court..and won the rights to the kids!! Poor mother, she had to fled the country with the boys, as she refused to surrender her children to him..Next tuesday, the court will decide who gets the custodial rights..

Now, answer this question for me.. religion is for people or people are for religion?

Further reading: Status of religious freedom in M'sia , M'sia's Muslim has no way out , Dr Jeya vs Shamala.

19 comments:

Keshi said...

Thought-provoking post Amu...


** religion is for people or people are for religion?


To begin with, I think religion should be a way of life...not some set of rules from an ancient book or a court of law. Religion should give the freedom for it's devotee to think for him/her self. It should not make the devotee bound by laws and wutnots. Besides it should not be something so easy to convert into and drop out of!


Keshi.

still_figuring_out said...

i do not want to start on this one, amutha, as i am a strict and proud hindu. all i have to say is, the kids are where they belong; with their mother.

黄德峻 said...

riligion is for minority's power

Rohit Talwar said...

very good post!

religion, in my view, Grrr.. is an extremely hyped issue.. and its high time, we stop letting it control our lives. plus, whats the need of converting into an another religion?

Łóòň Ġãĺ said...

Serious stuff here ....

novin said...

lol.. this post sure have lots of less comments.. i wonder why ...........

tulipspeaks said...

@ keshi

muuuaxx for being the first honey :)

for now, you are the only one who answered my quest :)..critical thinking, but i wonder how many religions actually let the devotees to think for him/herself, like you said..every religion has its own set of 'law' right?


Besides it should not be something so easy to convert into and drop out of!
a point to ponder..

hugsss

=am000nie=

tulipspeaks said...

@ still

:) anything holding you back from debating the issue?

the kids are where they belong; with their mother.
i hope this is what the court will decide this tuesday..



@ wong

welcome to my space..btwn, i don't really get your point..mind elaborating?


hugsss


=am000nie=

tulipspeaks said...

@ rohit

its high time, we stop letting it control our lives
religion is there to control our lives nah?


whats the need of converting into an another religion?
when one is unhappy with his/her own religion which he/she was unable to choose in the first place, whats wrong in converting to a religion which he/she desires?

btwn, the case of Dr Jeya vs Shamala is a different thing all together..

if one feels that there is a religion which gives the satisfaction of living this life fully (without manipulating it), whats wrong in converting?

while i'm not saying i'm going to convert, but i think there are SOME people genuinely wants to be a part of a different religion/custom..

hugsss

=am000nie=

tulipspeaks said...

@ cheesy

yes it is..and i think its high time for it to be published instead of sleeping in my draft session..

btwn...whats your say, honey?


@ novin

most of them in holiday. so, its understandable to have a low number of comments..


hugss

=am000nie=

PuNeEt said...

hi...
nice post...

these are some of the reasons I hate religion the most...
an obvious question here in India is... which caste... n sometimes... sub caste...

and am I like I dun knw & I dun care...

Religion has done less peace than it ought too...
may be its too tough for a normal human being to realise the real worth...

ne ways this is not the answer u might be looking for...
but I dun have any...

people do things which best suits their needs...
at times convinience is religion

ne ways
take care

Cheers

Nanyaar? said...

May Lovely,
Happy Times,
Decorate your
Holiday Season,
May Warm, Special
Memories, Brighten your
New Year, May the wonder of
Christmas be with you forever.

Nanyaar? said...

I was totally surprised to see that message on butter diary.. Happy to know that u only changed ure blog name.

tulipspeaks said...

@ puneet

an obvious question here in India is... which caste... n sometimes... sub caste...

this is one issue i intend to talk about soon.. watch my space for that!! :P

thank you for your opinion buddy..


@ naanyar

Merry Xmas dear..

err.. i haven't published this blog yet nah? How did you find it? hm..i wonder how..


hugsss for being the first to reach here..


=am000nie=

Nanyaar? said...

oh thats just me ;)

Arz000n said...

Wht happend to Butter diaries??
When was that changed to Tulipspeaks...


Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.....

I think Im the last one to know about this change :((((

sob...

sob


:((

tulipspeaks said...

@ nanyaar

lolz..


@ z000nie

muuuaxx muuaxxx honey.. see my latest post okie?

thanks for finding me..err.. was it hard?

hugsss

=am000nie=

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

hi Amutha ....

i really believe a person's religion is his own ...

of course, i am totally against conversion ... i am against the principle of conversion as it means voting for a religion.

i am tolerant to other religions , but as every other person , believe in my religion .... and as far as kids are concerned , i believe once parents separate , they can't claim their kids as their own .. of course , the mother has more right to her kids ( definitely ), but kids need both parents ....

tulipspeaks said...

update on the case:

the custodial rights were given to the mother, but she was bared from teaching the kids anything to do with Hinduism or let the kids to eat pork

the news:
http://www.sun2surf.com/article.cfm?id=4175