Persecution of Ex-Muslims (Malaysia)

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Convert to Christianity is arrested, stripped naked and forced to enact the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Tortured and physically assaulted, he passed blood in his urine and was not allowed sleep for days at a stretch

Jamaluddin Othman @Yeshua Jamaluddin, a Malay who converted to Christianity and subsequently became Pastor of the Fellowship of Indigenous Christians in Selangor, arrested on 27 Oct 1987

His interrogators stripped him naked and forced him to enact the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. As he was made to crawl naked on the floor, for 10 minutes, one Inspector Yusoff told several other Special Branch officers in the room, “Ini orang Melayu tak sedar diri.”

He was not allowed sleep for days at a stretch and was warned that he would not be fed unless he co-operated. The same Inspector Yusoff also threatened to “disturb” his girlfriend if he did not divulge the information they demanded. Inspector Yusoff and two other Inspectors, Zainudding and Ayub, assaulted him on several occasions, causing him to injure his back and pass out blood in his urine.

At one stage of interrogation, he was made to stand for two hours on one leg with both arms outstretched holding his slippers. A woman constable and her young daughter were brought in to watch him while a police constable said, “Ini Melayu tak sedar diri, tukar agama, tak malu.”

Jamaluddin was also coerced to convert back to Islam.

“I got the clear impression that all my interviews with the Special Branch was for the purpose of getting me to change my religion from Christianity to Islam,” he told the Supreme Court.
Abuse of Power Under the ISA
P Ramakrishnan, Aliran Monthly, 2001

Hindu convert held at an Islamic 'rehabilitation' center for six months. Subjected to mental torture for insisting her religion is Hinduism, and forced to eat beef

A Malaysian woman held for months in an Islamic rehabilitation centre says she was subjected to mental torture for insisting her religion is Hinduism.

Revathi Massosai, the name by which she wants to be known, says she was forced to eat beef despite being a Hindu.

Miss Massosai was seized by the Islamic authorities in January when she went to court to ask that she be registered as a Hindu rather than a Muslim.

The case is one of a number that have raised religious tensions in Malaysia.

Miss Massosai was born to Muslim converts and given a Muslim name, but she was raised as a Hindu by her grandmother and has always practised that faith.

However, under Malaysia's Islamic law, having Muslim parents makes one a Muslim and, as such, one is not allowed to change one's faith or marry a non-Muslim.

But Miss Massosai married a Hindu man in 2004 and the couple have a young daughter.
Malaysia 'convert' claims cruelty
Jonathan Kent, BBC News, July 6, 2007

Ex-Muslim attempts to make her conversion to Christianity officially recognised to retain the right to raise children. Goes into hiding after she and her legal advisor are threatened with death

Lina Joy wants to marry a Christian man and start a family, but while she converted from Islam in 1990 and was baptized several years later, the government maintains her religious designation as Muslim on her identity card.

That's significant because if she does marry and have children, they could be taken from her under the Islamic religious law which does not allow parents who are "apostate," or in defiance of God, to raise children.

So she is asking the Malaysian government to stop classifying her a Muslim. She says the government has no right to tell her what she should believe.

Malkin noted that even Joy's legal advisor, Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, has faced death threats because of his defense of her case.
. . .
A previous court opinion in her case said as long as she is ethnic Malay, she is Muslim, even though the civil constitution in Malaysia guarantees freedom of religion. The court's opinion said that was not freedom of "choice" but a freedom to practice Islam.

A number of groups working with persecuted Christians around the world have noted the loss of right to marry, the loss of the right to work, illegal imprisonment and even torture of Christians, especially those who choose to leave Islam.
. . .

"If Islam were to grant permission for Muslims to change religion at will, it would imply it has no dignity, no self-esteem," said Wan Azhar Wan Ahmad, of Malaysia's Institute of Islamic Understanding. "And then people may question its completeness, truthfulness and perfection," he said.
Christian convert faces death threats
WorldNetDaily, August 26, 2006
Finally, on April 13, the Federal Court granted Joy permission to appeal the government’s decision. The court said there were “novel issues” to be argued in the case and that the matter was of public interest. When the case returned to court on June 28, it sparked heated debate in the Malaysian press. Joy and her lawyer received death threats, eventually prompting Joy to go into hiding.

'Muslim' woman who as a seven year-old child was coerced by a government welfare home into accepting Islam, fights to be recognized as a Hindu. Unable to register her marriage to a Hindu man

She was only seven when she was told to take an oath to embrace Islam and renounce her original faith.

Siti Hasnah Vangarama Abdullah, now 27, was in a government welfare home, Rumah Kanak-kanak in Taman Bakti, Kepala Batas, when she and several other children, some of whom were Chinese, were told by Perkim and the Penang Muslim Affairs Council to take the oath and renounce her original Hindu faith.

Born Banggarma Subramaniam, she practised Islam in the welfare home until the age of 15.

