Some time ago, I heard a case while waiting for my friend’s muta’ah proceedings in a Syariah courtroom
Judge : Why do you want to denounce Islam?
Woman : I embraced Islam only to marry a Muslim man. But now I am
divorced and I want to return to my own religion.
Judge : Did you live as a Muslim while you were married?
Woman : No. Without my ex-husband’s knowledge, I continued going to
temples and eating pork.
Judge : Have you ever considered yourself as a Muslim?
Woman : No.
And just like that, the Muslim convert was allowed to leave Islam.
I wonder, though if a person who was born as a Muslim but who never lived as one will ever be allowed to denounce Islam in this country. One look at the Lina Joy case and the question is answered.
It’s rather mind boggling to find two cases of Muslims wanting to denounce Islam with different results. And I wonder, isn’t our religion supposed to be just and fair?
This reminds me of an incident where someone I used to know was dragged out of her own home by religious authorities for close proximity with a foreign man. Only she was held liable for the offence while her non-Muslim partner got to walk away.
But Islam is a fair religion – so why does our country, which upholds the law of Islam tend to follow an unjust system where an unlawful act committed by two people only victimises one?
I bet the Syariah experts who I imagine are already rolling up their sleeves, have the answer – only Muslims can be sentenced in Syariah courts. So since the Syariah courts have no jurisdiction over non-Muslims, they are not bound by the law, these experts would probably say.
But then again, we do have civil courts, don’t we?
I mean if the Kuala Lumpur City Hall can slap fines on non-Muslims for kissing and hugging in public places (look up the 2003 case), please don’t tell me our courts are merely toothless lions?
The truth is, our religious bodies are becoming more arrogant and insensitive to Muslims.
They invade our own privacy by knocking on our doors late at night and demanding entry. They shame us by dragging those suspected of close proximity down the hallways, into streets and ending up in lock-ups.
Why so kay-poh?
Yes, under Islamic law, an unmarried man and woman are prohibited from coming together under circumstances which may give rise to the suspicion that they had been engaging in immoral acts. But isn’t breaking and entry into a private entity an immoral act as well?
Isn’t the function of religious authorities to advise and assist the Muslims to follow the right path? How can they accomplish that by abusing their powers?
Seriously, do these people think that only males and females who are in close proximity are capable of immoral acts?
What about two Muslim men or two Muslim women in a secluded area? Has our religious body not heard of homosexuality? Isn’t homosexuality haram in Islam? Why then are they not knocking on most doors at campuses and dormitories at 3 am. in the morning?
What about a father and a daughter in close proximity? Have our religious bodies not heard of incest? Isn’t incest haram in Islam? Why then are they not knocking on every door in our neighbourhoods in the wee hours of the night?
Our religious bodies have a responsibility to follow proper procedures in enforcing Islamic law. If something is not right, correct it. Offer assistance, provide counselling and give warnings. Isn’t that the Islamic way?
Clearly, abusing power is much easier. But is that the right thing to do?