Lina Joy has been denied the right to be legally deemed a Christian by Malaysia's highest court. The court affirmed precedents according to which all ethnic Malays are Muslim, in which case a sharia court must decide whether or not they can convert to Christianity. The sharia courts, of course, apply Muslim law, according to which conversion is not allowed. Lina is a baptized Christian, but the government will not remove "Muslim" from her identity papers. This means that she cannot marry the Christian man she desires to marry. It also means that sharia courts continue to have jurisdiction over her. Not surprisingly, her lawyer (who happens to be a Muslim) has received death threats for representing her. Malaysia's constitution ostensibly guarantees freedom of religion--but not if you were "born Muslim," I guess. Lina has (graciously) been allowed to change her name from the Muslim one she was given at birth.
Next time you hear something like, "Muslims in the West would like the opportunity to be governed by their own laws in family matters" or "Canadians are opposed to the limited application of sharia law even if it is only for Muslims," consider the implications of the fact that you can't leave Islam. What is really aimed at in such initiatives is the situation in Malaysia: The "secular" government deems certain people to be Muslim from birth and then, dutifully applying sharia law "to Muslims" refuses to let them leave that religion in legal fact, referring all matters of family law and the like, including marriages, to sharia courts for such people throughout their entire lives, even against their will.
And on the same day comes this story--news to me: In the Netherlands, Moroccans are told by Dutch officials that they should choose Arabic names for their children. Dutch officials give Moroccans residing in the Netherlands a list of names for new babies from which they are at least strongly encouraged to choose. This is an enforcement of a Moroccan government directive. Evidently the Dutch government is now an arm of the Moroccan government. (But perhaps that shouldn't surprise us.) I would guess that this will make it that much easier for any later converts to Christianity who happen to be of Moroccan origin to be "caught."
HT: Dhimmi Watch