"I was more mature and realised what had happened, and started practising Hinduism again," she said in a press conference yesterday to highlight her plight.

Banggarma said ran away from the welfare home three years later, unable to cope with the stress of living in the home.

She married S. Sockalingam, 31, according to Hindu rites, but could not register the marriage as, according to the National Registration Department, she was a Muslim.

She also could not name Sockalingam as father of their two children, Kanagaraj, 8 and Hisyanthini, 2, in their birth certificates due to this.
In a spot after ‘embracing’ Islam as a minor
Bernard Cheah, The Sun Daily, November 19, 2009

Former Muslims being taken to "re-education" centers to be forced back to Islam

CBN News traveled to Malaysia -- a country that presents itself as a model for Islamic moderation, yet has many former Muslims who say they are persecuted after finding Christ.

A two-hour journey from the capital city of Kuala Lumpur revealed an isolated encampment where some Christian converts say they've been taken to be forced back to Islam.

The Malaysian government calls the facilities "retreat centers." Muslims willingly come there to strengthen their faith.

CBN News spoke to one Christian, who asked to remain anonymous, in fear he would be taken back to what others have called "faith purification" facilities.

"They were clearly angry and they wanted to kill me, but they did not harm me physically," he recalled. "I know of many others. They force you to recite Islamic prayers and the Koran, to do all the things you're suppose to do as a Muslim."

"They're trying to force us to believe what we can't believe," the man continued. "These re-education centers come from the power of darkness."
Malay Christians Face 'Faith Purification' Centers
Gary Lane, CBN News, December 12, 2010

Malaysian agency vows to enforce apostasy law due to "scores of Muslim converts" leaving Islam

The Sabah Islamic Affairs Department (Jheains) will enforce the apostasy law once its faith rehabilitation centre in Kinarut is ready next year, said its director, Datuk Amri A.Suratman.

He said enforcement of the law was part of Jheains' five-year strategic plan.

Until the rehabilitation centre is ready in June, offenders will be enlightened on the merits of returning into the path of Islam, he told Bernama after closing the Jheains Senior Officers Conference here Friday night.

The conference, among others, touched on scores of Muslim converts, who reverted to their original religions, due to neglect from Islamic religious agencies and non-governmental organisations.

Amri said imams should provide information and counselling to Muslims, especially the younger generation, in their areas to ensure that they understand the syariah law.

On dakwah, he said Jheains would focus its efforts on strategic and rural areas, especially those with a high number of converts, especially on prayers.

"These efforts will be carried out continuously to ensure that Muslim converts are not neglected," he added.
Jheains To Enforce Apostasy Law
Bernama, December 25, 2010

Family hands student over to the Islamic Religious Affairs Department after he admits convertion to Christianity. Student repents and Court orders him to surrender passport, attend mosque, and report to its imam for 6 months

KOTA BARU - A MUSLIM student who had earlier claimed that he had converted to Christianity, told the Syariah High Court here that he had repented and returned to Islam.

With that plea, judge Abu Bakar Abdullah Kutty ordered Mohamad Fariz Ilham Mohd Zulkifli to join the congregation for prayers at the varsity's mosque.

The culinary art student has to report to its imam for six months effective Monday.

Mr Bakar also ordered the 19-year-old to report to the Dungun Islamic Religious Office weekly and surrender his passport to the court.

On April 24, Mohamad Fariz's family referred him to the Kelantan Islamic Religious Affairs Depart-ment after he admitted to have committed apostasy and converted to Christianity.

The Syariah High Court then issued a one-week remand order on him.
'Converted' student returns to Islam
Straits Times, May 3, 2011

Malaysian Senator vows to burn down news outlets in defense of Islam and will wage war against infidels who convert Muslims, including a threat to the "Muslims" who abet the non-Muslims

Ezam wants to burn down online news portals. Ezam says he is doing it in the name of Islam and will wage war against those who convert Muslims.

Umno senator Ezam Mohd Nor said he has to come to the defence of Islam and will wage war against those who tarnish the religion, including burning online news portals.

He also warned Muslim staff of Malaysiakini and Malaysian Insider not to become agents for infidels.

“Don’t be a (Brutus) for the infidel’s agenda. You can find employment elsewhere,” Ezam said after claiming that these portals showed strong stance against the JAIS action at the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC).

“We give you a last warning. If you don’t stop, we’ll burn,” said Ezam, a former ally of Anwar Ibrahim.

He also extended his threat to the Muslims who abet the non-Muslims in conversions out of Islam.

“We have no choice but to wage war to protect the Muslim faith,” said Ezam in front of 500 fellow Muslims at the compound of the Selangor state mosque in Shah Alam.

Other personalities present included Umno Youth exco Lokman Nor Adam and Kulim Bandar Baharu MP, Zulkifli Noordin.

The gathering organised by newly formed Gerakan Cegah Murtad was meant to show their support for the action taken by Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (JAIS) against DUMC.

