Thursday, May 31, 2007

the courts vs lina joy

I’m probably going to get shot for this, but I need to spill my mind about the Lina Joy case.

You know, I’m a firm believer of Islam. Yes, admittedly I’m not the most pious of Muslims: I don’t wear a headscarf nor cover my aurat properly. I don’t pray five times a day, though I know I should. I have sinned in the month of Ramadhan. I have consumed alcohol and daging katuk (though I've never touched pork).

But at the end of the day, these are choices that I make. And at the end of the day, only Allah swt has the right to judge me, not anyone else.

Granted, I do know that each and every Muslim bears the responsibility to advise fellow brothers and sisters in Islam to repent and hurry back into the righteous path. My parents, for one, have ensured that I grew up with unending religious teachings, and would without fail lecture me about my not satisfying the daily must-dos.

As a child, I even got punished if I refused to listen and perform. Oh, how painful those canes/hangers/leather belts were on my skin! Even today, as I stand tall (ok ok, not that tall ;Þ) at 28, my mum especially would tirelessly preach the teachings of Islam to me. But they don’t punish me with any more than just words for they know that I am an adult who has the right to make my own choices, an adult who will later herself face the music for these choices.

So, what I really don’t get is when cases such as Lina Joy’s and Bibik Neo surface, the Muslims of Malaysia act out in anger and disgust. Even worse, they decide what the fate of those who have murtad should be.

Now, if these people are not of age, then I would understand what all the hoo-hah is about. Not just that, I would also agree that a certain amount of action should be taken to ensure that these not-yet-wise “children” don’t easily get derailed and change something as major as religion so blindly.

But in the case of Lina Joy, she decided to become a Christian at the age of 26 (or was it 36? It doesn’t matter anyway). Since then—she’s now 42—she’s been believing in the teachings of Christ. She managed to get rid of her Muslim name given to her at birth, but had her application to drop the word “Islam” from her identification card rejected.

My question is, if the woman has lost all belief in Islam and now lives and breathes Christianity, then why in the world should she be forced to live with having her former religion on her IC?

And why must everyone make such a big deal out of her case, anyway? What good is forcing her to insaf when evidently, any and every trace of the religion she was born into is long gone from her body and soul?

Let Lina Joy be, I say! And let others like her live—and die—in the peaceful bliss of the religion that they actually have faith in.

Oh, and hurry it up so they can marry, for goodness sake! We wouldn't want more sin in the world, now, would we?

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