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Malaysia arrests 9 Christians for trying to convert Muslims

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As a Christian myself, I find this very interesting.

I think these Christians were trying to evangelize based on Jesus' reported command to 'go out into the world and make disciples of all men.'

I'm not actually sure whether he said that any more.

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Proselytizing of Muslims by members of other religions is forbidden in Malaysia, though the reverse is allowed.

also 2-3 years ago the malaysian government destroyed a christian church.

that is the so call justice and fair treat in those country.

i am not a christian, but feel sorry for any groups of minority over there.

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How ironic, considering most of the descendants of today's Muslims practice their religion because their ancestors agreed to convert while a sword was pointed at their throat. There was very little persuasion involved, they were giving a choice of joining up or losing their head.

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"Proselytizing of Muslims by members of other religions is forbidden in Malaysia, though the reverse is allowed. Muslims, who comprise nearly two-thirds of Malaysia’s 28 million people, are also not legally permitted to change religion." Need we say more..

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Not surprising, Malaysia has a 12th-century mentality about most things religion. There's been famous cases where religious authorities have had 'evidence' someone (a non-Muslim) was a Muslim and had them sent to religious prison to 'reform' them.

Religious freedom is actually enshrined in their constitution, but it's never actually allowed. Sad.

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it amuses me when religions put death sentences on those that dare to convert away from the religion. if they were truly sure that their way was the one and only way then it wouldn't be necessary. ideas like this expose the fact that organised religions are at their heart far more political than ideological

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Griff,

Amen to that.

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interesting choice of words, lfragain!

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The face of modern Islam. The idea of making it illegal for people to change their religion on pain of imprisonment or worse just highlights the insecurities of the religion in question. If everybody adopted this attitude, there would be literally blood on the streets. And Malaysia is supposed to be one of the more open-minded of Muslim states?

So could it be argued that even these moderate Muslim states are little more than xenophobes? In addition to such inward-looking policies regarding religion, Malaysia is also a country that has a fine record of denying tertiary education to people of non-Malay heritage (Chinese Malays). At the same time, however, they are quick to go after the tourist dollar of (heathen) tourists. What is wrong with this picture? Would anyone care to explain?

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Too bad. And I thought Malaysia was a moderate Muslim nation. It is one thing to go around and try to force convert someone to your religion, which I am sad to say has happened to some people by both Christians and Muslims. But, to deny a person who wants to change their religons the right to do so to me seems a bit extreme.

Even if you look in Italy, home of the Roman Catholic church you don't have such measures in place. So much for the "religion of peace."

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Well, from time to time back home, some Muslims come around door to door, mostly for events and to drop off newsletters... maybe I should hang this article on my door and ask what ever happened to those Jahovas.... maybe they were converted or...........

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This is what happens when a religion becomes a state religion. I hope that one day there will not be things like this happening around the world. Religious beliefs should be kept to the Temples, Mosques, Churches and kept out of government.

BTW I believe that no one should come knocking to someones door unless they know the person and are visiting.

Keep religion to yourself and stop trying to change the world.

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Beelzebub-"How ironic, considering most of the descendants of today's Muslims practice their religion because their ancestors agreed to convert while a sword was pointed at their throat. "

That is a convenient exaggeration. It also makes nice use of the fallacy of accusing one of something while assuming the others are not guilty. Both Islam and Christianity and I am sure many religions were spread through conquering. That does not necessarily mean a sword was held to someone's throat, even though it no doubt did sometimes happen. Adopting your conqueror's religion is pretty standard practice throughout history for many reasons. You find me an empire, and 90 percent of the time I will find you a religion that got spread by various means, whether willingly, through coercion or force, or simply as a matter of convenience. There is reason to believe Islam used less force than Christianity even, and no, today's situation in Malaysia is not proof of what happened over 1000 years ago in the Middle East and Northern Africa.

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It seems every country has to have some completely silly and unfair law to enforce, or it just cannot be considered a country. Malaysia's laws banning conversion to Christianity from Islam but not vice-versa is their silly law. So in a way, Malaysia is just like every other country.

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So in a way, Malaysia is just like every other country.

Thats right BC! Its not well known, but in some states in the US, you can be prosecuted for converting out of Christianity.

But this will never make the news...

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Once again Christians are doing what they do best, pissing off people. Hey Christians, can't you learn to respect other religions? Just because people are of another religion they do not want to join yours. Keep it up and maybe one day the non-Christian religions of the world might unite to make you stop. Remember, your house is a divided one...

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stanley50: there are quite a few mosques in NO and Atlanta.... There are even Islamic schools through out the country.. don't start with America is so un-tolerant crap. Show me 1 Muslim lead country that allows as much diversity of religions as the US and where they have legal protection. You are comparing a population about 1/1000 to that of the Muslims.

And please show me what state forbids you from leaving Christianity.

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Stanley: I live in Atlanta and have many Muslim friends, although they've never tried to convert me. In the black community, there is a larger and larger conversion to Islam. I have been annoyed when Christians knock on my door and want to talk Christianity. I'm sad to admit, a sister near Denver has been "taken" by Christianity.

