Can You Help a Malaysian Atheist?

This email comes from a female reader in Malaysia:

I’m an atheist and proud to be one although I can’t exactly reveal my true self since I live in Malaysia where ethnic Malays are ‘MUSLIMS’ and can’t convert to other religions.

My dad was previously a Catholic Filipino (who converted to Islam) and my mum is Malay. When I was born, I was a Muslim by default. I’ve been an atheist since 4 years ago (before that I was just agnostic) and I’m in a relationship with a British guy. We plan to get married but as usual – my parents wants him to convert so we can ‘nikah‘.

We can’t get married in the UK since he doesn’t have a job there and I doubt I can get a job there because of their recession. We are both happily living together in Malaysia (his funds comes from a house he’s renting out in Oxford) but we hate the direction this country is going. Today they caned 3 women and 4 men for having sex outside of marriage. In Malaysia, atheists are very much hated and I can never be myself here or even voice out my opinions.

My question may be ridiculous but is there an organization which helps atheist people just like how they have those Christian organization who help their kind? The help we need is to get out of this country — by securing a job somewhere else, or a lawyer who can help us get married without him having to convert (which is impossible as many have tried).

FYI — renouncing Islam is a death sentence in Malaysia (Malays are trialed using the Syariah Law)

Any suggestions for her?

  • SmilingAtheist

    The only thing that comes to mind is possibly going to Australia which is not too far away. They didn’t mention ages but if you’re below 30 you can get a working holiday visa for Australia for 1 year. They could go there and get married then travel around a for a year. You could also see about applying for residency with him being a British citizen it may be a touch easier. They also didn’t mention what skills they had, Australia has a rather large shortage of skills in certain areas. Not too sure if that helps or not. Travel to Australia shouldn’t be that expensive, you’ll have to apply for your visas beforehand. Depending on your cash flow you can also see about applying for school in Australia. You can go there first then apply for a visa after you get there.

  • Brendargh

    Would it be possible to go to the embassy of a more tolerant country to request political asylum?

  • PastaMan

    Sounds like you’re stuck living in Malaysia. In that case I would convert and fake it. Better off than being caned or even killed as an apostate.

  • fritzy

    I don’t know if Amnesty International deals with these kinds of things, but it seems to me that contacting them would be a good first step as they may be able to lead you in the right direction if they aren’t able to provide any actual assistance themselves.

  • ga73

    Malaysian laws really suck around ethnicity and religion. If the couple decide to stay in Malaysia, it might be wise to just go through the motions and since their atheists, they can live their lives. Obviously it might be better to go to England or Australia as suggested above, but I don’t want to see them harmed.

  • fritzy

    This cry for help does bring up a good point though–it seems to me that there must be a huge need out there for an international organization that could help people, such as this young couple, escape from religion. Wouldn’t it be nice if a group of high profile atheists, human rights lawyers and the such could get together to found such an organization? Such an organization could definitly expect to see some donations in the form of my heard-earned cash.

  • ga73

    Hi again,

    I saw the comment posted above and I happen to be affiliated with Amnesty Intl. There is so much going on in the world with human rights violations, that I would not depend on it because we would only be able to help out if they actually were harmed in any way. I’d prefer that it not get to that point. If they want to contact me, they can.

  • Erp

    Another group to possibly check with is the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) as inability for an individual to freely leave a religion is an issue of concern to them. I can’t vouch for effectiveness but they might be able to give advice.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff P

    Can he just fake a conversion to Islam? Then you two can get married. Then simply just don’t practice Islam. I’m sure there are plenty of Muslims “in name only” even in Malaysia. Then look for opportunities to immigrate to some other more tolerant country and when you get there, renounce your faith and never go back (unless Malaysia moderates).

  • santa

    This is a more significant variation on what many atheists suffer from, which is some sort of discrimination based on ones belief. Some atheists lose friends. Some lose business. Some have children that aren’t allowed to play with other children. Some aren’t allowed to marry. Some are caned or even killed. I hope there is a solution for you that involves your freedom to acknowledge your beliefs. For many years I also hid my beliefs but it never bothered me. Personally, if I were your fiance, I would convert without hesitation. It would mean nothing to me. Wishing to NOT convert is also completely understandable, but realize that precisely because it is all nonsense, pretending to be a believer in-and-of-itself is meaningless. I have no idea what actual, meaningful things might result from conversion, but if you could convert and then essentially ignore the religion it might be an option to reconsider if you are unable to leave that repressive country.

  • KohJL

    They won’t hang you. The Syariah courts don’t have that kind of power; only the civil courts.

    They’ll just send you to “rehab” instead, but personally I’d prefer a quick death. Al-Jazeera has a story on Youtube about apostasy here in Malaysia, its quite unpleasant to watch.

    That aside, have you consulted an immigration lawyer on the issue? I understand why can’t you marry a British citizen in UK.

  • http://www.facebook.com/unmsia Unscientific Malaysia

    Although the prescribed punishment of apostasy in sharia is death, in Malaysia it is practised differently, and punishment differs from state to state.

    In short, you can’t convert out of Islam, unless you were a convert in the 1st place. A Muslim has to ask the sharia court to convert out, but such permission are never given.

