Malaysian textbooks advocate the death penalty for apostasy — which should not really come as a surprise to anyone who knows how mainstream this idea is in the Islamic world. “School textbooks advocating murder,” a letter from “Very Concerned Mother,” in Malaysiakini, with thanks to Nicolei:
I wonder if the present government is aware that violence and murder is being preached through its own curricula and textbooks. This is not an exaggeration. I urge the government to seriously consider if its curriculum for Islamic Education is what it wants to feed young minds.
I was shocked and disturbed to find out that the secondary school syllabus for Islamic Education (Pendidikan Islam) includes learning how to deal with apostates and that one of the prescriptions is to kill them off.
In many widely-used Pendidikan Islam workbooks (which base their texts on the Ministry of Education’s syllabus), imposing a death sentence on apostates is offered as a religious duty. Allow me to extract some of what is written (and the original Malay version for readers to check on context and accuracy).
For example, under the heading “˜Ways of Dealing with Apostates” (Cara menangani orang murtad), the following precepts are given:
1. Advise and persuade the offender to repent and return to Islam (menasihati dan memintanya supaya bertaubat dan kembali kepada Islam)
2. To impose a death sentence (melaksanakan hukuman bunuh)
The text also has a heading which reads: “˜The death sentence against an apostate who refuses to repent and return to Islam has several virtues”. (Hukuman bunuh terhadap orang murtad yang tidak mahu kembali kepada ajaran Islam mempunyai beberapa hikmah).
Among which are:
1. To show to others at large that Islam is not a religion to be mocked at will (menunjukkan kepada orang ramai bahawa Islam bukanlah agama yang boleh dipersenda dengan sewenang-wenangnya).
2. So that no one will dare to denigrate the Islamic religion (supaya tidak ada orang yang berani memburuk-burukkan agama Islam).