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Article 3(1) of the Malaysian Federal Constitution states that “Islam is the religion of the Federation; but other religions may be practised in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation”. It has long been misconstrued as a mere official declaration. As a matter of fact, it designates Islam as the religion of the nation. It goes right to the heart of the federation, her raison detre.


Therefore, the Islamic position which must be supported by Malaysian governmentpolicy is as follows. Given that there are NO “human rights” available to humanity except by the permission of Allah SWT, we must believe that the human mind, unaided by Divine Revelation, is utterly incapable of understanding or even protecting “human rights” as if they were an entirely extra-religious body of philosophical knowledge.

Further, it is impossible, indeed illegal, for us to repeal Islamic values, or to pick-and-choose among them, as the consumer-oriented secular world would like, or as recent technological advances would seem to make possible. And yet, some Malaysian Muslims feel that we must accept the western movement toward secular and liberal human rights approach such as unbridled freedom of religion, LGBT rights and same-sex marriage, and absolute freedom of expression, to stay a part of the modern world. This could be seen from some the responses we have received to our short-term campaign leading towards Malaysia’s UPR session on the 24th October 2013.

UPRIt is indeed time to “stand and be counted”. There MUST be an alternative to reactionary approach, other than joining the liberal secular world. Ours is a principled dissent and we MUST start that alternative NOW. Strident opposition to the secular and liberal proponents in the United Nations and elsewhere is not enough. Nor is continuing in-fighting among Muslims over this issue. We MUST understand that the major pillars of the Islamic Aqidah & Shari’ah is non-negotiable, and we must make our stand clear at the United Nations.

We therefore need to join with those researchers and healers who begin with the inadmissability of unbridled freedom of religion, LGBT rights and same-sex marriage, and absolute freedom of expression among humans, and then find ways to return victims of those tendencies to their deeper human nature, as clearly described in Al Qur’an and the prophetic teachings. We cannot merely shout “haram!” We must offer “halal” alternatives to the widespread mutilation of human nature nowadays spearheaded by politics and technology.

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In human history, this was the noble duty of the Prophets and the scholars. And yet, with a courageous allegiance to the principles revealed in Al Qur’an, Sunnah and other major sources of Islamic laws, it may be yet done before Muslims become hopelessly traitorous to their own deepest values in the name of “democracy”, “tolerance” or “personal freedom”, or even “getting along with the modern world”. And Allah knows best, as He tests our faith over this issue.

Azril Mohd Amin is vice president, Muslim Lawyers Association of Malaysia and Head of Delegation, MuslimUPRo (Muslim NGOs in the UPR Process)( at Geneva, Switzerland

Azril’s previous writings:



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