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Beaver: The laws in most states allow a 2-3 year difference in ages before sex is illegal. An 18 yr old may have sex with a 16 yr old legally, but if ages are 19/16 or 17/14, then that is probably statutory rape. Consent age can be as low as 14, but may be higher in different states. http://www.cga.ct.gov/2003/olrdata/jud/rpt/2003-R-0376.htm

If the women is older, the offense is almost never prosecuted.

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theFu-"In the black community, there is a larger and larger conversion to Islam."

If that is Nation of Islam, I hesitate to call them Muslims, and so do Muslims.

Moderator: Please keep the discussion focused on Malaysia.

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Stanley50-"Its not well known, but in some states in the US, you can be prosecuted for converting out of Christianity."

Not true. But other countries have silly, inconsistent, whacky laws they go crazy trying to enforce. They just are not the same laws.

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What Malaysia shares with other countries is a silly, patently unfair law or two. For America, I think of the guy who gets a visit from the police shortly after his 18th birtday, for having sex with his under-age 17 year old girlfriend. Americans are as crazy about sex as Malaysians are about Islam.

Geez, BeaverCleaver, you should learn a little more about Malaysia before you post. They don't have 'a few silly laws', they have an entirely parallel justice system for Muslims (only slightly more than 50% of the population, it is not a ethnically homogeneous Malay country) that supersedes both the secular law and the constitution. If the religious authorities suspect you of being a Muslim they can declare you a Muslim and forbid you converting. They've forced couples making out to get married. Things like that.

Not to mention the Apartheid-like Malay preference system with such lovely benefits as Malays get free university, everybody else has to pay, racial quotas for Malays for anyone wanting to form a corporation, guaranteed housing for Malays (and not for the rest of Malaysians). This 'silly little law' is indicative of the wholly unjust legal system in Malaysia. It's closer to 1980's South Africa than US sex laws.

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pawatan-"Geez, BeaverCleaver, you should learn a little more about Malaysia before you post. They don't have 'a few silly laws', they have an entirely parallel justice system for Muslims"

Point taken. I revise my statement to "Every country has to have AT LEAST a few silly laws....". I hope we can now agree and shake hands as brothers. I also hope that before you take me to task over something like that again, you add the words "at least" by yourself, because it is not such a leap.

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BeaverCleaver:So in a way, Malaysia is just like every other country.

Bingo!Your posts are incredibly unique, and at the same time they remind me of another contributor here.You tell it like it is,my fine friend.

I was relieved to see I'm not the only person who read the headline about religious oppression in Malaysia and immediately thought of America.

Well, anyways, the Muslim religion has gotten a bad rap these last few years(we all know why,and who's fault THAT is. Hint - he is an ex president whose few remaining supporters are dwindling here haahaha ha.)

I'm sure this will all blow over and cooler heads will prevail.

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I am a Muslim. I believe there is only one God, & we live to serve Him. God sent us His prophets, His messengers to make us understand the right way to live our lives & to serve him. Jesus (or Isa as we call him) was one such loyal messenger, a truly holy man. From my discussions with Christian friends and priests, I have come to understand the similarities (love of peace, family values, belief in only one God, etc) and the real differences (divinity of Jesus, responsibility on the Day of Judgement, views on religious freedom, etc).

I am also a Malaysian. The same with almost every single human being in this world, I could not choose my nationality/citizenship & must abide by the laws of my country. As with any country, the laws of my country are decided by majority vote, as in Japan, as in America, whether I like them or not.

Ok, now that I laid that up front, here are MY views and MY understanding on the issues above, not necessarily that of all Malaysians or all Muslims:

I think one must understand what religious freedom really means. Islam allows and respects religious freedom. Muslims do not preach to people of other religions unless they come to us to learn about Islam. For us to go to someone & try to convert him/her is disrespecting other religions. If someone chooses to be a Muslim or a Christian or a Jew or a Buddhist, Islam respects that choice, and will let that person be judged on the Day of Judgement. Christianity however does not allow religious freedom or respect other religions. Christians are set a mission to convert all human beings into Christians. Christians preach to people of other religions regardless of whether that person comes to them or not. That is why many Muslims consider that as a breach of religious freedom, a disrespect to Islam. As Muslims believe Islam is the ultimate truth & the true religion, it is natural for a Muslim country to deem any conversion out of Islam as an act borne out of active conversion by non-Muslims, not an actual rational decision by the person. Thus, the outlawing of conversion out of Islam would be expected of a Muslim country, just as the outlawing of conversion out of Christianity would be expected of a Christian country. It is not an issue of religious freedom. It is a logical conclusion of a country which has a state religion. America is neither a Christian country nor a Muslim country, thus it does not outlaw conversion out of Islam or out of Christianity. By comparison, Malaysia really is a so-called moderate Muslim country. As I mentioned above, many Muslims consider Christian preaching to Muslims as a breach of religious freedom, a disrespect to Islam. Some Muslim countries, due to their own culture or traditions, consider such acts as provocation and will respond violently, eventhough violence is not condoned anywhere in the Quran. The Quran does say we must protect Islam, our way of life, our religion. The difference in how to act to protect is due to cultural differences, not Islamic teachings. I consider myself lucky to be in a nation, in a culture that responds by other means than violence. Yes, I consider myself lucky to be a Malaysian.

