Khamis, 17 Oktober 2013

Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

How far can we carry this argument?

Posted: 16 Oct 2013 06:27 PM PDT

Since you were not asked or given any choice in the matter (and you are a Muslim merely by accident of birth), is this not a violation of your civil liberties? Hence, going by the Federal Constitution of Malaysia, which says you cannot be forced to do something against your will, can you choose whether you wish or do not wish to be a Muslim?


Raja Petra Kamarudin

A most interesting opinion indeed from Dr Abdul Aziz Bari, a former lecturer of the International Islamic University plus constitutional law expert (read the news item below). To the non-legal mind, however, this only adds to the confusion with talk of Articles 3(1), 11(4), 149, 150, and so on, of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia.

As any good Christian from the 'Bible Belt' in the United States of America would tell you, God's laws take priority over man-made laws. Hence, even if the law allows marriages between two people of the same sex (meaning gay marriages), God does not allow it so they will not allow and accept gay marriages (even if the law allows it).

This is not only how a good Christian will look at things but a good Jew and good Muslim would share this same opinion. So, when we argue any issue, do we use God's laws or man-made laws as stipulated in the Federal Constitution?

This, I suppose, would be the dilemma here. Common law says one thing but the 'holy book' may say the reverse. So do we practice rule of law or rule by law? Civil liberties (or fundamental liberties) activists will argue that rule of law and not rule by law must apply. That is well and fine when we talk about 'modern' or 'western' values. But what happens when we uphold values determined more than 2,000 years ago, that religionists would insist can't be changed or modernised and still applies today?

How compatible are religious laws (God's laws) with constitutional laws (man-made laws)? And what happens when there are contradictions? Which laws would apply then, God's laws or man-made laws?

Dr Abdul Aziz Bari was quoting the Federal Constitution in that news report below, which no doubt he is an expert in. So let us talk about the Federal Constitution and relate it to our civil liberties (fundamental liberties), a favourite topic of mine. Which would apply and which would override which when it comes to our civil liberties versus religious decrees that may violate our civil liberties?

Since the hot issue here is the Allah word and whether that word can be shared by Christians or is exclusive to Muslims, let us then talk about Islam or Muslims.

Some of you may have chosen Islam as your religion. In other words, you converted to Islam or became a Muslim. The majority of you, however, did not convert to Islam or chose to be a Muslim. You just happened to have been born into a Muslim family. In short, you are a Muslim by virtue of the fact that your parents happened to be Muslims.

Since you were not asked or given any choice in the matter (and you are a Muslim merely by accident of birth), is this not a violation of your civil liberties? Hence, going by the Federal Constitution of Malaysia, which says you cannot be forced to do something against your will, can you choose whether you wish or do not wish to be a Muslim?

Now, according to God's law, as what Muslims believe, you cannot leave Islam. Apostasy is a crime in Islam. But since you did not choose to be a Muslim and are a Muslim by sheer accident of birth, is it not unconstitutional to force you to remain a Muslim?

Yes, Dr Abdul Aziz Bari's reference to Articles 3(1), 11(4), 149, 150, and so on, of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia has opened up a new and interesting topic for debate. I am being forced against my will to do something (become a Muslim). I did not choose to become a Muslim (it was an accident of birth). But I am not being allowed my freedom to choose (to leave Islam).

How do we address this violation of my civil liberties and the violation of my right to choose as guaranteed by the Federal Constitution of Malaysia?

An interesting Pandora's box that Dr Abdul Aziz Bari has opened is it not?

But then you know me. I just love throwing the cat amongst the pigeons and watch the feathers fly. And if you wish to get even more confused, read the news item below.


Court wrong in Allah decision, says law expert

Hornbill Unleashed

The Court of Appeal was wrong in its decision banning Christian weekly Herald from using the word 'Allah' to refer to God in Bahasa Malaysia, said a constitutional law expert.

"By linking religious rights under the chapter on fundamental liberties with Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution which effectively makes Islam the benchmark for everybody, this runs counter to the general meaning of Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution itself," Dr Abdul Aziz Bari told Malaysiakini today.

"The plain meaning of Article 3(1) is simply this: that despite the fact that Islam has been made official religion, non-Muslims may go on practising their religions freely without restriction," said the former Universiti Islam Antarabangsa (UIA) law lecturer.

He said that the implication of the decision is that it might make non-Muslims feel "unsafe" and this is contrary to the essence of the Article 3 in the constitution.

Abdul Aziz also noted that the court decision yesterday sounded like a "policy decision" – a decision that is not strictly based on law.

"Like in most countries, the judges – in critical cases – do not feel they have the strength to depart from the line taken by the executive. Not too different from what we have seen in cases involving preventive detention, election petition and Altantuya (Shaariibuu)'s murder," he said.

"Like many, many other decisions which the minister claimed 'security and public order', the judges just went along with them. In short, the judges were not willing to be proactive here.

"They obviously still live under the wartime decisions where the government has the absolute power to decide anything under the guise of security and public order," he said.

No evidence

Abdul Aziz said that with the court decision, the government has interfered with the way Christians practice their religion when there is no evidence that using the world 'Allah' can jeopardise national security and public order.

"I do not believe the use of 'Allah' among Christians would create problems for the Muslims. For one thing, the Christians have their own doctrine and they are not out to tell the Muslims about it.

"As for the Muslims, they have their own doctrine that has been developed by their ulama for ages. This is the guarantee that the use of 'Allah' by Herald – which is not circulated among Muslims anyway – will not affect Muslims," he said.

Abdul Aziz also described the judges' statement that fundamental liberties provision must be read along with Article 3 of the Federal Constitution as "startling".

"The only provisions that is allowed by the Constitution to override provisions for fundamental liberties – or human rights – are Article 149 on power to deal with subversion and Article 150 which deals with emergency," he said.

"The fundamental principle is that the court is there to protect and enhance the provisions for fundamental liberties, not to narrow them down. It is wrong for the Court of Appeal to do that."

Link disturbing

According to Abdul Aziz, the alleged link asserted by the judges between Article 3(1), which declares Islam as "the religion of the federation", and Article 11(4), which allows the legislatures to protect Muslims from being proselytised (converted) is disturbing.

"The most one could say about Article 3(1) is that the provision declares the federation's character and perhaps, ideology.

"But Article 3(1) is not one to be used to judge or becoming benchmark for the non-Muslims. I think this is the reason why the phrase 'other religions may be practiced in peace and harmony' is being added towards the end of the provision.

"I find it strange as to why the Court of Appeal did not concentrate on the right to religious freedom and instead chose to highlight the link between Article 3(1) and Article 11(4), which has less relevant here.

"In fact, Article 11(4) could stand on its own without the support from Article 3(1)."



0 ulasan:

Catat Ulasan


Malaysia Today Online

Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved