“A Muslim may not declare that he is not a Muslim, save where he has been certified as such by a Syariah court.”
This is Malaysian law, which also prescribes jail for those who leave Islam: an ex-Muslim is “to be detained at an Islamic Guidance Centre for up to 36 months for religious instruction and repentance if he attempted to renounce his faith.”
All this comes from a story about four Malaysian ex-Muslims who have run afoul of these laws: “The Federal Court today reserved judgment on an appeal by a couple and two others against the Court of Appeal’s judgment rejecting their application for a declaration that they have absolute right and freedom to practise the religion of their choice.
“Chief Justice Tan Sri Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim heard their appeal with Federal Court judges Datuk Wira Mohd Noor Ahmad, Datuk Pajan Singh Gill, Datin Paduka Rahmah Hussain and Court of Appeal judge Datuk Richard Malanjum. Daud Mamat, 62, Kamariah Ali, 51, her husband Mohamad Ya, 57, (now deceased) and Mad Yacob Ismail, 62, had appealed against the Court of Appeal’s decision handed down on Aug 2 last year.
“It had dismissed their appeal for a declaration that the Syariah court had no jurisdiction over them in view of their apostasy.
“The court had also dismissed application for writ of habeas corpus for their release from the Pengkalan Chepa prison.”
Against them, “Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, for the director of the Pengkalan Chepa prison, in his submission today, said a person’s right to profess a religion of his choice as stipulated under Article 11(1) of the Federal Constitution was not an absolute right.”
You may practise any religion you want, as long as it’s Islam.
“He said since the country had a dual system – civil and syariah – the religious affairs of the Muslims were governed by the syariah, including the issue of apostasy.” (Thanks to LGF.)