At the end of the day, one must understand the real differences between religions, as well as the difference between the state and the religion. I have many Christian friends who understand better & respect the difference between our religions, and I have fellow Malaysian friends who are non-Muslims who do not speak ill of Islam or Malaysia, only of some of the policies of the Malaysian government i.e. the state, not the nation. We must know our boundaries.

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yuudair -"As with any country, the laws of my country are decided by majority vote, as in Japan, as in America, whether I like them or not."

I know of no country where this is true. I have never been invited to vote at my Congress, not even by absentee ballot. Sometimes a few local things come up and we get to vote, but nothing like this.

Anyway, thanks for your words showing us just how much Christians and Muslims view eachother with the exact same suspicions and mistrust. This is lets us all know how you religious types harbor most of the suspicious and mistrustful people of the world.

Also, thanks for coming here and trying to defend the indefensible by claiming suspicion and mistrust. Its just like a lot of people who post here and you would get along famously with them except your are from Malaysia and a Muslim, and that makes your similarities null and void in their book as well as yours I expect.

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Nothing wrong with Malaysians, but muslims are a different story.

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I must qualify my previous comment by saying that my understanding of Christianity above comes mostly from being with Protestant Christians, most of them my friends as well. I am not sure whether the view or approach on preaching/converting and other Christian values/beliefs are the same for Catholics or other churches. Maybe other Christians don't go to people of other religion & try to preach or convert them.

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yuudair - thanks for your excellent and insightful post.

It's a real coincidence as a lot of your words were exactly what I have just been discussing with my wife, in particular about Christian evangelism.

"above, many Muslims consider Christian preaching to Muslims as a breach of religious freedom, a disrespect to Islam."

I can totally understand this. I have a very religious Christian friend in my home country who thinks it is her 'right', her purpose and her mission to spread God's word. I used to also believe this was the mission of Christians, but as you have clearly pointed out, some people find this very offensive.

"At the end of the day, one must understand the real differences between religions, as well as the difference between the state and the religion."

Exactly. Many problems with religions are that so-called religious people do not take the time to understand other religions, let alone their differences. The long religious war is a prime case in point. Catholics and Protestants have been killing each other for years - it's pathetic, ridiculous and it goes against the main teachings of their own God.

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They claimed they were visiting friends, but a Muslim student apparently filed a police complaint accusing them of trying to convert Muslims, Xavier said.

I can see friends talking about religion and someone gets offended. I remember when I was a Mormon. The Church has missionaries all over the world and I've talked to returning missionaries who described where they could be invited in by the locals, but they could never go door to door knocking and talking.

I hope it's just a misunderstanding and they get out trouble. < :-)

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So I am a religious type, huh? Religious types, Christian or Muslim or Buddhist or Jew or Hindu, are suspicious and mistrustful? Hmm, maybe that's true, though I could say the same for atheists or secularists. Some people confuse religious devotion with the total ignorance of other religions or faiths or beliefs. It is the lack of knowledge or understanding of other religions/cultures/nations/groups which breeds this mistrust and suspicion. I am able to trust other Christians more now, and become a better Muslim, because I was willing to learn more about their beliefs, about the lines that divide us & the lines that unite us. I have a whole lot more to learn. It is true as well, the knowledge that we are exposed to, the things we read on the internet, the people we meet & listen to, affect what we learn & internalize. I can only pray that the knowledge I get, that we all get, is good & true, for betterment of mankind and ourselves.

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This discussion has become interesting. I have to agree that one of the key reasons for hatred is lack of knowledge, and whether or not you agree with something I think it's important to learn about it before making an EDUCATED decision. All judgements should be avoided, and they cannot be objective.

I don't agree with a lot that has been said about either Christianity and Islam, but I agree that it's important to get to know each other. Celebrating differences is a whole lot better than warring over them.

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yuudair: "Some people confuse religious devotion with the total ignorance of other religions or faiths or beliefs."

I don't agree with some of what you say, but I agree with this. What's more, I think people confuse a devotion to LACK of religion (ie. they believe in it more than some believe in their professed religions!) with no religion at all.

" I am able to trust other Christians more now, and become a better Muslim, because I was willing to learn more about their beliefs, about the lines that divide us & the lines that unite us. I have a whole lot more to learn."

Good for you. Always good to learn things, and knowing more about others, be it religion, gender, age difference, or nationality (or more), there can be no harm in being open to thoughts or attributes you don't necessarily share.

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CORRECTION to my above post:

"The long religious war IN NORTHERN IRELAND is a prime case in point

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@yuudair:

As Muslims believe Islam is the ultimate truth & the true religion, it is natural for a Muslim country to deem any conversion out of Islam as an act borne out of active conversion by non-Muslims, not an actual rational decision by the person.

I cannot believe this statement has gone unchallenged. It is this ideology that makes Islam so dangerous. How can a circumstance of birth (you said it yourself yuudair ("I could not choose my nationality/citizenship & must abide by the laws of my country")) possibly be used as grounds for stating that a person cannot make a "rational decision"? By virtue of being born a Malaysian Muslim, a person cannot make up his or her own mind about matters essential to how he or she will live? It is nonsensical. Faith cannot be forced. It is a conscious act.

