Aput And Me And Sharia Makes Three

The other day, I did Mr. Aput a disservice – I posed a question he couldn't answer truthfully. For that, I apologize.

It was a blunt question, and he seems to be the most reasonable Muslim I've ever encountered, so I asked rather naively, "Is there any religion more dangerous than Islam?"

That was very unfair of me because first, it's a no-brainer, and second, because I didn't really want to put him in an impossible position. But I didn't realize just what I was doing to him until I came across a story over the weekend. More on that in a moment.

I admit I was slightly irritated when I got back his rationalization – that any religion is dangerous when its principles are misconstrued by the wrong people. True enough, but it appears that Muslims have a disproportionate share of the wrong people.

Then Mr. A. referred to Jerry Falwell as an example of a dangerous Christian. Preposterous as that is, I certainly didn't want to get into an argument on his blog, especially when I sort of unintentionally set him up. Besides, I know he didn't really believe what he said, he was merely defending something near and dear to him, his faith.

But then I read this story about a woman who renounced Islam and became a Christian, and the Supreme Court of her country is to decide on Wednesday if she's allowed to do that.

And her country? Malaysia…

"KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Lina Joy has been disowned by her family, shunned by friends and forced into hiding – all because she renounced Islam and embraced Christianity in Muslim-majority Malaysia."

Yes, I know, in the Middle East, she'd just be dead.

See, apparently in Malaysia, you have a constitutional right to choose your religion – but you don't have a constitutional right to leave it - if it's Islam.

So how many think the country's Supreme Court is going to change that tomorrow with sixty percent of the country being Muslim?

And even in progressive Malaysia, you can be fined and jailed for even approaching a Muslim about another religion.

After converting, Ms. Joy, in 1998, applied for a name change on her identity card.

"The National Registration Department obliged but refused to drop "Muslim" from the religion column.".

Yes, you read that right, the RELIGION column.

She appealed and appealed and all were referred to the Sharia court. Joy argued she should no longer be bound by Sharia Law. Minorities are governed by civil courts.

But here's the good part:

"If Joy loses her appeal and continues to insist she is a Christian, it could lead to charges of apostasy and a possible jail sentence."

Here's the better part:

Joy's decision to leave Islam sparked angry street protests by Muslim groups and led to death threats against Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, a Muslim lawyer supporting her."


"'Our country is at a crossroad,' said another of Joy's lawyers, Benjamin Dawson, who told The Associated Press. 'Are we evolving into an Islamic state or are we going to maintain the secular character of the constitution?'"

Now here's the best part:

Joy and her Indian Catholic boyfriend went into hiding early 2006 amid fears they could be targeted by Muslim zealots.

"Um, Ted, how is that the BEST part," you ask?

Well the article says the boyfriend is known only as "Johnson."

It does not say if that's his name or if there's another reason for referring to him as such.

At least he's not called Huge G. Rection!?! (Tip of the hat to Robert Baker, wherever you are)

Meanwhile, "'It is not about one person, it is about challenging the Islamic system in Malaysia,' said Muslim Youth Movement President Yusri Mohammad, who set up a coalition of 80 Islamic groups to oppose Joy's case.'By doing this openly, she is encouraging others to do the same. It may open the floodgates to other Muslims because once it is a precedent, it becomes an option.'"

One can only hope, but…

"If Joy wins her case, he warned, it could rend Malaysia's multiracial fabric by fomenting Muslim anger against minorities, who have largely lived in peace with Malays."

Uh-huh. Your neighborhood religion of peace at work…

But all this caused me to realize that as nice and rational as Mr. Aput is, he cannot speak freely. I mean he may believe everything he says, but if he doesn't, he can't just say what's on his mind, even on the Net. Too dangerous.

So now I see the bigger picture – that even in a moderate Islamic state, the conditions resemble the old communist states, and as such, it's probably worse than I can even imagine it to be.

Good luck, Ms. Joy… and Mr. Aput…

I sincerely mean that.

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About tedwest

A longtime veteran of comedy and political forums, I decided that I needed a more restful venue because... well... I finally hate everybody. Except my wife that is... and my ex-wife.. and... no, that's about it. I lead about as simple a life as one can, preferring activities that include anything that doesn't involve going out and seeing YOU! And I particularly enjoy what I call "Get the Bitch" movies on Lifetime. You know the ones where the intended victim finally does something so incredibly stupid that she forfeits her right to live, and from that moment on you're rooting for the stalker. Of course, it rarely works out the way you want, but when it does, the feeling you get is... well, there's nothing else like it, other than, maybe, eating chocolate chip cookies. Oh, and I'm proudly anti-wildlife, both foreign and domestic, and anti-environment - especially foreign environments. I think Howard Stern put it best when he said, "If fifty percent of the population died tomorrow, I can live with that." And I feel the same about the other fifty percent, so together, we've pretty much got it all covered.
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16 Responses to Aput And Me And Sharia Makes Three

  1. I sometimes forget how lucky we are to have been born and raised in freedoms unknown to many others around the world. I think that is a good enough reason to want to protect this country with everything necessary to remain free. Ted, you are one of the good guys.

  2. TedWest says:

    I know.
    (Hat tip to Tom Selleck on an episode of Friends)

  3. HV says:

    Madmouser, If you knew Ted better I wonder if you would still say that…

    The part before you said something nice about Ted, to that I agree 99.9875%

  4. TedWest says:

    Yeah, and think about this too, Maddy… HV is my best online friend.