Last week, JAIS raided DUMC over allegations that Muslims were being converted.

Warning to MB and exco members

On a similar note Ezam told dozens of reporters that Muslims have no issues with non-Muslims.

“We have a problem if the Menteri Besar pawns Islam for votes,” he said in reference to Selangor Menteri Besar, Khalid Ibrahim.

“We have a problem if Shah Alam MP pawns Islam,” Ezam added, and extended his warning to Selangor’s Christian exco members- Teresa Kok, Elizabeth Wong, Ronnie Liu and Xavier Jayakumar.

“We have problems with infidels who convert Muslims,” he said.

Meanwhile Zulkifli Nordin outlined four steps the group would take in the coming days.

“We will send a memorandum to JAIS to help them. We’ll also pressure the authorities for action against churches especially DUMC since it is illegal,” said Zulkifli.

He added Muslims would also be askde to lodge police reports in all districts within Selangor for police action.

Lastly he said that the group would meet the Sultan so that the Sultan can rectify the problem.

Prosecute Ezam, says PKR veep

In an immediate reaction, PKR vice president N Surendran said the police should take action against Ezam over his threat against the online media.

“The police and the Attorney General must take immediate action against Ezam under Sections 503 and 505 of the Penal Code, for criminal intimidation and mischief,” he said in a statement.

He said Ezam should not be let off the hook simply because he was “from the ruling party or aligned to the government”.

He added that it was appalling that a sitting member of the Dewan Negara had uttered such words and threatened publicly to carry out criminal acts.

“This is an outrageous threat to the property and offices of these two news portals; more seriously it is also a threat of grievous harm or death against their staff, writers and other occupants,” he said.
Ezam wants to burn down online news portals
K. Pragalath, Free Malaysia Today, August 12, 2011

Muslims demand action against those who proselytize Muslims to Christianity, and 22 Islamic non-governmental organizations call for laws banning apostasy

Muslims in Malaysia have demanded that action be taken against those who proselytize Muslims to Christianity as 22 Islamic non-governmental organizations called for laws banning apostasy.

The NGOs issued a statement stressing their commitment to "defending the faith of Muslims held in this country from … encroachment," according to the Malaysian Insider and Malaysiakini. The NGOs sought to uphold existing legislation against proselytizing Muslims while calling for stronger laws against conversions.

"We stressed that matters relating to the faith of Muslims are very sensitive issues that could affect racial harmony, thus calling on all parties not to act against the stipulated law," the statement said. "We unanimously resolve to safeguard the Islamic faith in this country from any form of transgression in accordance to Islam's position as the religion of the federation and existing laws, as well as call for an anti-apostasy law."

PAS Youth Chief Nasrudin Hassan said that all previous appeals for anti-apostasy laws were rejected in Parliament: while Islam was a "religion of discourse," a law was needed "to curb and control those who will no longer listen to arguments".

The call for an apostasy law came as the Selangor Islamic Religious Department submitted a preliminary report of its recent raid on a church fund-raising dinner to the Selangor chief minister; the raid at the Damansara Utama Methodist Church in Petaling Jaya followed allegations that Christians were proselytizing their Muslim guests.

Church leaders condemned the raid, stating it was done without a search warrant; other critics claimed there was no proof that proselytization was actually taking place during the dinner.

Officials denied they raided the church, rather they only inspected the premises after getting complaints that Muslims were present at the dinner.

Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim was blasted for being apologetic over the raid, while Barisan Nasional Senator Mohd Ezam Mohd Nor was criticized by his fellow politicians for threatening local media's coverage of the raid.

Last week at a mosque in Shah Alam, Nor declared war against anyone who attacked the Islamic faith, promising he would "burn" Malaysiakini and the Malaysian Insider.

However, Nor later explained on Twitter that: "Malaysiakini/Malaysian Insider are cyber news portals; No threat to burn any reporters/building. The remarks were only symbolic of the anger towards them for burning the hearts of the Muslim community."
Malaysian Muslims decry Proselytizers
Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News, August 16, 2011

"This is slander of the worst kind," Malaysian Muslim furious over Internet apostasy (hit?) list with names of 430 Muslims who had allegedly embraced another religion, either Christianity, Hinduism or Buddhism

A Muslim former school principal lodged a police report today over a claim in a blogsite that he was one of several apostates who had converted to Christianity.

Zainal Ratin Zainal Abidin, 67, made the report at the Taman Tun Dr Ismail police station here at about 2 pm. He was accompanied by his son, Zainal Azam.

Zainal Ratin said one of his children surfing the Internet last night came across a list of the names of 430 Muslims who had allegedly embraced another religion, either Christianity, Hinduism or Buddhism.

"My name was on that list. This is slander of the worst kind because it is against me, my faith and my family's dignity," he told reporters.

Zainal Ratin urged the authorities, including the police, to conduct an investigation, saying the number of Muslims on the list was huge.