All religions believe they are the truth and the true religion. That doesn't give any of them the right to prevent people from making up their own minds.

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And PS: for the criminal law to get involved in matters of conscience and faith is totalitarianism at its worst.

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The world would be a better place if there were no missionaries...from any religion.

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yuudair at - "I am able to trust other Christians more now, and become a better Muslim, because I was willing to learn more about their beliefs, about the lines that divide us & the lines that unite."

Very good point.

In my view, it is religious intolerance, very often caused by ignorance, that leads to conflict, violence, colonization and death.

As a Christian myself, I'll say right now I think many Christians are 'guilty as charged' of religious intolerance based on the fact they just do not make an effort to learn about other religions before trying to ram a Bible down someone's throat.

I believe the orginal missionaries actually made an effort to live with the people they intended/hoped to convert to Christianity, enabling them to get to know people on a personal level, learn about their culture, language, etc. and very importantly, build up trust and respect.

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BeaverCleaver's post is unfortunately a textbook case in point of religious intolerance -

"Anyway, thanks for your words showing us just how much Christians and Muslims view eachother with the exact same suspicions and mistrust. This is lets us all know how you religious types harbor most of the suspicious and mistrustful people of the world."

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The world would be a better place if there were no missionaries...from any religion.

Ironic to hear this from someone called medievaltimes!

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@Sushisake3:

How can you "very importantly, build up trust and respect", with people who believe this: "it is natural for a Muslim country to deem any conversion out of Islam as an act borne out of active conversion by non-Muslims, not an actual rational decision by the person"?

How can you respect a mindset that maintains that an accident of birth precludes rational decision-making?

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if religious people were not brainwashed into Amway style recruitment then their would be no problem. each to his own I say.

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Mayuki-san, you are right. Faith shouldn't be forced. It should be a conscious act. But the reality is it is "forced" (albeit to different degrees & different ways), and it can be a subconscious or unconscious act. The reality is our faith is determined to us the moment we are born, by our parents & the community. We grow up in Muslim/Christian/Hindu/Buddhist/Jewish/etc environments.

Let me clarify that I mentioned "Muslim COUNTRY", not Islam. My intention was to point out human nature, the "country" being a human creation. I could easily change my statement to "As Christians believe Christianity is the ultimate truth & the true religion, it is natural for a Christian country/person to deem any conversion out of Christianity as an act borne out of active conversion by non-Christians, or mis-information by the person, not an actual rational decision by the person." I am not saying this out of whim. There have been many Christian friends or strangers who have said that I am Muslim because I was born one in a Muslim environment. When I tell them that many Christians are that as well, they say I have been misinformed/miseducated & not made the rational decision. So, now, non-Christians are irrational.

Regardless of religion, what many forget is that human beings are imperfect & inequal. What is deemed rational to one person maybe different to another. It is for that reason we have laws, values & beliefs. If not, then whatever one person believes, whatever one can make up in his mind, is deemed right. 6.8 billion people can each believe what they want & do what they want. There would be chaos! So, if no one is perfect/right, then who is? For people who believe in God, God is perfect. From God, we determine our values, our beliefs, our rules. For a reason unknown to us, God decided not send those rules & values into each & all our heads, pre-birth. For different religions, how those rules & values were sent, & what they are are different.

So, this means not everyone can be rational because some are mis-informed & mis-educated. Some were not lucky to get the message directly (or never) in the same time & space. However, regardless of what is true or not, humans still need to govern themselves with something (or there will be chaos & the end of the human race). So, we end up with what we have or learn (or inherit from our ancestors).

Sure, humans progress & start to learn more about each other & more about the one truth. I argue we have a long way to go, because of the nation-state system, because of human nature, we have not come up with a way to have proper interfaith dialogue to determine the one truth. Religion is also mixed up with political, economical or racial interests.

My earlier statement "As Muslims believe Islam is the ultimate truth & the true religion, it is natural for a Muslim country to deem any conversion out of Islam as an act borne out of active conversion by non-Muslims, not an actual rational decision by the person" is to emphasis that it is human nature, a human weakness, a human wrong - not a Muslim wrong, not a Christian wrong, not any religion wrong. If all humans were able to be fully informed, educated equally, with equal exposure to all religions/values/political system/baseball team/song genre/icecream flavor, maybe just maybe we can make a proper rational decision. Unfortunately, that is not possible. So, we depend on society, a government, a revered leader, a religious organization, our bodies biology, gut feeling, etc, to determine our life's decisions.

.... I really wish I could type more & explain in a better or much shorter way. But I'm human & so sleepy right now! Forgive me (^^);

Mayuki-san, if you wish me to clarify more on Islam, or my thoughts on human nature, I will try my best again. Like I said, we all have a lot we don't know about each other & more to learn. I am very lucky to know a bit of basic English. I would not be able to learn from or explain to someone in another language. My limitations as a human (^^); I hope to learn more about your beliefs too (^^)

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OMG, after pressing "submit", now i know how long i wrote. sorry, ppl (^^);

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Mayuki at 11:53 PM JST - 15th July All religions believe they are the truth and the true religion. That doesn't give any of them the right to prevent people from making up their own minds.

