Measured Against Reality

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Malaysian State toughens laws against converting Muslims

Because I love religious insanity in any country, here's a story from the Malaysian state Kelantan, where they've recently increased penalties for converting Muslims.

People who try to convert Muslims to other religions could face a whipping, a fine and longer prison terms in a state ruled by a conservative Islamic party in northeast Malaysia, an official said Wednesday.

The Kelantan state legislature approved changes to the law Tuesday providing for a maximum punishment of six lashes with a rattan cane, five years in prison and a fine of 10,000 ringgit (US$2,800; €2,080) for non-Muslims who preach to Muslims, said Hassan Mohamood, who heads the state's Islamic affairs government committee.

Previously, the maximum penalty was two years in prison and a fine of 5,000 ringgit (US$1,400; €1,040), but state officials feel stiffer laws are useful "as a form of deterrence," Hassan told The Associated Press.

I don't think that there's really anything I can add to this, except to say that I'm damn glad we don't live in a theocracy, and we'd better be damn sure it stays that way.

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