    Usually, apostates are sent to “rehab”, and some states take it as criminal offense, punishable by fine or jail or caning.

    It is a bit harder for the husband to convert to Islam and just “play along”, since the heavy commitment required of him. This also includes gettinge circumcised (if he hasn’t).

    Another good bet is to live in Singapore, we guess.

    We have posted this article in our Facebook group & will update if anyone has any suggestions.

    Edit: (Correction) Our website is http://unmalaysia.wordpress.com & Facebook:
    http://www.facebook.com/unmalaysia

  • HP

    @Jeff and Santa: I thought of the pro forma conversion as an option, but if, in Malaysia, he converted to Islam, would he not then be subject to Sharia law? It’s one thing to be a “bad Muslim” (just like there are “bad Catholics,” “bad Jews,” etc.), but he would be putting himself in the position where his failure to observe the religious obligations of a religion he doesn’t believe in would place him in violation of the law in a system backed by the full force of the State.

    Would you really want to live in a situation where you have to look over your shoulder every time you want to drink a beer?

    I’ve been on the fence for a while about the benefits of organized atheism, but I think this post points out the need for some kind of NGO specifically for free-thinkers and apostates.

  • Aj

    Converting to Islam would mean he would be subject to Shariah law, which could suck for him if he was caught ignoring the religion, the punishment for apostasy is death.

  • J.Allen

    My suggestion:

    Get the Hell out of that place.

  • Angie

    Perhaps the Institution for the Secularization of Islamic Society (ISIS) could advise?

    http://www.centerforinquiry.net/isis/

  • muggle

    What I’m not getting is he can’t marry her in the UK because he doesn’t have a job even though he has income from rental property? Say what? England isn’t really this backwards, are they? They certainly don’t give that impression. Are you sure this is accurate?

    I don’t know something just isn’t sitting right with this letter. It’s smelling fishy to me. I don’t know much about either Malaysia or the UK’s immigration policies but the solution seems obvious and I am really having trouble believing he can’t bring his wife home.

    • Anon

      I am thinking the same way… Why can’t he bring her back to UK even thought he haven’t get a job? Something fishy is going on here… If I were her, I will investigate till the core of the problem why he can bring me out of the country and get married? 

  • james

    Another Malaysian atheist here,

    As far as I can remember, no one was ever put to death for apostasy in Malaysia, ever. They might lock you up a bit and force you to attend some “repentance” classes in hopes of swaying you back to ye olde one true faith.

    Most Malay apostates facing the writer’s dilemma tend to just migrate and marry elsewhere.

    And I’m not sure if it’s true that atheists are “very much hated” like she said in that e-mail. I’ve been an outed atheist for years now. I believe the hate is reserved mostly for people who left Islam, not for atheists in the general sense.

    I seems to me that her boyfriend (a UK citizen, I believe) needs to suck it up and actually look for a job back in his own country – instead of waiting for some magical atheist global secret society to find a job for both of them and fill in her immigration forms for her. I seriously don’t see a real problem here. Go to UK, get married and boom! she’s a UK citizen too since she obviously have no qualms about leaving her parents back here.

  • Ron in Houston

    I liked the idea of political asylum, but it’s a pretty risky strategy. If you get turned down you could be between a very big rock and the proverbial hard place.

  • muggle

    Okay for some reason my edit didn’t take.

    I tried to add that something seems fishy about this letter to me. The solution seems so obvious and simple. Marry her in the UK. I don’t know much about either Malaysia or the UK’s immigration policies but it seems, yeah, as James says, at the very least, suck it up, dude. Get a job even though you apparently don’t need one and marry her. Or doesn’t she mean enough to you to? You can always quit after she gets her citizenship.

  • Bill

    @Muggle – of course one can get married in the UK if one is a British citizen (or any citizen I would guess), job or no job – I’m not sure the writer meant that; simply that without a job in the UK he has no cash to travel there and back as his funds are limited to rent from a house he owns. But, if he’s British and he has no job in Malaysia, surely he can’t stay there for ever? Save up, go to UK, get married. BTW if he owns a house in Oxford then he has some capital tied up there.

  • http://twitter.com/NopePope_UK chunkylimey

    Seems if you’re under threat for religious persecution that is by default an asylum claim in the making. Move to Europe where thankfully Islamic law is being held off by the majority of us being Secularists.

  • http://aboutkitty.blogspot.com/ Cat’s Staff

    If your father as a Philippine citizen, you may be able to become one very easily(if not automatically). Check out the Philippine embassy/consulate for more info.

    This may not change anything in Malaysia and if either of you ever return you would be subject to the law there for being an apostate, marrying outside Islam, and (for him) pressuring you to convert.

    Malaysia (along with many Islamic countries) are in violation of (the non-binding) Universal Declaration of Human Rights (specifically Article 18), when it comes to people being allowed to change religions. Not that that will help much. Islamic countries (including Malaysia) got together an made up their own Islamic declaration of human rights.

  • sophia b

    might sound odd but you mention there are christian organgisations who help people who have left islam for christianity. Maybe you could go to one of these to ask for advice? If there was a fairly moderate organisation out there maybe they’d help you. If you did try this its prob not best to mention ahteism explicityly, but just talk about how you don’t believe islam anymore you don’t want your fiance to convert.