At the same time it does not give any religion the right to go door to door and nation to nation trying to convert the people. That is very insulting to the people of that nations faith. The ball swing both ways.

medievaltimes at 11:57 PM JST - 15th July The world would be a better place if there were no missionaries...from any religion.

I am fully in agreement with your statement. I can not stand someone yelling that I am going to burn because I do not believe like they do. That is real sick to tell a people of a different faith.

bobbafett at 12:27 AM JST - 16th July if religious people were not brainwashed into Amway style recruitment then their would be no problem. each to his own I say.

Well said.....

In the words of one of the worlds greatest showmen and a great con artist;

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law

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Islam allows and respects religious freedom. Muslims do not preach to people of other religions unless they come to us to learn about Islam... If someone chooses to be a Muslim or a Christian or a Jew or a Buddhist, Islam respects that choice...

wow what about get marry with a muslim, do peopel "have to" convert? then you also changed to

As Muslims believe Islam is the ultimate truth the true religion it is natural for a Muslim country to deem any conversion out of Islam

what is that?

Malaysia really is a so-called moderate Muslim country.

i don't think so. malaysia just want to call them self as a moderated. It’s just like she want to call herself as trully asia! that sound stupid. every country in asia is truly asia!

malaysia is still under state of emergency, malaysia is still under dictatorship rule, government is still try to control media, no religion freedom, minority is still being taken advance. on and on i don't see anything moderate in that country.

violence is not condoned anywhere in the Quran.

i sick of this already! simple googling you will see ton of quran support of murder killing and violence for the sake of god and islam.

At the end of the day, one must understand the real differences between religions,

another wow to read! what about the earlier statement that say?

It is not an issue of religious freedom. It is a logical conclusion of a country which has a state religion. as well as the difference between the state and the religion.

that is muslim i always know. Try to say something beautiful, but conclude or act in another way totally opposite to what he/she just said!

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"The world would be a better place if there were no missionaries...from any religion." In some way, I agree with this statement. I would add, if people did not persecute other faiths as well, then the world would be a better place.

"wow what about get marry with a muslim, do peopel have to convert?" there are good reasons for that rule, which involve the preservation of marriage & family, the same in that it is advised that married couples should be of the same faith, Muslim or Christian or Buddhist or Jew, etc.

"i don't think so. malaysia just want to call them self as a moderated. It’s just like she want to call herself as trully asia! that sound stupid. every country in asia is truly asia!" you have your own opinion of whether Malaysia is moderate enough or not, though i'm very sure the title of moderate country came first from outside of Malaysia. in one way, i disagree with this labeling as it disunites the Muslim countries. the truly asia thing is a tourism campaign/slogan, highlighting the diversity of cultures in Malaysia, nothing more, nothing less. state of emergency? gathering more than 5 people is illegal? i guess you have never been to or lived in Malaysia.

"violence is not condoned anywhere in the Quran." this comes down to interpretation & the context in which the Quran was revealed at the time. At that time & the times before that, resolution between nations/states was mostly done through wars or violent fighting. Muslims were persecuted violently at that time, and thus, to survive, Muslims had to defend themselves & their faith through violent fighting as well, same as others. As the world context now has changed with violence & wars heavily frowned upon (but sadly still happening), then Muslims and non-Muslims should not use violent means. While the context & acceptable means have changed, Muslims are still being persecuted & accused wrongly. Muslims are still required to defend themselves & their faith, as required by the Quran and by human nature. I just hope that some Muslims (non-moderate Muslims as some might say) will understand the real spirit of the Quran which yearns for ultimate peace & know that peaceful means is still possible.

"that is truly conservative-muslim to me." again, some people trying to put labels & categories - conservative, liberal, moderate, fundamental, socialist, democratic. i am not trying to say something beautiful. i am just saying what i think best to bridge the gap between Muslims & non-Muslims. this is my way of defending my faith. my way of promoting peace. my way of reducing religious intolerance. my hope was at least my posts were better than just keeping silent, which is still better than persecuting & saying harmful things to others.

if you disagree with everything i said, at least please take this point with you - do not use harmful general statements such as "Islam is dangerous" or "Malaysia is under dictatorship rule" - because (1) it is too general & stereotyping, Christians/Muslims/Jewish/Malaysians/French/Americans/Chinese/Japanese/etc each encompasses a diverse range of people, not all are the same, and (2) what good does it do? those groups of people will feel persecuted & will increasingly be closed to peaceful solutions.

Ultimately, I believe God is fair and that human choice/nature is never crystal clear. I hope & believe that all human beings will be judged fairly on what environment/circumstances he/she lived in, what knowledge/news he/she is exposed to, and whatever he/she can understand. Right or wrong is never exactly clear, neither are we sure whether a person is fully & truly accountable. Do not judge others, let God do the judging for us.

Happy living, everyone (^^)

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there are good reasons for that rule, which involve the preservation of marriage family, the same in that it is advised that married couples should be of the same faith, Muslim or Christian or Buddhist or Jew, etc.