  5. What is that old saying? With friends like this, who needs enemies? Although, I have called my best friend names like 'goof' and "wacko" all in fun and laughter, so nothing serious. She in turn has called me a few names like 'having a blond moment"? OMG, are you going to wear that? Are you crazy? so, I understand you and HV. All in fun, right?

  6. TedWest says:

    I think it's more like "With friends like this, who needs enemas?"
    But yes, it''s all in fun, at least for one of us.
    But I have to take it because he's my hero.
    And I'm the wind beneath his wings…
    You see, Maddy, I have no shame.

  7. HV says:

    wind beneath his wings" ?!?!?!?!?!?
    I'm just glad I was not eating or dirinking anything, I would have had a hell of a time cleaning the keyboard.

    mouser, Ted and I have been trading barbs for neigh on 5 years now, back in the fall we laid to rest another forum, I've had Ted West wit withdrawal syndrome since then. So I googled his nic, and found this blog. Now I could have just emailed him and asked what kind of trouble he was causing, but I think he liked the surprise.

  8. Urm…okay then…I do admit that we have more than just one Fred Phelps in the Muslim community in Malaysia, hahaha!But in the case of Lina Joy, it was most of all her own fault. Yes, the rule of the land does ask you to state your religion on your ID card, because as you well know, liquor is haram in Islam, and selling it is to a Muslim is an offense in this country.Not that it stops you from going into a bar and ordering a screwdriver.Not that I would know…*cough*In Lina Joy's case, she decided that instead of applying to become an apostate through the Sharia courts (religious courts), she simply wants her religion stripped from her ID by the National Registration Department (NRD). Their protocol states that she needs a certificate declaring that she is an apostate to allow that to take place.She doesn't want to apply for one, and so she takes the NRD to court. And she lost, and she appealed, and she lost again. Not on the basis of religion, but simply on the basis that she was stubborn enough not to follow the law.I agree with the freedom of religion, and as a person who's been a Malaysian for 42 years, spending 16 years as a Christian, Lina should have known what she had to do to make her apostasy formal and thus allowing her to marry her lover.Personally, I would have told her to get out of the country, convert and just apply for citizenship after 5 years (is it 5 years in the USA? A fact I may need to know later).As for the whole crowd cheering the decision and jeering her, well….they do it at courts, I heard the Phelps' do it at graveyards?Never mind those insane religious wackos. As for Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, interesting how his blog has no reaction to this. The guy is a liberal Muslim, so hearing you state him as leading that procession is something I doubt…

  9. TedWest says:

    I'm speechless………. and I regret you weren't.
    I didn't paint anyone as leading any procession. I didn't even know there was one…
    Unless you're referring to the 80 groups who are opposed to Joy?

  10. Sorry, misread about Malik. I may have gone overboard there.The poor guy did receive death threats, but there were some reports that stated he also joined in attacking Lina, which was false.As for old communist states..yeah, pretty much so. Basically everything is in the hands of the government. However, note that it is in the constitution that the Malays and other indigenous races here are granted special privileges, which cannot be questioned under threat of imprisonment.Nice, huh?It's a crazy country politically. How long does one have to stay in America to be a PR?

  11. X says:

    Aput, you'd be better off in Turkey, Tunisia or Morocco.

  12. TedWest says:

    I can't help you with current immigration law. I simply don't know what's what anymore. Or if the law matters at all. But I do know that you are a good example of the problem. Someone like yourself should get greater consideration than some run-of-the-mill Muslim – or Mexican, for that matter, but you don't.
    You could probably just come here, get a phony I.D., and live happily ever after.
    But I want to address something else.
    First I did you a disservice on your blog, and now I may have done you wrong here. I feel I should never have included your name in the title. I thought it was provocative, but I didn't expect you'd reply. I should have known better.
    I know we feel emboldened on the Net, but I have nothing to fear, and in fact, I go out of my way to confront those I consider to be idiots.
    Never for a second did I think that of you, and so I want to give you some unsolicited advice: you're never compelled to respond, and you never have to answer the questions asked.
    I'm saying that to you because I know you're young and you think you're invincible, and you want to be the voice of reason and make a difference. But you probably can't, and you could find yourself with a far bigger problem than Ms. Joy,
    And then all we tough guys could do is write about your unfortunate circumstances and rant about how terrible it is as we sip or coffee and eat our croissants.
    So while I doubt this thread would cause you any difficulty, I want you to be certain of what you want to say before you post. I write a lot of things that never see the light of day here, so can you imagine what I say that I feel is not fit to print?
    And if you want anything deleted, let me know, both now and in the future. I certainly don't want to censor you, but I even more don't want to be a vehicle for your demise.

  13. Well, if the government ever decides to put me into a cell, interrogate me and stuff me into solitary confinement, it would definitely not be about my blog entries, nor my answers here on the Web.Most probably they would be responding to actions in print. Our web attributes are monitored (especially since I know I have a file open in the Malaysian Police's Special Branch), but so far, I've yet to trigger anything that may lead to my untimely demise.Other than unhealthy eating habits, of course. Still working on that one.

  14. I thought Turkey just axed their a liberal politician from becoming PM…

  15. X says:

    Who cares… its an easy country to live in, and Istanbul rocks. Neither Morocco or Istanbul have "liberal" governments, but you can still live liberally. Istanbul also has a decent economy. You might find work. Then again you could probably have all of that where you live now huh?Anyway, my point is, you'll probably find more freedom for yourself as a muslim in a socially liberal muslim country. I have yet to meet a muslim in the states that doesn't feel like an outsider here. A really good egyptian friend of mine left.

  16. Yeah, it is a bit crazy in Turkey, especially since most of them believe in the fatwa that drinking liquor is acceptable…..

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