  • Mitch

    Shariah law in Malaysia is applied to a very limited extent, mostly to civil matters between Muslims. To quote wiki on the Law of Malaysia;

    “In some states there are sharia criminal laws, for example there is the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment 1993. Their jurisdiction is however limited to imposing fines for an amount not more than RM 3000, and imprisonment to not more than 6 months”

    It should be noted that it is a contentious issue in Islam as to whether Sharia law imposes the death penalty for apostacy at all.

    Unfortunately she won’t be able to convert (see the Lina Joy case), though she certainly won’t be put to death either.

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    If he has property in England then I assume that he is a British citizen. As such you can and should marry in England and move here. Despite the never ending recession (apparently over this month. Yay) and the tabloid papers telling everyone that we hate immigrants we do have a liberal and rather generous immigration policy. You may have to prove that your marriage is genuine (to stop sham marriages for citizenship) and live together for at least two years or face deportation but it doesn’t sound as if this would be a problem.

    You don’t say what you or your boyfriend do for a living. If he owns property though then he has security and presumably family in England who could help him find work. I’d also assume that you are at least bilingual given the huge number of languages spoken in Malaysia. Plenty of cities need translators and we Brits are generally insular and snobbish enough to think that the entire world should speak the Queen’s English (snobbish enough to mock our own regional accents) so we don’t tend to speak many languages.

    Even if you don’t have someone to help find you both work there is certainly a reason for you to seek asylum on religious grounds. It would certainly seem that you have reason to fear for your life because you are not a Muslim. Normally you’d have claim asylum in the first country you reached but having ties in England might mitigate that. Check out the direct.gov.uk web site for a start. Do your research first. Get a passport and don’t tell too many people.

    Here’s hoping that you find a way out safely.

  • a thought

    The explanation sounds plausible to me. At the moment it can be difficult for British citizens to bring non-British citizens to the UK for marriage purposes, and not having a job there may impact her fiance/spouse visa (since for those visas you must show that you will not need to have recourse to public funds).

    I wouldn’t normally tell someone to fake it, but in this case I’d say he should fake it, marry her, and then save money for them both to move back to the UK.

    However, I have read something recently (and unfortunately can’t find a link) about a British man who is in a genuine marriage with a far-Eastern woman who has been denied a visa to come live with her husband in the UK. To avoid this situation I would urge the couple in this post to speak to the British Embassy about the best way to marry to avoid future visa problems.

  • Chromagus

    Hi there, I’d like to give you a couple of practical recommendation as I come from those part of the world as well. I’m indonesian by the way and the country is very similar to Malaysia in terms of opression by Islam.

    Anyway, it is possible to just elope to a different country and getting married there. a few of my indonesian friends did that, but all hell breaks loose when they return home to Indonesia.

    Right now, you’re best option would be Australia. One because, the economy is looking up with major projects starting soon. Two, if you’re husband to be is a british citizen it will be easier for him to get citizenship here but what’s more is that when he does get his citizenship, it’s almost always that you get yours as well due to spousal connection. I don’t know what both of your backgrounds are but even if that doesn’t work, you can improve your chances of getting a visa if you have an australian sponsor (This is something I can look around for you).

    There is a few pathways you can take to move to Australia but I kinda need to know what you’re background is (eg what’s your profession, how long have you been working, age, and so on) because the australian regulations in terms of migrants are very dependant on these sort of things.

    I can talk to you through emails if you wish. I know how it feels to be in your position and I will help you as much as I can. I’m not sure I should leave my email address, but perhaps you can ask our friendly host for my email.

  • Malaysian in Singapore

    With regards to the Lina Joy case, I’ve heard that if she had made the case for deconversion in Negeri Sembilan (a state in Malaysia) courts, there has been precedence for smooth deconversion. So it’s a matter of choosing the courts for deconversion.

    I would not recommend ‘faking’ it, because of the obvious administrative and political implications. As a registered Muslim, you will be subject to shariah law, and your children will be legal Muslims as well, which means that they will have to go to mandatory religious classes in public school.

    Both of you could try visiting Singapore, looking for a job here, and then getting an employment pass. If you have a degree, you can probably get a Employment Pass Eligibility Certificate, which in turn gets you a Social Visit Pass for Seeking Employment valid for one year. Singapore is not as politically open, but at least religion doesn’t count for much in Singapore than Malaysia.

  • I

    As a UK citizen living in Malaysia the boyfriend will need to either have a valid work permit or make regular trips out of the country to renew his tourist visa.
    As James says Atheists in Malaysia are looked at as more of an odity than hated. The problem that this girl faces is not whether or not she is an Atheist it is the fact that she was born to Muslim parents. There are many young people in Malaysia who face the same problems. They want to have the right to live their lives as they want and think as they want but the State (using religion as a means of control) does not let them. Shyria law is just another tool manipulated by the persent government.
    As Muggle points out there are too many “fishy” things about this message. If the couple are genuine (perhaps the boyfriend has no desire to get married!) then there is no reason why they can’t sort things out for themselves, especially as he has a property in UK.
    As UK citizen married to a Malaysian (and Athiest) who has lived in Malaysia for many years I can understand the problems they may face but don’t go begging for help from others when the solution is within their control.

