A “misunderstanding” of what? Of Islam, surely, right? Surely only wretched “Islamophobes” like me get Islam all wrong, wrong, wrong, by claiming that Islam forbids Muslims to convert to another faith, and likewise forbids people of other religions to proselytize among Muslims — right? Surely only venomous “Islamophobes” who are actually ignorant of or viciously determined to ignore and deny Islam’s true peaceful and tolerant teachings would imagine that Islamic authorities would restrict religious freedom in such a manner — right?
Well, unfortunately, it looks as if “Islamophobes” who Misunderstand Islam are in charge in Malaysia. These Christians were freed, but not because Islam teaches tolerance and allows for religious freedom. They were freed because they apparently weren’t proselytizing — “It was all a misunderstanding by an overzealous security officer.”
Well, that’s a relief, eh?
Sharia Alert from modern, moderate Malaysia: “Malaysia frees 9 Christians in conversion mix-up,” by Julia Zappei for Associated Press, July 15 (thanks to all who sent this in):
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysian police Wednesday freed nine Christians who were arrested and held overnight after a university official mistakenly accused them of trying to convert Muslim students.
The nine were released without charge, but their arrests could deepen frustrations among religious minorities who feel authorities in this Muslim-majority nation increasingly ignore their rights in favor of Islam.
Proselytizing of Muslims is forbidden in Malaysia, although the reverse is allowed. Muslims, who comprise nearly two-thirds of Malaysia’s 28 million people, are also not legally permitted to change religion.
A security officer at the Universiti Putra Malaysia handed the nine suspects to police late Tuesday because he believed they were giving Christian pamphlets to Muslims, said Zahedi Ayob, the police chief of Sepang district near Kuala Lumpur.
Police found they were only submitting questionnaires to other Christians for a research project about religious understanding, Zahedi told The Associated Press. Five were students at the university while the others were friends from Hong Kong.
“I think it was all a misunderstanding by an overzealous security officer,” Zahedi said.
Cases of non-Muslims preaching to Muslims are rare in Malaysia. Penalties differ in various states, but most provide for prison terms of at least two years….