No, it is no good reason forcing someone to believe and do something. and it is no good reason why

Proselytizing of Muslims by members of other religions is forbidden in Malaysia, though the reverse is allowed.

and it is also in conflict with your own idea that say

At the end of the day, one must understand the real differences between religions”

i guess you have never been to or lived in Malaysia

I been there, some of my friend also live there. I spend some years in southern part of Thailand close to Malaysia where people free to speak malay or chinese language infront of any thais but when they cross border, they speak thai or chinese in front of a group of muslim malay and you will see a reaction!

and last time when the minority Indians protest in the Malaysia capital, the gathering more then 5 in public thing was also being use to detain the minority indians.

While the context and acceptable means have changed, Muslims are still being persecuted and accused wrongly.

good to know you understand that, but make sure that you really understand it!

I often see muslim say that quran never change like bible! So now you said quran’s context has been changed?

i am just saying what i think best to bridge the gap between Muslims and non-Muslims. this is my way of defending my faith. my way of promoting peace. my way of reducing religious intolerance.

yeah and your way of defending your faith is so much in contrast to each other like

Islam allows and respects religious freedom.

But

Islam is the ultimate truth the true religion it is natural for a Muslim country to deem any conversion out of Islam

Then

one must understand the real differences between religions,

But again

It is not an issue of religious freedom. It is a logical conclusion of a country which has a state religion.

And you still come back and sell your idea that

not all are the same

how can one proof anything with so much idea in conflict like this!

The thing that bother me the most on your last last post was that you try to show you know about fair treat, free will, everyone are not the same, and what is peaceful solution, but you ignore the reality of what the muslim states around the world is doing including Malaysia. You better understand that no one will believe what you said unless the people you refer to and yourself do it for real. it just like you listen to JWB talk about axis of evil, but you see him whanging war, making more enemies in M.E..!

And so far, you still confuse of what’s your heart telling you, and what islam’s telling you.

I am sure you are not a bad person by trying to read when you tell about being free and fair, but you rule out your own statement when you try to apply it to islam!

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United Nations Rule One. (Wearing your religion on your sleeve.) All Muslims should become Christian for one year in their lives, and all Christians should become Muslim for one year. They could be handed a complete outfit for looking the part. The challenge would be to see if they can keep focussed on the same God/Allah in their heart during the changes back and forth. If they are able to do so, we may have hope.

If they are unable do this, then I fear the planet is doomed. I can see the headlines: "Ignorant Mankind gets stuck on externals again. All hope now lost."

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This law in Malaysia should be taken to the world court. It is time for the Islamic world to enforce religious freedom. It is a basic human right. I think from yuudairs post, that Islam is fully capable to enhance all of our knowledge of the Love of God and His relationship to Humankind. Peace.

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Everyone should have an equal opportunity to believe in whatever irrational dosh they want to believe in.

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"Everyone should have an equal opportunity to believe in whatever irrational dosh they want to believe in."

Is it Nessie? Is it really? The Big Bang Theory is pretty much proven. So is your very being. Natural sciences have traditionally been accepted by all the great Faiths, Illuminating Truths. Both Christianity, Judaism and Islam are religions of the "Book". The Big Bang Theory which helped scientist make a statement about the first trillionth of a second of the beginning of the Universe is just a mind boggling fact. People of Faith are just astonished and communication between Islam and the Judeo/Christian world would bring a great understanding of each other. Islamic countries must allow this freedom of religion. It benefits everyone.

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Right out of the islamic textbook. While muslims are encouraged to proselytize (and conversion to islam is possible by simply stating the Shadada), others may never preach other religions to muslims. And in fact, leaving islam is impossible according to Shariah. The Hotel California principle -- you can join any time, but you can never leave. A basic principle of islamic doctrine, that moderate islamic countries like Malaysia share with their radical brethren.

So, no news here. Shariah law is brewing in Malaysia like anywhere else.

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One for all:

" Islamic countries must allow this freedom of religion. "

But if they did, they would not be islamic countries any more, by definition. So where does that leave you?

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In a Buddhist country you could hear the Islamic prayers recited and transmitted throud loud speakers. Starting from 5am! Recently, this practice was banned.

Jehovah`s witnesses known to disturb people at different times of the day by knocking at doors have done quite a lot of dmamage in the name of religion. When incidents of child abuse, infidelity or other things are reported within the memebers of their community, they would say, people are imperfect or the culprit has some psychological issue etc.

Religious beliefs are something personal and it should not be forced onto others.

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In a Buddhist country you could hear the Islamic prayers recited and transmitted throud loud speakers. Starting from 5am!

i can confirm that, and i don't think it has been banned yet back in thailand.

i still remember i joked with my thai friend. if any Buddhist want to do the same thing in a muslim country. ha! i don't think the peaceful people will try to understand the difference culture as much as they want another people to understand and accept them when they are minority!

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And I never heard the islamic prayers transmitted over the speakers in Dubai or Tehran.

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Religious freedom means a person, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Bhuddist etc can determine what they want to believe in at ANY time. A person is able to change their beliefs every second or so as they deem fit depending on what they want to believe..

A person is not being forced to believe or convert to another in a religion when somebody comes trying to preach to them or hand religious paraphanellia. As long as you're able to tell them "go away", or you're not interested you're still not being forced to convert. But when someone says, "You can go to prison for not being a believer anymore, or trying to introduce them to another belief" thats a serious obstruction to religious freedom and is the total opposite of what religious freedom really means.