  • Pingback: A Malaysian Atheist asks for Help @ Helian Unbound

  • http://www.lonesomeacres.com xpastor

    Like many other readers I find the comment a bit fishy that she cannot marry her British boyfriend in Britain because he can’t get a job there. As far as I know, they can get married in Britain, provided that she is at least 18—there is a law against bringing in an underage foreign bride. If they made the trip to Britain, got married there, and returned to Malaysia, I would assume that they could live openly together as a married couple. I hate to sound cynical, but I am wondering about this boyfriend, if he’s maybe just trying to avoid the committment of marriage, even if it involves considerable risk to his girl friend. The Malaysian authorities might cane her for sex outside marriage, but somehow I doubt that they would touch a non-Muslim British citizen.

  • Dire Lobo

    If your fiance has some money (from his rental property or whatever) then use it to GET OUT. It won’t be easy, but so what. Why live in an oppressive society? Walk to thailand if you have to. Or get a small sailboat and go to ANY other country. Worry about jobs later. Your fiance – if he has income, again, from whatever source – use it to live on in another country. Don’t give up, be brave and just do it.

  • DexX

    I’m not absolutely certain, but you may be able to get refugee status in Australia on the basis of religious persecution. It is valid for Christians in muslim countries and muslims in hindu countries, etc. so I can’t see illegal atheism being any different.

  • DexX

    Follow-up…

    http://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/61asylum.htm

    The wording here makes it sound like you might have a case, but from my limited knowledge, they will probably ask why you can’t just go to the UK.

  • Thegoodman

    It might be a stretch, but it is possible you could travel to the U.S. and apply for a 1 year visa. When that visa is expired, seek asylum based on religious persecution.

    Not to sound like a chauvanist, but if you are attractive and unmarried, you will likely be able to find someone who can help you stay in the U.S. permanently. You boyfriend could then possibly get a dual citizenship with the US and the UK and you could marry as US citizens.

    This seems like a big gamble to me, but if you are in dire straits, its worth a shot.

  • a thought

    People are forgetting here that currently Brits have to *get permission* from the British government to marry a non-British person in the UK. As I say, it’s currently sometimes difficult to do that. The Home Office is suspicious even of genuine applicants.

    Yes they could marry outside the UK, but that may require him to convert :(

    I have a thought: travel to Las Vegas. Viva Las Vegas.

  • Isabel DAngelo

    So, religion has power of life and death over their “victims” ? Yeap, I should be happy for the fact that I’ve borned in a country that allows me to not follow the dominant religion, I just don’t feel that happy.
    And I left a question:
    Is there anything good about religion ?
    Besides the fact that certain people only can live a right life, ‘couse the fear they have of hell. ( in my opinion, live in a state of constante fear of being thrown into hell by a loving god, is the proper hell )

  • http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=117676498244829 Sitt Al-Wuzara

    In response to comment that says apostates are not killed in Malaysia: I can fairly testify that Muslim apostates in Malaysia are in fact murdered in silence by family, relatives, and the Islamic community that they live in. There are hundreds of cases of the murder of apostates in Malaysia that never made it to the media. In some cases, apostates voluntarily committed suicide due to the immense pressure they are facing and I know personally of someone very close to me who took her own life because she cannot see the future of her life being a Christian convert from Islam in Malaysia.

    As far as the dilemma goes, in my limited opinion, if she is a nonbelieving atheist, living with a boyfriend in a committed relationship would not add an excess baggage of guilt if they are not married. If family relations are her concern, she is advised to stay safe and not bring up the question of getting married to her family at all if she does not wish for the boyfriend to convert to Islam.

    I am the founder of the Facebook group, Apostates in Malaysia and I encourage apostates in Malaysia to come check it out. It is still in developmental stages where we are still working on support resources for Islamic apostates in Malaysia to stay safe in Malaysia irregardless of their choice of faith or lack of. Our goal here is to provide a source of comfort and a support network for apostates in Malaysia to have an idea that their situations, even though unique, are also experienced by thousands of other Malaysians who are struggling with the same dilemma. There is no obligation to join the group but if anyone needs support or someone to talk to, we welcome apostates and friend of apostates to write in as we will do our best to help or provide support in the situation :)

    The group can be found on the link to my name; and the website to the group is accessible here: http://docs.google.com/View?id=dd7xmg4h_34hsc3bffm

    • Muhdiskandar90

      and how do you know that Muslim apostates in Malaysia are mudered in silence ? enough is enough..ada benda yang kita boleh lawan and ada benda yang kita tidak boleh soal. Kalau tidak dengan kesalahan sendiri kenapa ingin bangkitkan soal ini? why now ? kenapa dulu agama tidak engkau soalkan? berhenti dari membuat pekara yang kita sendiri dah tahu apa kesudahan nya ? and kalau betul awak tidak suka kenapa perlu menggunakan internet sebagai saluran ? kenapa ingin memburukkan agama dan negara sendiri? fakta umum nya kamu itu rakyat Malaysia. kalau tidak puas hati kenapa tidak berpindah sahaja dari negara ini? and let this thing go. kenapa nak kecoh2? awak dapat apa? awak nak buat satu agama lain kew? satu benda yang pasti apa yang awak perjuang kan tidak akan diterima sebabnya awak itu hanya untuk kepentingan sendiri. if you hate malay so much just kill yourself..sebab darah awak tuh darah melayu,awak tuh melayu. baru lah aman hidup awak. then buat apew nki buat benda nie? nak kumpul dosa? nak tambah dosa? baik bunuh diri hukum dia pun berat jugak? rasanya awak pun tahu. sebab awak tu islam murtad. murtad pun awak orang masih panggil awak islam murtad.

