What is the reason behind this ? Malasian Government is afraid because lot of muslims are leaving Islam and convert to Christianity in these days by reading Bible.
**Some 1,000 Malays renounce Islam a month. **
Apostasy, long under wraps, given a frank web airing - among Malays. Excerpts from Malaysiakini.
In July when the Sharia court sentenced four Kelantan Malays to 20 months jail for apostasy, the rights of Muslims to quit Islam has come under intense discussion over the Internet.
They had renounced Islam (apostasy) in 1998 before a Commissioner of Oaths.
While the federal constitution guarantees freedom of worship in Malaysia, Islamic laws forbid a Muslim from renouncing his religion.
According to the Islamic legal system (sharia), the state must impose mandatory punishments for certain specific crimes said to be committed against God and his rights - and apostasy is included in this list.
The Kelantan sharia Court charged them with contempt in 2000 for refusing to attend “repentance” classes, which were part of their original sentence.
One writer said in malaysiakini on July 28, "Our federal constitution under Article 11 guarantees and affords its citizens the right to chose and practice the religion of his or her choice.
“But the sharia court doesn’t seem to think that this right of choice extends to Malay Muslims.”
This makes it almost impossible for Malay Muslims to convert, since they must first apply to the sharia court for permission to change their religion.
Courts are reluctant to grant this permission, since ethnic Malays are considered Muslims from birth. The same does not apply to other ethnic groups, for example ethnic groups in the states of Sarawak and Sabah, who are predominantly Christian.
**Shad Salem Faruq, professor of law at the University of Technology MARA, believes the government is most worried about Christian proselytising. **
Malaysia is 60 percent Muslim, 20 percent Buddhist, 9 percent Christian and 6 percent Hindu. However, “Hinduism and Buddhism historically have had less of a tradition of proselytising than Christianity,” Faruq told the Asia Times.
**A pastor who spoke anonymously to the Asia Times said he believed there was an average of 100 Muslims per month converting to Christianity throughout Malaysia. **
**One Christian group estimated there were 30,000 Malay converts in total. Official figures are much lower, but many Malays convert secretly in order to avoid harassment. **
Some converts report having gates rattled at midnight and phones tapped by the police. Others report visits from security police **requesting them to stop all Christian activities – including social work. **
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi recently addressed a meeting of the World Council of Churches, the first time he had spoken to an all-Christian audience.
According to a report in the Australian Financial Review on August 4, Badawi gave an emotional appeal for Christians and Muslims to work together for the sake of peace and justice.
“In the eyes of many Muslims, events [since September 11, 2001] seem to lend credence to the view that the Christian West is, once again, at war with the Muslim world,” he told church representatives.
He added that there was “less trust and goodwill between Islam and Christianity than there was a few years ago.”
Since then the debate has intensified, mainly between fundamental Muslims and liberal Malays.
On Oct 1, Dr Syed Alwi Ahmad, with a doctorate in philosophy, said it was the onus on Muslims to make Islam attractive.
“In today’s world, scepticism, secular humanism and scientific progressivism has made religion unattractive,” he added. There was no need to return to the 7th Century.
"Malaysia is not Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan under the Taliban. Elfie (who had advocated zero tolerance for apostasy) can continue to practice whatever religion he believes in.
“That’s his business. Just don’t tell me how to practice mine. Stay out of the personal, religious affairs of others. Modernity is here to stay whether or not Elfie approves of it.”
In his letter, Mohd Elfie Nieshaem Juferi had opposed any state review of the apostasy laws as tantamount to mocking Islam.
“**It is without a doubt that apostasy is a very serious offence in Islam, and there are no ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ about it,” he added. Elfie said these ‘liberal’ Muslims were supporting a Western cause. **
"Singapore is not Malaysia. If Muslims in Singapore want to tolerate apostasy at their whim and fancy, it is their business. That they are so far apart from the practice of Islam speaks for itself, " he said.