Muslims with atheistic views violate shariah laws, says IGP

Source: FMT News 

PETALING JAYA: Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Khalid Abu Bakar, who drew flak for his stern warning to atheists, said today Muslims who hold atheistic views would be investigated by the religious department with assistance from the police.

“A Malay Muslim will surely be investigated by the religious department and the police will assist as it is an offence under the shariah enactments for a Muslim to be an atheist,” he told FMT in a text message.

Khalid yesterday warned atheists against creating “uneasiness” among Muslims with their activities.

He was taken to task by Islamic Renaissance Front director Ahmad Farouk Musa who said the IGP was going beyond his jurisdiction.

Farouk said the main duty of the police was to maintain order, not to encroach on personal liberties. Read more

Muslim atheist questioned by police, Islamic authorities, says report

Source: FMT News

KUALA LUMPUR: At least one Muslim, said to hold atheistic views, is being questioned by both the police and the Islamic religious authorities.

According to a report in The Australian, the man has been questioned by police for long stretches, and has been asked to turn over his phone and his Facebook account.

The report, on how Islamisation is creeping into Malaysian society, quoted a Muslim who holds atheistic views in private as saying that the authorities were hunting for Muslim who were atheists.

The man, given the name Zahari to protect his identity, belongs to the Kuala Lumpur-based atheist club which hit the local headlines recently when a photograph was uploaded to Facebook showing smiling members at a rare social gathering of the largely online group.

On Aug 6, the government said it would investigate whether any Muslims had joined the Kuala Lumpur chapter of Atheist Republic, a Canada-based organisation. Read more

IGP gets flak over warning to atheists

Source: FMT News 

PETALING JAYA: An Islamic think tank has asked Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar to explain his warning to atheists against “creating uneasiness” among Muslims with their activities.

Speaking to FMT, Islamic Renaissance Front director Ahmad Farouk Musa said Khalid was going beyond his jurisdiction. He said the main duty of the police is to maintain order, not to encroach on personal liberties.

“Khalid must explain what ‘creating uneasiness’ means,” he said. “If the atheists are enjoying their freedom to be free of religion without impinging on the rights of others to practise their religions, there shouldn’t be a problem.”

In giving his warning yesterday, Khalid said the Federal Constitution recognised Islam as the official religion and had no provision for atheism. He said police would scrutinise the existing laws to enable appropriate action to be taken should atheists cause anxiety among Muslims.

Last week, federal minister Shahidan Kassim made headlines locally and abroad when he said atheists should be “hunted down”. He claimed they were in violation of the Federal Constitution. Read more

Don’t cause unease among Malaysians, IGP tells atheists

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 16 ― Following public furore over a private atheist event, the police have warned non-believers today against causing any “unease” among Malaysians, especially the majority Muslims.

Malaysiakini quoted Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar as cautioning atheists to be mindful of the law.

“I wish to advise atheists to not cause unease among Malaysians, particularly Muslims who are against those who are irreligious,” he reportedly told the media in Bukit Aman.

“Their activities must not cause unease. I am warning them. Don’t think you can do whatever you want. Be mindful of the law.”

Khalid however did not comment when asked whether the police have received reports from atheists over alleged violent and death threats from Muslims.

“If they receive threats, which is a violation of the law, we will investigate and take action,” he was quoted saying. Read more

Suhakam chief: Minister should not have called for atheists to be hunted down

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 9 — The chief commissioner of the National Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) has censured a federal minister for calling on the authorities to clamp down and prosecute Malay atheists.

Tan Sri Razali Ismail called the suggestion inflammatory, and said that Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim as a Cabinet member should have been more careful when addressing a highly sensitive issue.

“I don’t think a Cabinet Minister should have said that,” Razali told Malay Mail Online.

“He shouldn’t have made a statement that would invite emotional argument,” he added.

But despite the criticism, Razali did not make his position on the issue clear, nor did he wish to state if Suhakam was against the persecution of atheists.

When queried if the commission was of the view that atheism — or the right not to believe in religion — is a human right and therefore must be respected, Razali replied:

“We don’t want to make (things worse) than what it is…we don’t want to say anything.

“Suhakam is studying the thing. But we really don’t want to say anything at the moment that doesn’t really help,” he said. Read more

Minister violating human rights by ‘hunting’ atheists, says humanist group

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 9 — Criminalising apostasy contradicts the right to freedom of thought and belief, an international humanist group said amid a government crackdown on Malaysian atheists.

International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) president Andrew Copson also said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim was “absolutely wrong” in claiming that atheism violated human rights.

“Non-religious people have freedom of thought, freedom of expression and freedom of association, just like the religious, and it is his talk of ‘hunting’ human beings simply for joining together in celebration of their views and values which represents a grave human rights violation,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Shahidan claimed yesterday that atheism was unconstitutional because it was not mentioned in the Federal Constitution and suggested that “we hunt them down vehemently”.

Deputy minister in charge of Islamic affairs Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki has said the religious authorities will investigate the Kuala Lumpur chapter of international non-profit group Atheist Republic, after a photo of its gathering caused uproar among some Muslims online. Read more

Lawyer: What happens to atheists if Rukunegara included in Federal Constitution?

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Datuk Zainul Rijal Abu, president of Persatuan Peguam Muslim Malaysia, speaking during a roundtable talk on the Rukunegara, organised by Perkasa, in Kuala Lumpur March 5, 2017. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Datuk Zainul Rijal Abu, president of Persatuan Peguam Muslim Malaysia, speaking during a roundtable talk on the Rukunegara, organised by Perkasa, in Kuala Lumpur March 5, 2017. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, March 5 — The rights of atheists to not believe in the existence of God would be affected if the Rukunegara is made a preamble of the Federal Constitution, a Muslim lawyer said today.

“Next, one of the five tenets of the Rukunegara is believing in God. Now here arises a question; how about those who do not have religion? The Orang Asli, the aborigines in Sabah and Sarawak who do not have religion?

“If ‘believing in God’ is made a preamble of the Federal Constitution that has a legal impact in the end, there will be some who will then argue that all Malaysians must trust in God,” Muslim Lawyers Association (PPMM) president Datuk Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar who practices both civil and Shariah law, told a roundtable discussion here.

The talk was organised by Malay-rights group Perkasa to discuss the proposal brought forward by a group of seven activists calling themselves “Rukunegara Muqaddimah Perlembagaan” (RMP), to push for the Rukunegara or National Principles to be made a preamble of the Federal Constitution.

Zainul said that while such a tenet is not a problem for Muslims, but Islam in itself guarantees freedom of religion even for non-believers and atheists alike.

“We cannot force people who don’t believe in God to convert to Islam, we cannot force those who don’t believe in God to convert to Buddhism and so on,” he added. Read more