  • IndonesianAtheist

    Hi,

    I’m also ex muslim and now an atheist. I’m living just not too far away. I’m Indonesian, the largest muslim community in the world. I’m a bit more lucky than her since my country is a bit more liberal (the government didn’t really care about religions and their differences. And care more about religious harmony (but not atheism harmony lol)). However, there are still huge number of fundamentalist among the community which is way I’m still afraid if someone stab me in the street and until now I haven’t open my atheism to other, even to my mom. I’m a bit lucky that I’m well educated and I’ve got an idea to take graduate study to Australia and not coming back. I hope it is ok to be an atheist in Australia. ;) .

    • AJ :)

       As an Aussie Atheist, it’s open and very ok here :)

      So, I’d say “Selamat datang Australi” :)

  • John Hann

    Something wrong with this letter. This “girl” looking for a safe haven. There is no death sentence for murtad in Malaysia. Only they send you to brain-wash institution and convince you to change your mind. It just social suicide if you wanted to declare yourself as an atheist. You’ll loose your family, jobs, and surrounding community will look you as you’re from planet mars. Just play along with the system. No way in here you can declare your self godless.

  • Dantist89

    I’m a Malaysian atheist too. I’m not Malay so I’m not considered Muslim by default, but I feel her pain. I really do. the only advice I can give if they fail to migrate, is to just fake it. Even though Malaysia is a Muslim country, it is not as hardcore a Muslim country as in the Middle East. We are surprisingly incompetent at enforcing Shariah Law. Just keep your wits about you, be well informed, and avoid suspicion. You’ll be fine. I know it’s a shit alternative but a secluded life is better than no life.

  • Malay Atheist

    I remember this girl. We had a few short discussions online. I think the gist of my suggestions to her was to simply get out of the country. Cases like these are but one of many glaring inconsistencies that fly in the face of tired old slogans like “There is no compulsion in religion” or “To you be your way; to me mine”. 

    Firstly, those words lose their tolerant tone when read in the full context of the ayats before and after them. Secondly, you can’t claim tolerance and non-compulsion if the Quran itself contains numerous condemnations of polytheism and injunctions to fight against it. Thirdly, it is still compulsion if restrict preexisting Muslims from leaving the faith. Last and most importantly, flimsy axioms such as those above lose all meaning if in real practice they aren’t observed at all, or only observed occasionally or partially when it involves interactions with would-be converts or interactions with people of other faiths in one of those “Kumbaya” inter-faith PR spectacles.

    There’s no such thing as race, yet I am still Malay by virtue of the culture and language that I was born to and grew up in, and I am still Malay even though I reject Islam.

    • Dr Mohamed bin Awang Lah

      Assalam alaikum Malay Atheist !

      You may be interested in the project called KELAB MURTAD DI MALAYSIA (KMDM) which was founded to get Malaysia’s Ex Muslims organised before the 2012 Malaysian general elections by networking all those Malaysians who wish to emulate Turkey’s Mustafa Kamal Attaturk, a murtad, and a Atheist who abolished Islam in 1924 by seperating Islam (that is the Muslim’s church) and State and repealed Sharia.

      This is why Turkey is today the freest country in the Muslim World as most of its inhabitants are Muslim Atheists, a form of Atheism like Christian Atheists or Jewish Atheists.

      KMDM desires to :
      * abolish the 9 Malay rulers, and their Conference of Rulers
      * abolish all 13 Majlis Agama Islam and all Sharia Courts
      * abolish Malay equal Muslim clause
      * abolish the Yang Di Pertuan Agong
      * establish a Secular Malaysian Republic like Turkey’s Mustafa Kamal AttaTurk did
      * outlaw Parti Islam Se Malaysia (PAS) for its advocacy of racism and apartheid
      * establish Secularism, Socialism, Nationalism, Freedom, and Democracy

      Kelab Murtad Di Malaysia (KMDM) website is accessible at http://kelab-murtad.blogspot.com 

      • malay atheist

        ‘….it’s a trap!…’
        Admiral Akcbar

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rasio-Mal/100002654850564 Rasio Mal

    Hello everyone,

    There is a vacuum in Malaysia for freethinkers and atheist. People have already started to talk and act around the world, even in Middle East, on secularism. To that end, I am trying to group together Malaysian freethinkers. For a starts, I am creating a page called “Malaysian Freethinkers” on facebook.

    You are invited.

    • http://twitter.com/drilyasharun DR. ILYAS HARUN

      It is a very good idea of creating a group in the internet for Malaysian freethinkers. In this Wave Age, religion (whatever names) has no place in the minds of enlightened people.

