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Islam: You can check out any time you like, but you just can't leave

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.

HT: Dhimmi Watch and TROP

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

Comments (16)

Reminds me of that Tony Soprano line: "Once you're in this family, there's no gettin' out."

We sometimes kid ourselves that the enemy is made up only of a breed of fanatical, fascist Islamists, but what is the name for what's being done to Miss Joy? The special aggressiveness of Islam ought to single it out for selective suppression in this country, not toleration. But that will require that the West become once again half as determined to preserve, in law, it's Judeo-Christian foundation as Islam is to destroy it.

Malaysia sounds like a good place to be FROM, if you follow me.

But re the name thing: they restrict names in Australia, which is supposedly one of the freest countries in the world. There was a big flap over someone who wanted to name their kid "Keanu" until they showed positive evidence that this was a traditional Hawaiian name.

I leave the conclusions to better people than I.

In Islam, finally liberalism finds an enemy it cannot defeat.
Given 100s of years maybe Islam could be liberalized but we don't have that kind of time left.
So there are two possibilities:
1) "The special aggressiveness of Islam ought to single it out for selective suppression in this country, not toleration. But that will require that the West become once again half as determined to preserve, in law, it's Judeo-Christian foundation as Islam is to destroy it."

This suggestion from above destroys liberalism - since its modern essence is non-discrimination. Enact this policy and modern liberalism comes to an end (not necessarily a bad thing)

2) Follow the logic of liberalism and continue our present course, pretending Islam is just another religion. Also continue our demographic collapse paired with unfettered immmigration, which is demanded by liberal non-discrimination logic and in a couple of decades liberalism will be destroyed as European countries become majority Muslim thru the democratic process, which won't last long either.
Islam is fundamentally incapatible with democracy - witness the recent "re-election" of the Syrian president by 97% of the populace. This is hailed as a "victory for multi-party democracy in Syria - problem is, there was only one candidate and voting is "strongly encouraged".

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."

Do unto others Christianity is the [redacted ]problem, dont you guys get that? What we are witnessing across the western world, the guilt, the weakness, the endless self-flagellating - it's ALL CHRISTIANITY. Mass Muslim immigration is the logical result of Christian humanist philosophy, if all people are equal, then there is no moral argument against mass immigration. Mass immigration reeks of Jesus.

In Europe it tends to be the few remaining priests and nuns who take our future conquerers into their churches (asylum seekers etc). Jean Raspail was right, the logical conclusion of Christian humanism is the death of the west.

First things first, Ivan: I can speak for my own threads on this blog and suspect I can speak for my fellow bloggers. We have very high language standards. The worst I have ever used is "shucks" or "what the dickens." The particular 4-letter word in your second-to-last will be edited out if I catch it, and I would appreciate your saving me/us the trouble. Thank you.

As to the substance of your statements, I believe them to be shallow. Even if we stick to the New Testament, consider the Apostle Paul. "You were once darkness, but now you are light. Walk as children of light." "For it is a shame even to speak of the things done of them in secret." St. Paul was no PC "everybody-is-equal" dude. He was what many nowadays would call a bigot, and he had a fairly low opinion of Gentiles, particularly because of their moral behavior. Even Jesus, who is taken by some to be the epitome of pacifism (which I do not think he taught as a matter of state action) _judged_ people's behavior. And he was positively unkind at first to the Syrophoenician woman on the grounds that she wasn't a Jew. "It is not meet to take the children's bread and feed it to the dogs." He was exactly the opposite of a PC wimp.

It is the merest shallow free-association to use words like "guilt," "self-flagellation," and so forth and use these to argue that Christians are logically called by the tenets of their faith to hate the very tenets of that faith and the civilization that has arisen on its basis. You are quite right to judge as culpably foolish many of the actions of Catholics, in particular, who have engaged in misguided attempts to show their kindness by inviting the wolf into the parlor and insisting that he has to be kept there once let in. I would instance as other examples the Catholic Bishops' constant attempts to undermine U.S. immigration law and the Vatican's push for Turkish membership in the EU. I could not agree more in condemning such things. But to say that this is required by Christian doctrines like love for neighbor, personal humility, and a sense of sin is merely to show that you understand Christianity as poorly as, if not more poorly than do the nuns, etc., in question.

I apologise for the cursing, I was out of order.

And I agree that Christianity works at the basic local level, in neighborhoods etc. But its morality is disastrous when applied to the state, which is why no Christian emperor ever took the turn-the-other-cheek stuff seriously.

I would also argue that the general TONE of the New Testament is non-judgementalism, whatever phrases hither and thither you can marshall against it ignores the forest for the trees.

Anyway, I regularly hear Americans go on about how the death of Europe is caused by the death of Christianity, our unwillingness to defend ourselves etc (despite this being an entirely elite phenomenon - the vast majority of ordinary Europeans are not pussies and are deadset against Muslim immigration), but this ignores the role Christians have played in our immigration catastrophe.

In Belgium, Ireland, France, Priests and Nuns reach out their hands to all these asylum seekers, the moralize, they pontificate, they condemn our societies for 'allowing' the huddled masses of the non-western world to exist. Not even leftists do the stuff I've read about Christians doing to destroy the west. Even leftists agree to the processing of immigrants, priests and nuns give them sanctuary.

