Home > Radical Islam, Wars and Rumors of War > Malaysia: Rise of Strict Islam Exposes Fears and Tensions, ‘If You Don’t Follow the Mainstream You Will Be Lynched’

Malaysia: Rise of Strict Islam Exposes Fears and Tensions, ‘If You Don’t Follow the Mainstream You Will Be Lynched’


By Jennifer Pak – “Muslim women without headscarves are a common sight on the streets of the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.

But engaging them in a discussion about the hijab is difficult.

Norhayati Kaprawi is a Malaysian activist whose recent documentary Aku Siapa (Who Am I) deals with the issue of how women in Malaysia should dress. She found some women unwilling to show their faces in her film – not on religious grounds, but becasue they feared reprisals.

This is a damning reflection on Malaysia’s Muslim society, says Ms Norhayati.

‘It’s full of fear. If you don’t follow the mainstream you will be lynched.’

According to the activist, the pressure to wear the hijab grew after the Iranian revolution in 1979, and it is now the most visible sign of Malaysia’s rising Islamic fundmentalism.

Muslims account for over half the population of 28 million people and are mainly ethnic Malays. Malaysia often prides itself on being a moderate Muslim nation, which allows other religions freedom of worship.

And while there are no laws forcing women to wear the hijab, Ms Norhayati says many Muslims feel compelled.” Read more.

Flashback: Muslim Group in Malaysia Declares Jihad Against Christians Who … Disagree With Them – “An umbrella coalition of Muslim groups held a protest today and declared bloodshed against ‘extremist’ Christians that insult and ridicule the position of Islam in the country. The Muslim Organisations in Defence of Islam (Pembela), comprising 20 groups, protested after Friday prayers at the National Mosque against Putrajaya’s release of Malay-language bibles and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s promise to never impound the Alkitab again.” Read more.

Flashback: Non-Muslims in Malaysia Who Recite Quranic Verses ‘Insincerely’ Can Be Charged With Blasphemy – “The government can take action against people who abuse Quranic verses for certain interests and dispute all forms of worship by Muslims in this country. Minister in the Prime Minister”s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said this followed the special conference of the National Fatwa Council on Dec 3 last year to discuss issues including abuse of Quranic verses. ‘The muzakarah agreed that non-Muslims who cite Quranic verses according to their own understanding without sincerity is an affront to the sanctity of al-Quran and can cause doubt and slander in society,’ he told Dewan Rakyat today.” Read more.

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