Hardline Islamic law could be introduced across Malaysia under reforms proposed by the country's chief justice.Sharia. It's not just for Muslims any more.
As the nation in south-east Asia celebrated 50 years of independence from Britain yesterday, its government was preparing to discuss a plan that would revolutionise the legal system put in place by its former colonial administrators.
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Ahmad Fairuz, the chief justice, told an Islamic conference in Kuala Lumpur that 50 years of independence had failed to free Malaysia from the "clutches of colonialism". [If by "clutches of colonialism" you mean "freedom of religion". --ed.] Sharia law should be "infused" into the gaps created by abolishing common law, he said.
Malaysia's non-Muslim Chinese and Indian communities, who form 40 per cent of the population, are alarmed at creeping Islamisation.
Abdul Badawi, the prime minister, this month joined other leaders for the first time in denying what the British-authored constitution has said for 50 years - that Malaysia is a secular state.
Sharia law already operates in some Malaysian states and is occasionally applied to non-Muslims, as in July when Islamic officials forcibly separated a Hindu-Muslim couple with six children after 21 years of marriage.
Saturday, September 01, 2007
Malaysia continues slide into Sharia abyss
It'll be a damned shame if it happens. I visited Malaysia this past January, and it's quite a nice country. The people there are very friendly and hospitable, but I don't see that attitude surviving imposition of Sharia law, not when 40% of the citizens aren't ethnic Malay and are therefore non-Muslim. And I suspect a fair number of the ethnic Malays are opposed to Sharia law, as well.