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This is the sort of society that Obama lavished praise on, in that speech he made in Cairo a few weeks ago.

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There has been more deaths commited over the differences of religion than any other cause.

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Alphaape at 05:05 PM JST - 15th July

Too bad. And I thought Malaysia was a moderate Muslim nation. It is one thing to go around and try to force convert someone to your religion, which I am sad to say has happened to some people by both Christians and Muslims. But, to deny a person who wants to change their religons the right to do so to me seems a bit extreme.

Even if you look in Italy, home of the Roman Catholic church you don't have such measures in place. So much for the "religion of peace."

Yes, and in Rome (capital of Catholicism), there are Mosques. Now see if there are any churches in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The answer is zilch, zero, none. A non-Muslim could not even step on that city.

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JoeBigs at 05:46 AM JST - 16th July At the same time it does not give any religion the right to go door to door and nation to nation trying to convert the people. That is very insulting to the people of that nations faith. The ball swing both ways.

As a Catholic who used to live in a predominantly Catholic neighborhood, I faced almost daily bombardment of religious propaganda from Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons and Born-Again Christians trying to make me a "Christian" (as if I am not already). But I never felt offended nor slighted. Their persistence is an annoyance, not an imposition, which is easily addressed by two words from me, "I'm busy," or "Not interested," or just by not opening the door. So it's hard to understand that countries like Malaysia needs an actual law to discourage and criminalize proselytizing. It's an act of insecurity, as if there's something nasty about their native religion that they are trying to hide.

Yudaair, my friend, I congratulate you for your eloquence and intelligence. Far from an irrational fundamentalist, you have an understanding of other cultures and religions and it is obvious that you have high respect for them. That alone makes you a valuable member of this discussion. But you need to admit, that such ridiculous laws as the one subject of the article makes your country a backward one, in league with Apartheid S. Africa and Nazi Germany. A government that imposes such a rule has a siege mentality, the same mentality that leads terrorists to (wrongly) feel that Islam is under threat hence they have the right to kill innocent people in its name. #

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i find the lack of religious freedoms in malaysia appalling.

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I think the philosophy under discussion here is the basic human right to choose one's religion. In Malaysia I believe it is illegal for a Muslim to change their religion. This is far different than someone trying to prothlesize. If someone comes to my door I can choose to say no. Even if this is offensive (I am Christian and find door to door Christian evangelists offensive) but I politely say no thank you. It is different than a government not allowing a choice.

Stanley - we are still waiting for an answer as to which states prohibit conversion of Christians. Furthermore if there are such laws (would like evidence) the Supreme Court would rule them unconstitutional in about 30 seconds.

I have met many Muslims. Many of which I like. Some of which freely discuss religion with me (Muslims also consider Jesus a great prophet). On the other hand there are radical Muslims (as with other religions) that believe that Islam must be imposed by the sword and conversion must be disallowed. I do not have a problem with Islam but I do have a big problem with the lack of choice and lack of woman's rights.

It seems a somewhat radical element exists in Malaysia's government as well as Saudi Arabia, Yemen, etc. etc.

Do unto others as you would like them to do with you...I believe Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all share this value. So if you do not want someone to force you to be a religion then do not force others.

Peace

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JoeBigs at 05:46 AM JST - 16th July

“In the words of one of In the words of one of the worlds greatest showmen and a great con artist; Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law

Aleister Crowley the worlds greatest showmen and a great con artist?

Crowley developed his own weird & wonderful “religion”, if I remember something call “Felima” (but don’t quote me on that name) & for him & his followers it was a very serious thing, part mysticism, part occult with a large dollop of black magic mixed in. Whatever you may think of him calling him a showman &/or con artist really isn’t fair. Total lunatic I would have agreed with.

Yuudair. Don’t underestimate you level of English, it is excellent & more than adequate for what you were trying to say. In fact better than many who would say English is their first language. As a person I have nothing but respect for you, but I also believe that you would still be that same person whatever religion you believed in. It isn’t being a Muslim that makes you the person that wrote so well here. Who tried so hard to achieve a calm understanding among what can sometimes be a pack of wolves.

So many of here cannot agree with your reasoning that a person wanting to leave the Muslim religion will be seen as not making a rational decision. That is saying that a person who wishes to stop being a Muslim must be in a state of insanity & in need of looking after. I was under the impression that the Jewish, Christian & Muslim one god gave free expression to all people? Or is that to all people apart from the mentally needy?

As I am sure you know, in most western countries many parents teach their young children about father Christmas, this is a convenient fantasy & if done sensibly can help a child grow up with a lesson in responsibility. It is a nonsense & a lie, but sometimes a useful lie. But there comes a point when a child leaves behind childish things, they grow up & use their own intellect to look at the world & as they grow up they understand the function that “Santa” played in their childhood. And they know he was not real (sorry if I have let the cat out of the bag for some others here). For me mankind was the child that needed a “father” when it was growing up. I can see no reason at all why any human being today feels they need to believe in a god of any kind. Simply removing religion out of all our lives would make no (negative) difference. We would lose nothing apart from the hate & the killing, the things that divide us. None of the beliefs that others seem to find so very important plays any part in my life & yet I am not in any way damaged by this. There was a time when belief in a god was needed, that time has passed.