  • Melayu ISLAM

    I am a malay MUSLIM..so sad when reading this blog.where is you intelligence and knowledge of ISLAM?kesian mak bapak korg hantar pergi sekolah agama jadi mcm ni.betul la lg pndi org tu blajar lg memandai2 ilmu korg bt sndri..klu beli mesin basuh auto pn ade manual..tkde manual jd bebal la korg..same ngn hdp korg hdp ade manual gak itu la ALQURAN & HADITH..senyum org yahudi sbb agenda diaorg berjaya..ssh klu org pandai tp bodoh ni..klu korasa tkde agama tu betul..suke korg la aku igtkn sbb tngngjwb sbgi seorg muslim je..yg lain tu hak ko..adios wa berambos…
     

    • ShutUp

      well, actually, most atheists decide that they want to believe what they do is by studying and weighing in the religion content, i.e; al-Quran dan Hadith. so, to be calling atheists stupid is not a smart thing to say, since most scientists/philosophers/great thinkers in the world are in fact, atheists.

    • Anonymous

      you should not condemn people’s beliefs regardless of what that is. i am not an atheist, but logically speaking, if an atheist wishes to be an atheist, it is the individual’s choice. bkn dy de sktkn ko pn. n de mcm2 manual kat dunia ni, xsmstnye satu manual je leh pakai. dlm agama islam xde sesekali kutuk agama len. nabi muhammad pn respect org len tw. jgn malukn islam la wei.

    • HANTUTETEK123

      YOU BLOODY ARRORANT MUSSY..IM A MALAY ATHEIST MY SELF..IM LUCKY TO BE OUT OF YOUR MEDIEVAL CULT AND LIVING ABROAD..WHY CANT PEOPLE LIKE YOU RESPECT OTHER PEOPLES CHOICE AS HOW THEY WANT TO LIVE THIER LIVES AND STOP MAKING SMUGG REMARKS..ISLAM HAS BECOME THE MOST HATE RELIGION ON THE FACE OF THIS PLANET..JUST LIKE THE COMMUNIST YOU WILL COLLAPES.. ISLAM HAS BEEN REDUCED TO NOTHING MORE THAN A MYSODGYNISTIC VIOLENT RITUAL HELL..MUSLIM KILLING MUSLIM..IRRATIONAL FATWA BEEN DISHED OUT WILLY NILLY IN THE NAME OF MORALITY..BUT YOU ARE NOTHING MORE THAN A BUSY BODY PIPPING TOM..I THOUGHT RELIGION WAS ABOUT SPIRITUALITY BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR GOD..YOUR GOD IS BEGINING TO SOUND LIKE A SCHYCO..YOU HAVE BIG PROBLEM WITH WOMENS HEADS.. BUT PERFECTLY HAPPY TO SEE OLD MEN MARRYING LITTLE CHILDREN PLUS THOUSANDS OF OTHER LUNACIES..YOU WORSHIP YOUR BULLSHIT UZTAD AND OTHER SO CALL MEN IN ARABS ROBES WITHOUT USING YOUR OWN BRAIN..YOU ARE A LAUGHING STOCK OF THE WORLD..TAKE MY ADVICE..START USING YOUR HEAD..YOU MIGHT THANK ME ONE DAY..AS FOR THE YOUNG GIRL..MY ADVICE IS..YOU’RE BETTER OF IN THE UK..EVEN IF YOU ARE ON THE DOLE..YOUR STANDARD OF LIVING WILL  STILL BE HIGH…..MY BEST WISHEST TO YOU AND YOUR BOY FRIEND….PEACE TO YOU SISTER.. 

  • bob lokman

    hai linda joy, aku rasa mat salleh kafir yg naj kau tu saja suka puki kau saja sedangkan dia pun bukan kaya….lepas dia jemu dgn kau dia akan tinggalkan kau,.cuba kau suluh muka kau di cermin….lawa sangatkah muka kau yang maat salleh kafir nak tu???aku dah tengok muka kau..harap putih sahaja tapi orang puih lebih lawa ,….cuba fikir..maya karin lebih cantik tetapi dicerai juga olih suaminya.lebih baik kau balik ka jalan asal…ingat Allah dan ikut kata mak bapak kau…

  • MalayAtheist

    I sympathize with you. I am also a Malay and an atheist. Before this I was a devout muslim. I was afraid to miss a prayer and believe everything that was thought to me. Gradually as I learned to think with reason and logic (Islam always criticize against reason as it defies their ‘logic’ ) the fear disappear and I am more confident living as an atheist secretly. Majority of the Malays are still backward in their thinking. They believe everyone should conform to only one rule and order. Even though they lived in cities and surf internet they are still ignorant. My advice is to migrate to countries like Australia or Singapore.

    • Islamic open minded..

      My race is Malay .. why must be run away from your country .. owh.. because, you shame with your mother & father that are Malay Muslim.. Good.. keep it up that way.. you will suffer till. end.. Islam teach to accept things.. love your enemy and respect.. because we Malaysia are multi-culture.. 

      • Islamicclosemindedhaha

        they r not running, they’re just wishing to progress in their lives..heck, i thought u studied psychology??

  • Islamic open minded..

    Hi There,..