I disagree with you about the tone of the New Testament. The lefties have it _more_ right when they accuse Christianity of being logocentric, sexist, homophobic, and so forth. Rightly understood, these are all good things to be. Again, the judgmentalism on moral matters is _very_ strong. I would say it is just the opposite--that it is cherry-picking to grab some phrase like "judge not, that ye be not judged" and miss the overall tone, which very strongly assumes and reinforces a decidedly judgmental attitude regarding behaviors regarded as immoral. The epistles of Paul as well as the general epistle of James are very good on this. Even John, regarded as the apostle of love, is rather scary when it comes to telling people that they don't know God and are liars if they do not walk in the light.

Again, though, I agree with you about the behavior of "dovish" priests and nuns on immigration. I would argue, though, that they might have been less likely to take this stance had they not themselves been taught a version of Christianity wrongly wedded to leftish ideas of "justice." The Roman Catholic Church itself has not been untouched by the political climate, and social justice Catholicism is one of the fruits of that union. (Sorry for the mixed metaphors.)

Right... anyway to conclude, this guy is the norm when it comes to European priests.



Don't forget that most of these European countries have "hate speech" laws that can be used against priests or anyone else. On the blog of which this is the continuation, I had a story about one of these priests in Belgium who was tremendously popular with the people who was going to be prosecuted by the government for "hate speech" for speaking out against the danger of Muslim immigration.

I find this story a bit odd.

-"Lina Joy has been denied the right to be legally deemed a Christian by Malaysia's highest court."

So what? Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and give to God what is God's. A picture ID belongs to Caesar. She is only legally deemed a Muslim by a worldly court, not the heavenly.

-"Lina is a baptized Christian, but the government will not remove "Muslim" from her identity papers."

Why should a Christian really care what some papers from a screwy government matter.

-"This means that she cannot marry the Christian man she desires to marry."
Not true. Find a minister/priest. Problem solved. She can be married with or without state recognition.

- "It also means that sharia courts continue to have jurisdiction over her."

Ok, this part does suck for her. She is a christian, she can marry whomever she wishes. However, such marriage could constitute fornication in such court and lead to her death.

Um, yeah, that's the point. Or at least one of them. If there are penalties for fornication in Malaysia (and they _may_ be less draconian than in other Muslim countries), she'd be subject to them. She wouldn't be allowed to live with the man. It's also possible that a priest or minister in the country would refuse to marry them, considering himself in this area too tied to the government's laws.

I don't even know all of the areas of law that the sharia courts cover in Malaysia, but it's pretty clear that there are more such areas than just marriage. And their jurisdiction over her continues. Some of the articles even state that the sharia courts in Malaysia have imprisoned people for converting, which is direct religious persecution, so they evidently have that power. In Afghanistan, the full penalty of death for conversion is a real possibility. It's just Malaysia's _relative_ moderation that apparently makes it imprisonment rather than death. So the sharia court's jurisdiction could cover her having become a Christian itself and get her punished for that.

I think it's important to remember that Islam goes into all areas of life. Muslim men are allowed to beat their wives, for example. Sharia courts in some countries (like in the hill areas of Afghanistan) order people to give up their children in payment of "lost honor" to other families. Having yourself listed as a Muslim in countries where Muslims are governed by Islamic law can be a very serious thing, depending on how far this is taken in the given country.

Here, for jswranch and anyone else interested, is a relevant link:


Apparently the dissenting judge in Lina Joy's case expressly cited the fact that she could be jailed for apostasy by the sharia court as an argument against the majority decision. In other words, by affirming the sharia court's authority over her, the "secular" court undermines her religious freedom entirely, since the sharia court can punish her by force for the conversion to Christianity itself. So the matter is not just one of her being able to be legally married to the man of her choosing.

[The following reply was made to a commentator who, much later, requested that the comments be removed. I have agreed to that request but leave my response here for whatever value it might have to others who read the post later. LM]

Mr. Chachar, I am not going to get into one of these endless debates with a Muslim who picks and chooses "no compulsion" verses. As you doubtless know, the choice for unbelievers has always been three-fold: Death, conversion, or dhimmitude, with the last including payment of the tax to support Islam. Death for apostasy is certainly supported by sharia and well-supported by other verses in Muslim scriptures; apostasy is considered worse than unbelief in the first instance.

In any event, I suggest you go and argue with your Muslim brethren and tell _them_ to change their laws. Dueling texts are at this point irrelevant between Muslims and their critics and are usually, as in your case, and attempt to stop critics from pointing out the obvious regarding Islam as practiced in the world today. The debate must take place within Islam if it is not to impose these interpretations in law. A man in Afghanistan was on trial for his life for apostasy not long ago on the basis of sharia. In Malaysia there is only one state that has death as the penalty. In other states people are instead imprisoned and sent to reeducation camps to try to pressure them not to convert. Their children are also regarded as Muslim and can be forcibly taken from them and raised Muslim if the convert to another religion will not do so. And, if you disagree with the law that Lina Joy not be permitted to marry a non-Muslim, then your argument should be with the Malaysian authorities and sharia courts, not with me. In point of fact, her fate, though potentially very bad, is less bad than it might be in other countries where indeed she could be sentenced to death.

Here are a few handy-dandy hadith quotes, from one Muslim to another, on the necessity of putting the apostate to death if he persists in his apostasy:


No compulsion in religion...except when there is.


i have firm believe in the oneness of God,our focus must be the oneness of God,this will help us to understand the different religions,in present time you w ill see the people are busy in the worlds matter,the world which is immortal,peoples are dying and going back to their origion,i must beleive in the life hereafter,and this wii really make us faithfull to our dear God......

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