Insults To Religion

There is a certain issue in Malaysia regarding the conversion of Lina Joy (formerly Azlina Jailani) from Islam to Christianity and while I have no qualms about the sentiment of anyone practicing their right to convert from one belief to another expecially in a country where the belief of religion is monitored and regulated as well as picked upon by its people. I do expect hardcore believers and fundementalist to come out of the woodwork on this one because to them something like this is just all sort of wrong on so many levels.

What I don’t expect is people like Cheng Sim here to write comments like this or this. For those of you who couldn’t be stuffed in loading the page to read those comments, here’s the gist of it.

i always have something against the stance that has been made by Lina Joy. yeah, sure she deny the fact that she’s a muslim. what are the odds that in the years to come, she’ll go: “oh, i wanna be a buddhist!”. although she wishes to convert to christianity (my religion), i don’t think i will accept her if she ever prays in my church. besides, i think she’s doing this because she wishes to eat pork or basically thinks its tiring to bersolat five times a day. Lina Joy is a sheer disgrace to islam and christianity (in my opinion)

I’m actually taking several deep breaths because I am still contemplating how is it possible for someone to take a complete leave of absence of their common sense to write something like that. I don’t even know what to call that sort of stupidity. Prejudice? Immaturity? Insanity? What would possess a person to express their opinions in that way?

As far as I’m concerned, Lina Joy’s conversion to another belief is her personal choice. It’s a belief, you can’t force anyone to believe what you believe. You can’t make anyone stay on something they have other ideas on even if they were born into it. You just can’t do such a thing. Religion has and will always be between you and whatever form of God you worship. To force onto others your own self-righteous belief of the divine when they already have something to believe in is like mental rape.

But come on, to disregard let alone insult someone’s new found belief into your own because the law stated they were in another religion in the first place is just taking absurdity to a whole new level. I wouldn’t claim to know what she what was going through her mind when she decided to switch her name and her religion, so I’m not going to. But I would claim to at least understand that just because you’re born into the religion, doesn’t mean you’re knee deep in it. It doesn’t mean you’re going to be a fevered worshiper of your God. It doesn’t mean you can hold it against them, the actions of the rest of the religious believers.

To think that people would change their belief because they think the other religion is fun or your own has too many limitations plays to show how narrow your worldview is. No one…not even those who barely practise their own religion would be willing to cause a stir like that simply because “she wants out because she wants to eat pork and she’s lazy to pray 5 times a day”. A person has got to be living in a cave or born yesterday to actually believe in something like that If they really wanted to do it anyway, they would have done it without such a fuss, such as having your Islam status removed from your national ID card. People tend to take the easier way out, going through the lengths of actually changing your name and facing the complications of conversion isn’t exactly what you call easy.

Deciding to openly apostate from being a Muslim in our country is a drastic measure for a drastic situation. A person has got to have a shitload of courage and support to face a proverbial firing squad and a beeline of social backlash. Comments from people like that does not help one bit but shows how dangerous such biasness can be. It reflects a person’s immaturity to grasp the sheer scope of the situation because religion for them is something they take for granted. It’s easier to walk along the path you’re dealt with. It’s harder to accept and to be accepted in something outside your own safety net. For that I respect Lina Joy, not for the fact she choose to officially declare a new belief, but for the conviction and courage to see it through.

The fact that people would say or even agree to saying something like that just shows the sheer bigotry and hypocrisy that makes them who they are, people who have a limited scope on what they can see based on what they believe or what they experience. I remember something I read in the Bible once about how we should “Love thy neighbour”. I think she must have missed out on that one. Who knows? Maybe she isn’t Christian enough.

16 thoughts on “Insults To Religion

  1. Hallmarks of a teenager living in shelter away from the real world that. Its unsettling that its like a dumb blonde comment that was just shot off without further thought. Religion is like one of those subjects that require a LOT of thought before throwing in 2 cents like its going out of fashion.

    But, I’m not altogether surprised to find such foolishness given the amount of “stupidity” I’ve encountered even in my own circle of friends.

    A better word would probably have been a lack of foresight and tact. Yeah, tact is a better word.

  2. I’m surprised someone of your intellect level actually bothered with that dumb comment man.Once in a while we encounter duds in our life.

  3. thats why i never read menj’s blog or any other blog which talks on religion … leaving comments on something sensitive like that is bound bring on some sort of ripple effect which i do not want …

  4. Keen: Oh I am surprised. I would have thought prejudices wouldn’t exist on that level.

    Paul: Oh I know how you feel on that one.

    Emmanuel: There is a reason for me to bother about something like that. One way or another, I’m going to have to do something along that line. Things like that only strengthen the choice I will have to make.

    Earl-ku: That’s the point actually. What good is being outspoken for something and not doing anything about it? Why fear when you know it’s the better thing to do?

  5. I think there should be a clear distinction between ignorance and prejudices. I think to come out and say she thinks the only reason the apostate wishes to switch is purely to eat pork and be lazy about having to pray 5 times a day would be ignorance on her part.

    But then again I can’t imagine her thinking there are people in restaurants keeping an eye out for Muslims eating pork and asking for ID the moment they ask for a dish with pork in it.

    But really, I’ve seen a fair amount of people just mouthing off without giving thought to what was said and this, is nothing new with regards to talking without thinking.

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  7. If you wanna solve religious matters, I have a good method: stay away from menj’s blogs. Deal with more rational people. menj contributes nothing but oil to the fire, and gets a high cause he’s a bloody pyromaniac.

  8. Keen: Then again, there is always the distinct connection that ignorance breeds prejudice. It is that unknown, that fear of that unknown that breeds contempt through misunderstanding, myths and selective choice of what they want to know. Maybe she’s young yes, but it is important to start recognising problems like this when they are young before they get a whole lot worse. Nonchalantly dismissing things like this is just as bad as being ignorant about such details in the first place and just as responsible.

    Lishun: I know you can say way more than that. Just don’t think too hard. 🙂

    Silencers: If we’re all going to deal with rational people, there is a lot less people to deal with until we realise that the bulk of the world isn’t made up of rational people and the rational people aren’t the ones in charge. Then again, the issue here isn’t about MENJ, it’s about people of all religions that think the way Cheng Sim thought about conversion.

  9. LOL- yea I suppose so man.Anyway I guess its time I sat down and wrote a proper response to this whole thing since my response in his website cannot be read by anyone but MENJ as he has blocked IPs again!

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