    I’m a Muslim… My ethnic is Malay..  My country is Malaysia.. I’m a Muslim free thinker.. I study psychology..  This issue is similar to gay protester in Malaysia.. GAY=ATHEIST.. is not a way of life.. it is lunatic and opposed by humanity .. Islam is a religion.. you all Atheist  is like soul trapped in shadow.. please wake up.. why you must be atheist ? why are you here.. For atheist.. this is your question.. What ‘s meaning by your life… if you answer.. having fun as you can… you are fucking idiot..(sorry for my sentence) .. What happen when you die… ???  who say atheist is brilliant ? I think.. it’s better that poor people that has a little knowledge and has a religion Islam is better that Atheist that rich and still stupid to relieve that.. There is a God.. One True God that creates us in this beautiful Earth.. You all atheist has no meaning is life.. beware you all atheist in the day of judgement even you still deny the truth..  

    • Agnostic Atheist

      Do you have any idea how ironic it is that you call yourself Islamic Open Minded when you comments shows how amazingly narrow your world-view is? 

      • Hahahihi

        you’re true mate..haha..i doubt he even studies ‘psychology’

      • http://twitter.com/drilyasharun DR. ILYAS HARUN

        Of course, muslims are closed minded people who claimed that they are the true dwellers of god’s heaven while others are doomed to hellfire

    • Anonymous

      Hello. 
      I live in Malaysia too.  I just want to say that not all atheists will answer ‘have fun as you can’ as their meaning of life. Each and every person is different. I don’t think Muslims here adopt the values of tolerance and acceptance at all. Religion is between a person and god, you’re wrong to deprive a person of their rights as a human person.

  • Ex-Atheist

    I was an Atheist before. After I met this guy, it has changed my freethinker’s view. Please go to his blog and see what he said make sense.
    http://abdulrahmanreligion.blogspot.com

  • BUDU

    All ATHEIST ARE GAY !!! HHAHAH

  • 4776

    Main Entry:
    apostate
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    Part of Speech:
    noun
    Definition:
    traitor
    Synonyms:
    backslider, defector, deserter, dissenter, heretic, nonconformist, rat, recreant, renegade, turncoat

     

  • 4776

    Main Entry:
    apostate
    AC_FL_RunContent = 0;var interfaceflash = new LEXICOFlashObject ( “http://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/d/g/speaker.swf”, “speaker”, “17″, “15″, ““, “6″);interfaceflash.addParam(“loop”, “false”);interfaceflash.addParam(“quality”, “high”);interfaceflash.addParam(“menu”, “false”);interfaceflash.addParam(“salign”, “t”);interfaceflash.addParam(“FlashVars”, “soundUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fsp.dictionary.com%2Fdictstatic%2Fdictionary%2Faudio%2Fluna%2FA06%2FA0601700.mp3&clkLogProxyUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fdictionary.reference.com%2Fwhatzup.html&t=a&d=d&s=di&c=a&ti=1&ai=51359&l=dir&o=0&sv=00000000&ip=af88fc16&u=audio”); interfaceflash.addParam(‘wmode’,'transparent’);interfaceflash.write(); [uh-pos-teyt, -tit] Show IPA/əˈpɒsteɪt, -tɪt/ Show Spelled

    Part of Speech:
    noun
    Definition:
    traitor
    Synonyms:
    backslider, defector, deserter, dissenter, heretic, nonconformist, rat, recreant, renegade, turncoat

    Antonyms:
    adherent, faithful, loyalist  

  • Need Not To Know

    Dont make your religion as a toy…..u dont understand what is the meaning of RELIGION!!?? yes…other religion can convert into another religion but NOT ISLAM…..are you prefer hearing the devil calling for you??? not the AZAN prayer that call you all??? are you all ATHEIST thankful to ur god at the church or temple???? please….dont make a silly things ….if you think ISLAM is not good for u..i challenge you to debate about ISLAM…..

  • Red

    Hai..I’m Malay atheist and I feel your pain man. Gtfo from this country asap !

  • Doomedatheist

    Hi, I am just wondering how our lady atheist is doing since her post of 2010.  There is no freedom of religion in Malaysia even though the government says so…I am a victim of such ‘law’. I converted to Islam when I married my ex who abuse me mentally and physical.  He forced me to pray 5x a day and fast during the ramadan whilst he did not do the same.  After 8 years together I filed for divorce when my child was born.  I am engaged to a British citizen now but we do not know which country we can get married which allow me to obtain a new passport and remove ‘Muslim’ as my religion – I guess I would have to give up my Msian citizenship.  Problem is my young son is considered a bumiputra and I was told by a staff at NRD that I will lose him if I go ahead and apply for approval by Syariah Court to renounce Islam, which naturally my applicantion will be denied.  My name will be splashed all over the tabloids and then our life will be hell in Malaysia.  My son wants to denounce his religion when he is an adult but of course he cant do so either.  If I give up my citizenship and leave the country I will lose all my hardearned Employees Provident Fund. My friends told me to find my own happiness and leave my son in Malaysian with my non-muslim relatives.  They say make a will with my son as the beneficiary.  But do you guys know that as a muslim, only 1/3 of your will will be disposed as per your will?
    I am ’doomed’ forever…so much for ‘Freedom of religion’. Why should I need approval from Syariah Court to renounce Islam when we don;t need their apporval to convert in the first place?
    Can anyone provide me with good advice?
      

