No joy for Lina or for outsiders

Malaysian readers of Unspun might be interested in how Indcoup, an Indonesia based blogger perceives the verdict in the Lina Joy case.

clipped from

Lina Joy: she still can’t choose her religion. Gila benar!!

Yep folks.
Lina Joy may go to church.
And she may read from the bible.
And she may even put up a star on top of her Christmas tree every year.
But she’s still a Muslim. Not a willing one, mind you. But a 100 percent certified and authentic one nonetheless.
Cos that is the way of wacky Malaysia – a country where its citizens are not allowed to choose their religion. Well, actually that’s not strictly true: they CAN choose their religion – provided of course that it’s THE religion! But any of the silly second-rate religions out there and you can forget it. Permission denied.
This policy enshrined in law. And confirmed today (30 May 2007) by the Malaysian Supreme Court which ruled against the request of Azlina Jailani (Lina Joy) to convert to THAT religion.

  blog it

6 thoughts on “No joy for Lina or for outsiders

  1. Based on my understanding, the case of Lina Joy does not question her right to renounce Islam. It is more of a procedural issue involving the NRD.

    The matter would have been easily resolved had she applied to the syariah court to renounce Islam. Please note that a precedent had been set in Seremban, whereby 16 people was allowed by the Syariah Court there to renounce Islam. This is merely a procedure to ensure that people do not just convert in and out of Islam at their whims and fancies. For example, without this procedure, a person would claim to be Islam to enjoy Zakat payment but in then month of Ramadhan be a non-muslim to avoid fasting.

    I believe that certain parties are blowing the issue up to incite unrest.

    Freedom of religion is still intact in Malaysia.


  2. I agreed with Jack Dalson. You should read the court judgment carefully, without emotion. The court just decides the NRD has no power to change the religous status of a person. There is procedure to follow.


  3. Actually Iza and Jack, the argument by Justice Malanjum makes the most sense of all, especially since remember, as you mention, this is a PROCEDURAL matter, and not a religious on. Why should procedure be mixed with religion? Let the religious authorities decide to prosecute her, but change her religion in the process.

    Excerpts of his dissenting argument can be found in the NST.


  4. Oh come on. You know full well that the punishment for apostasy in Islam is the death penalty. Hardly an incentive to go to a Sharia Court is it?

    The point is Lina Joy HAS already changed her religion. She goes to Church. She celebrates Christmas etc.

    The decision to update her ID card should be a procedural matter involving secular institutions and not religious ones.

    Actually even better: religion should not be mentioned on an ID card at all!


  5. I sympathise with Lina. A young woman trapped by forces beyond her control. A young woman caught in a bunker of insanity, hypocrisy and stupidity. But she has an ultimate weapon – faith. And Man cannot force her to change her belief because belief is in her heart.


  6. A good friend of mine is caught in this “procedural” bind. His long-time girlfriend is a Christian who fell in love and married a Muslim many years ago. After a couple of years she caught him fooling around with another woman and threw him out. She got divorced and became a practicing Christian again.

    Then she met my friend and they’ve been a couple since. But they cannot get married. She’s been through all the procedures – applied to the Syariah court and got nowhere, applied to the NRD to change her identity card and got nowhere.

    So she has her Faith, but they cannot get married because her boyfriend has his Faith also and does not want to change it. They cannot legally have children because neither of them want their children to be brought up as Muslims when both of them do not practice Islam.

    They are contemplating migration as it seems to be the only way they can get married. In the meantime they live in fear of the religious police as she is committing khalwat. He, of course, would get away scot free because a non-Muslim cannot commit khalwat by definition.


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