Saturday, April 29, 2006
GRAND MUFTI OF PERAK NOTES A WAVE OF APOSTASY
ollowing up on a tip from Usenet regarding a wave of conversions out of Islam in Malaysia, I found the original article reporting on this in a Malay language newspaper. The piece is dated February 14, and notes the Grand Mufti of Perak State warning that there are a quarter million murtad (apostates) in Malaysia. A translation of this article is here.
The Grand Mufti breaks this down into about 100,000 Malays who have declared themselves Christians, along with another 100,000 who are in the process of "filing for apostasy," while the remainder are petitioning to have their names changed from a "Muslim name" to "[an]other religion name." While there is supposed to be religious freedom in Malaysia, the government officially considers all people of the "Malay race" to be Muslims.
The original article is here, which finishes with three paragraphs not translated at the first link. Here they are:
This letter [from a missionary organisation to the Mufti] also requested Muslim religious officials not to obstruct the work of preachers in the country, known by the name 'ustaz' [teacher] who try to influence some wild youths toward conversion.*s.a.w. is equivalent to the English "pbuh" -- "peace be upon him." The "a.s." appended to Prophet Abraham above is a variant honourific. I'm unclear if the practice of the differing group relates to using the same honourific for Muhammad as with Abraham, or indeed about the mention of Muhammad's name during prayer.
In fact he [Mufti] reminded the public not to be drawn into belief of some new, invented law which will certainly lead to confusion.
First, he said, there are people now who finish praying with only two rakaat [bowing head to the floor] following the practice of the Prophet Abraham a.s.* And now there is already a group which says that to speak the name of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.* as is usually done, they say is 'wrong.'