The Book of Prof Shad.docx

Religious approach that the way a person renounced a

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religious approach that the way a person renounced a religion should be in accordance with the regulations or law or practice determined or stipulated by the religion itself: Lina Joy lwn Majlis Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan [2007] 4 MLJ 585. There is no evidence, however, that conversions out of other religions are subject to any procedures dictated by that religion. Many of the above judicial decisions have created deep resentment and misgiving among non-Muslims and have contributed immensely to the polarization of society. There is little doubt that inter-religious relationships are under strain. New thinking about this part of our “social contract” is, therefore, necessary. It is submitted that if the exercise of a human right, no matter how sacrosanct, hurts other people or affects society adversely, then some substantive and procedural limits on the exercise of this right are not unreasonable. In a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society, the freedom of religion of overzealous missionaries and proselytizers of all shades has raised inter-communal tensions. If the fear or suspicion that Muslim apostasy has assumed alarming proportions continues to grow, this will have serious implications for social order in a society in which race and religion are inextricably intertwined. Some ground rules are, therefore, needed for Muslim as well as non-Muslim conduct relating to proselytisation and apostasy. In the special circumstances of Malaysia, all conversions should be subject to an impartial judicial or quasi-judicial scrutiny to ensure that there is no undue influence or improper inducement and that the convert-to-be understands the full legal, social and moral implications of his/her adoption of a new faith. This “judicial filter” approach is justifiable because status is generally other-determined, not self-determined. 81 Further, in the case of a Muslim leaving his religion, the legal and social implications for his family, marriage, children and property are immense. All proselytising activities, whether covert or overt, among minors should be subject to the prior approval of parents and, of course, in accordance with Article 11(4). Proselytising activities in hospitals, critical care centres and other places where the inmates and their families are in an emotionally vulnerable state should be forbidden. 80 See also Tongiah Jumali v Kerajaan Johor [2004] 5 MLJ 41; Priyathaseny v Pegawai Penguatkuasa Agama [2003] 2 MLJ 302; Shamala Sathiyaseelan v Dr Jeyaganesh Mogarajah [2004] 2 MLJ 648; Kaliammal a/p Sinnasamy lwn Pengarah Jabatan Agama Islam [2006] 1 MLJ 685; Saravan a/l Thangathoray v Subashini a/p Rajasingam [2007] 2 MLJ 705 81 As an analogy one can note that marital relationships are not allowed to be dissolved unilaterally.
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