Tuesday, March 4

Being religious in Malaysia

Why do I get the feeling that it has become a magic kingdom? First see this story. A woman has been jailed for joining a tea-pot worshiping cult. I quote:

Kamariah Ali, a 57 year old former teacher, was arrested in 2005 when the government of the Muslim majority country demolished the two storey high sacred tea pot and other infrastructure of the "heretical" Sky Kingdom cult.

Woman jailed for worshipping teapot

The religious cult believe the tea pot symbolises purity of water and love from heaven. For the eccentric sect, which emphasised ecumenical dialogue between religions, the tea pot symbolized the purity of water and "love pouring from heaven". But in Malaysia, despite constitutional guarantees of freedom of worship, born Muslims such as Mrs Ali are forbidden from converting to other religions.

Passing sentence, the Sharia judge Mohammed Abdullah said: "The court is not convinced that the accused has repented and is willing to abandon any teachings contrary to Islam. I pray God will open the doors of your heart, Kamariah." Mrs Ali has already been jailed once for apostasy, for 20 months in 1992.

"This has to stop. They can’t be sending her again and again to prison for this," her lawyer, Sa'adiah Din, told reporters.

"She informed the court that she is not a Muslim. She doesn't come under Sharia court anymore."

Now check this other story out where Indian origin Malaysian Muslims do not want to be called as Indian origin Malaysians because all Indians origin Malaysians are considered to be Hindu's. I quote:

KUALA LUMPUR: Members of the Malaysian Indian Muslim Youth Movement (Gepima) want to be known as Malays and not Indians.

And they do not think this is an outrageous request since the Federal Constitution states that an Indian is a Malay "if he professes the Muslim religion, habitually speaks Malay and conforms to Malay custom".
These traits are practised by Muslims of Indian origin today, claimed Gepima president Mohamed Kader Ali.
"I am a second generation Malaysian and I can safely say that from wedding rituals to the food we eat and the language we speak, we conform to Malay customs all the way.
"As such, Gepima is appealing to the government to streamline the laws and recognise Muslims born after independence as Malays in their birth certificate.

"We have been facing this problem for the past 50 years.
"We have written several letters to the National Registration Department but it keeps saying that it can't do anything about this."
Kader's son, 24-year-old Syed Osman Mohamed, cited an incident last August when he went to the Registrar of Companies to apply for a business permit.
"In the forms that I filled up, I stated Malay as my race and Islam as my religion. But the officer called me up and asked me to change it to Indian, based on how I looked.
"He only had my MyKad and it does not state there whether I am Indian or not," Syed Osman said.
"We feel uncomfortable to be known as Indians, because people automatically think we are Hindus when we are actually Muslim."
Kader added that Muslims of Indian origin suffered an inferiority complex by being regarded as Indians.
"Our children do not even know how to speak Tamil.
"They only converse in Malay and our wives wear baju kurung or kebaya nowadays, no more the saree."

Say what?

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