Legal provisions and restrictions on the propagation of non-Islamic religions among Muslims in Malaysia

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Abstract

Article 11 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia states that every individual has the right to profess, practice and preach his religion or belief. However, Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution also states that the propagation of non-Islamic religions among Muslims is forbidden. This article aims to discuss both the justifications and the legal restrictions - that is, the legal provisions - that restrict and control the propagation of non-Islamic religions among Muslims in Malaysia. This discussion identifies three justifications for the prohibition of the propagation of non-Muslim religions among Muslims in Malaysia. The first justification relates to the background and history of the special status and position of Islam in Malaya; the second relates to the key role of Malay Rulers in preserving the sanctity of the Islamic religion from the pre-independence period to the present day; and the third justification relates to the nature of Islamic teachings and the maxim that apostasy is a crime. Legal provisions that control the propagation of non-Islamic religions among Muslims are found at both federal and state levels. However, the problem of legal enforcement and, in particular, the jurisdictional limitations of the Syariah Courts over non-Muslims in Malaysia result in a lack of implementation of these legal provisions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalKajian Malaysia
Volume31
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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legal provision
Malaysia
Muslim
Religion
constitution
Islam
Muslims
offense
Justification
lack
present
Teaching
history

Keywords

  • Islam
  • Muslim
  • Propagation
  • Religion
  • Syariah Court

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

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title = "Legal provisions and restrictions on the propagation of non-Islamic religions among Muslims in Malaysia",
abstract = "Article 11 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia states that every individual has the right to profess, practice and preach his religion or belief. However, Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution also states that the propagation of non-Islamic religions among Muslims is forbidden. This article aims to discuss both the justifications and the legal restrictions - that is, the legal provisions - that restrict and control the propagation of non-Islamic religions among Muslims in Malaysia. This discussion identifies three justifications for the prohibition of the propagation of non-Muslim religions among Muslims in Malaysia. The first justification relates to the background and history of the special status and position of Islam in Malaya; the second relates to the key role of Malay Rulers in preserving the sanctity of the Islamic religion from the pre-independence period to the present day; and the third justification relates to the nature of Islamic teachings and the maxim that apostasy is a crime. Legal provisions that control the propagation of non-Islamic religions among Muslims are found at both federal and state levels. However, the problem of legal enforcement and, in particular, the jurisdictional limitations of the Syariah Courts over non-Muslims in Malaysia result in a lack of implementation of these legal provisions.",
keywords = "Islam, Muslim, Propagation, Religion, Syariah Court",
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year = "2013",
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AU - Nasohah, Zaini

AU - Samuri, Mohd al Adib

AU - Zain, Mat Noor Mat

PY - 2013

Y1 - 2013

N2 - Article 11 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia states that every individual has the right to profess, practice and preach his religion or belief. However, Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution also states that the propagation of non-Islamic religions among Muslims is forbidden. This article aims to discuss both the justifications and the legal restrictions - that is, the legal provisions - that restrict and control the propagation of non-Islamic religions among Muslims in Malaysia. This discussion identifies three justifications for the prohibition of the propagation of non-Muslim religions among Muslims in Malaysia. The first justification relates to the background and history of the special status and position of Islam in Malaya; the second relates to the key role of Malay Rulers in preserving the sanctity of the Islamic religion from the pre-independence period to the present day; and the third justification relates to the nature of Islamic teachings and the maxim that apostasy is a crime. Legal provisions that control the propagation of non-Islamic religions among Muslims are found at both federal and state levels. However, the problem of legal enforcement and, in particular, the jurisdictional limitations of the Syariah Courts over non-Muslims in Malaysia result in a lack of implementation of these legal provisions.

AB - Article 11 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia states that every individual has the right to profess, practice and preach his religion or belief. However, Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution also states that the propagation of non-Islamic religions among Muslims is forbidden. This article aims to discuss both the justifications and the legal restrictions - that is, the legal provisions - that restrict and control the propagation of non-Islamic religions among Muslims in Malaysia. This discussion identifies three justifications for the prohibition of the propagation of non-Muslim religions among Muslims in Malaysia. The first justification relates to the background and history of the special status and position of Islam in Malaya; the second relates to the key role of Malay Rulers in preserving the sanctity of the Islamic religion from the pre-independence period to the present day; and the third justification relates to the nature of Islamic teachings and the maxim that apostasy is a crime. Legal provisions that control the propagation of non-Islamic religions among Muslims are found at both federal and state levels. However, the problem of legal enforcement and, in particular, the jurisdictional limitations of the Syariah Courts over non-Muslims in Malaysia result in a lack of implementation of these legal provisions.

KW - Islam

KW - Muslim

KW - Propagation

KW - Religion

KW - Syariah Court

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