Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Convert's Regret

Today's post is about this 54 years old Malaysian man who converted to Islam 10 years ago. He was born and brought up in Buddhist environment. He works in the government service. According to him, he was influenced by his friends to convert to Islam. This is not suprising because in Malaysia, more about 90% of the government staff are the Malay Muslims. He was probably one of the very few or perhaps the lone non-Muslim in his work place at that time.

He is single and has been disowned by his family due to his conversion. Now he wants to convert out of Islam and returns to Buddhism. According to him, he has always been following the Buddhist faith even after his conversion to Islam. Unfortunately for him, it is next to impossible for him to convert out of Islam, never mind if one who calls himself a Muslim but never live a life as a Muslim at all. He will have to face the uphill task of going to the Sha'ria court ( Islamic court ) to file a case to revert his conversion. He will also most probably has to do it alone without a lawyer because no lawyer ( must be a Muslim ) would want to take up his case, fearing possible intimidation from other Muslims.

In Malaysia, majority of the non-Muslims who convert to Islam, do it for the purpose of getting married with their Muslims partners. The laws in Malaysia require a non-Muslim MUST convert to Islam before allowed to marry a Muslim ( foreigners are not excempted ). It's like buying a one way ticket because once converted, he/she has almost no chance to convert out from Islam for whatever reasons at all. The only very rare case where a Muslim convert was allowed to leave Islam happened in 2008 ago where a local Chinese woman was allowed to leave Islam and returned to Buddhism. She converted to Islam in order to marry her Iranian boyfriend then but decided to leave the religion after her marriage failed.

In Malaysia, there has been several controversies over Islam conversion in the past. There were cases where men converted without the knowledge of their famiiies ( fearing rejection by family ). The families only came to know about this conversion after they died when the Islamic authority snatched their bodies from their mourning and shocked families to be buried according to Islamic rites.

Most recently, it involves a case where a Hindu man converted not only himself but all his young children without the permission of the mother. Read this case here

As for the man above, if it was true that he has been a Buddhist all this while, then he had made the biggest mistake of his life. He claimed that ( in the video ) that at the time of his conversion he was young ( supposedly an immature decision ) but at 44 then, he was definitely not young but old enough to make a wise decision. I believe the reason why he wanted to leave Islam is because he is still single and will be retiring in a year time and has started to feel lonely. He now wants to return to his family but his family refuse to accept him. Well, good luck to him. He'll need lots of that.


Faid said...

i don't understand. why he won't just "still be moslem" but he could live a life like buddhist~
may be it's also a wrongdoing (by law) if someone who is moslem but goes to the temple instead of masjid?
(so no need to face the court~) :D

Fhez said...

Well, i think the main reason why he wanted to leave Islam is because he wished to reunite with his family. Anyway, he won't be allowed to convert out from Islam especially there was a lot no "noise" when probably the only known case where a Muslim convert was given to leave Islam two years ago. You are Indonesian, if i was not wrong, you don't have this kind of law. Perhaps you could enlighten me. Thanks

Faid said...

i don't think there is this kind of law~may be not yet. hehehe~

my friend's uncle converted from islam to buddhist and he got secluded by his family n surroundings.

and my friend's boss converted from islam to buddhist as well but he goes along safe and sound with his family and surroundings~

Fhez said...

Many foreigners have the impression that Indonesia is a very conservative Muslim country, no thanks to a small number of extremist terrorists but in reality Indonesia is much more moderate than it's neighbour Malaysia.