    • Norman Hayashi

      1-Get out of Malaysia. Go somewhere that is run by a secular government. Easiest countries to travel to without all those visa-interview hassles would be the UK or Australia.
      2-As you reach the country’s port of entry (airport), check in legally as a tourist, then ask around where’s the nearest immigration office. Head to the immigration office.
      3-Upon reaching the Immigration office, tell any employee there that you want to seek asylum. They’ll ask you to fill out some forms. One of the grounds for seeking asylum according to the UNHCR is religion.
      4-You will have to wait until they call you in for an interview. While you’re legal with a tourist visa, check into any accommodation of your choice until you are called for an interview at their offices. During this time you’d like to find out from the community if there’s any migration attorney willing to do “pro-bono” or if you have the money to hire a paid one then go ahead. Receive legal advise.
      5-While at the interview, EXPLAIN everything to the interviewer. If you are professing a new religion, tell the interviewer what religion it is, and where/when did you start professing. Be careful if you are an atheist they might use the clause “religion” to deny your asylum application.
      6-After the interview, waiting time for results would be 90 days max. While you’re waiting, they might give you a temporary visa for staying and/or work. Do some work, earn some money while you’re waiting for results.
      7-Results announced. If granted, congrats. However, if rejected you can always appeal for a hearing in the Immigrations Court to reconsider your application. Here is where you can have your migration attorney representing you.

      If you do all the above and your application is granted, you don’t have to renounce your Malaysian citizenship. Most countries that gives asylum protections allows for dual-citizenship. This is where you leave the money in your EPF in tact (don’t lose your I/C) and come back to the country to withdraw when you reach 55, but usually the remuneration and pension plans outside of Malaysia is better, which would make you change your mind on your EPF, unless you’ve stricken a bad deal and needed money by that age. After granted asylum you may bring over your child to be registered and given a visa so that he can go to school there while you work.

      I am an ex-Muslim who converted into Buddhism, and only after conversion I’d realize that Malaysian Sharia Law could have a big impact on me in the future when I decide to have my own family. Right now I have my plans on seeking asylum in another country, I’m still trying to accumulate as much cash as I can before I move out of the country. 

      What I wrote here isn’t a legal advise, nor have I done them yet, but a guideline from my researches on how to make an asylum claim when abroad. Do note that you should try entering a country legally with a valid visa or else you’ll be sent to immigration detention facilities of that country. I wish you luck, and I wish myself luck as well.

  • maya DIAMOND

    i do some time think to convert, but belief me, how many i try to figure the best religion,, it still come to ISLAM.. if i’m sad and no one beside me (coz even our own shadow left us when its dark), only with pray to Allah, make me better, if i’m not a muslim, who going to be with me? if i’m happy, i will gratefully say SYUKUR, and its really makes me much more happier,, if im not a MUSLIM, what i’m suppose to say?? if i feel like crying and no one want to listen, i tell to ALLAH, it makes me even stronger, if i’m not a MUSLIM, i will be weaker,,

    SO, IF I’M NOT A MUSLIM, THE LIFE I’M GOING TO THROUGH, WILL BE JUST LIKE AN EMPTY BROKEN BOTTLE, CANNOT BE USE, ONLY RUBBISH BIN ACCEPT THE BOTTLE,, I WANT TO BE A DIAMOND,,, DIAMOND FOR MYSELF,,

  • Mark2036

    I’m an atheist also living in Malaysia and still find it baffling that Malays are legally require to believe in something… Surely it’s a personal freedom to think for yourself? I think religion would mean more if you chose to follow it, not forced.

    One day I would love to see malay atheist to take to the street and protest against their discrimination to be seen by world media. I wish I was Malay do I could make a stand for you but alas I’m just a white dude watching on the sidelines

  • Chips

    hey si bodo.sejak bile plak undung2 kat malaysia kata kalo ko murtad ko bole kene hukuman bunuh?tu la ko atheist sgt kan,kalo ko nak murtad pon,ko ddk diam2 xpayah nak buruk kn islam!

  • Vincentblaze907

    @Melayu Islam

    Just shut up…let her be what she wants to be…and I dont want to debate u well because people like you are just stupidly annoying and theist keep losing when its a matter of this so just shut up…if Islam does not make any sense to her then u can blah she does not want to accept Islam so its her call…erm all I can say to u is that people in Malaysia do hate atheist especially religious muslims and religious christians…the best place would be at Penang though it also depends on u…that is all I can say

  • Melayu Bukan Islam

    There is help. Go to my blog. Melayu Bukan Islam blogspot.com

  • Melayu Bukan Islam
  • Malay in Malaysia

    I know this is an old post, but reading some of the comments here makes my blood boil . . .

    To the self-righteous religious Muslims: please quote me the verses from the Quran or any sunnah/hadith that states that it is your duty to mock, insult, shame, offend, threaten, taunt and/or vilify other people that hold different values than yours.

    Considering how poor some of these people’s grasp of the English language is, I’ll say something more understandable to them: Agama dan nabi ajar engkau menasihati dan menyayangi orang lain, bukan mencaci dan membenci. (Translation: religion and prophet teach you to advise and love other people, not to insult and hate).

    To the atheists/agnostics/unbelievers: I may not agree with some of your views, but hey, we can still live together and be friends, right? I hope it turned out well for the lady and her man. Peace.