I would never ask, tell or try to persuade another to give up what they believe, I simply do not have the right to even try such a thing, but I do have the right to demand that you all keep your religions to yourselves.

What would any of us think if we read on this site that a man somewhere in the world believed in the tooth fairy & had killed his neighbour because that neighbour didn’t believe in the tooth fairy? That is how I se religion. Now expand that, not just Malaysian, but the whole world.

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[So, this means not everyone can be rational because some are mis-informed & mis-educated.]

Yeah who? Non Muslims or those trying to leave the religion of Islam it sounds as if you are saying. You nullified all those nice sentiments you were trying to convey. As hypocritical as all the other "religious" people who try to justify their own religions.

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What is the best religion?

We are born pure and uncluttered and that is how we should die. Surely the best religion is the one that helps you maintain a living relationship with the power that keeps us all alive.

If you are getting that, fine. If you are not getting that, or if you are getting something else instead, then maybe it is time to change and try a different approach.

Does not religion become potentially dangerous when you allow others to make your decisions for you?

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Would Malaysian authorities arrest Muslims trying to convert Christians?

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OhioDonna at 03:21 AM JST - 21st July Would Malaysian authorities arrest Muslims trying to convert Christians?

OhioDonna, Muslims do not go door to door trying to convert you. Not their bag of tea. If you wish to convert then you go to a Mosque and study.

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JoeBigs:

OhioDonna, Muslims do not go door to door trying to convert you.

Then I guess those guys in middle eastern dress who used to push 'submit to Allah' leaflets in my face nearly every day when I worked in Egdware Rd, London, must have been imposters.

If you wish to convert then you go to a Mosque and study.

And if you're a Muslim who wishes to convert to anything else (including agnosticism) you die. Horses for courses really.

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Muslims in the West often complain about the "prejudice" they encounter -- but the undeniable truth is, they face far less prejudice (and enjoy far more freedom) than non-Muslims do in predominantly Muslim countries.

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I think if someone wants to convert, and approaches members of that religion because of a desire to do so, that's fine, but I find the aggressive pushing of a religion upon people of other faiths, or of no faith, to be offensive, and I would welcome a law that prevents it in every country. In this story, however, it is not clear that this is what occurred. The people may be innocent of the accusation.

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"Farmboy at 04:40 PM JST - 21st July

I think if someone wants to convert, and approaches members of that religion because of a desire to do so, that's fine, but I find the aggressive pushing of a religion upon people of other faiths, or of no faith, to be offensive, and I would welcome a law that prevents it in every country. In this story, however, it is not clear that this is what occurred. The people may be innocent of the accusation."

This. Most sensible and on the topic thing said in these comments so far.

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If you wish to convert then you go to a Mosque and study.

I beg to differ with that comment. Muslims have been known to try to convert outside of the Mosque. Maybe its a new thing.

I just do not believe that anyone should be arrested for trying to convert another whatever their religion may be. I say this even though I have been bombarded by those wishing to convert me to their religion. I would never jeopardize my religious freedom by denying others.

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OhioDonna,

For me, religious freedom is important too, but it means the right to worship God, or not worship God, in your own way. I do not think it includes the right to annoy others by going to their residence uninvited. That crosses the line for me.

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JenniferKim is on the right lines. This isn't a 'is proselytizing a good or bad thing' discussion. It's hitting on the fundamental truth that in Islamic countries, the law is stacked firmly in Islam's interests, and minorities are suppressed. It's ok to convert TO Islam, but not from FROM Islam (once born a Muslim, you can never leave.) Other religions are suppressed, or even outright illegal (eg pracitising any religion other than Islam is illegal in Saudi Arabia.) One never hears of non-Muslim's demanding rights in Muslim countries, yet in the west, even though governments go to extremes in order to accommodate the demands of Muslims, it never seems to be enough. When it comes to reciprocation, Islam is all for 'an eye for an eye', but never 'I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine.'

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Gombei424Canada:

I was relieved to see I'm not the only person who read the headline about religious oppression in Malaysia and immediately thought of America

WHAT? There's absolutely NO comparison. In Malaysia and other Islamic countries changing your Muslim religion is ILLEGAL! Is there any such law in America or any other western country?

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Is [religion irrational dosh] Nessie? Is it really?

Yes. Really.

The Big Bang Theory is pretty much proven. So is your very being.

What's your point?

Natural sciences have traditionally been accepted by all the great Faiths, Illuminating Truths.

No, they haven't. Not when they contradict dogma, which they often do.

Both Christianity, Judaism and Islam are religions of the "Book". The Big Bang Theory which helped scientist make a statement about the first trillionth of a second of the beginning of the Universe is just a mind boggling fact. People of Faith are just astonished and communication between Islam and the Judeo/Christian world would bring a great understanding of each other. Islamic countries must allow this freedom of religion. It benefits everyone.

Hmmm...still not getting your point. I'd like to, if you care to rephrase.

Moderator: Please don't. All readers back on topic please.

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