From my email;
Yesterday was the Bar Council’s forum to discuss on the conversion to and from Islam. Basically, it would touch the matter from a constitutional aspect of the matter. The forum which started at 9.00am was ‘forcefully’ stopped one hour later. This was due to the growing number of protesters camping outside the Bar’s building. The consortia of protesters were a combination of several Muslims organizations which furiously protested the forum. For safety reasons, the police advised the organizer to stop the forum. Several leaders condemned the said forum as being seditious and a ‘threat’ to national harmony; a façade to degrade the Islam image. If that is the intention, then I think the Muslim protestor had successfully ‘assisted’ in carrying out the objective. The image of Muslims parading banners, chanting angrily outside the building is a perfect photo for front page of western newspapers. Rather than sending representative in that forum, they decided to take it to the street to voice out their anger. I wonder where are the Muslim lawyers in the Bar had gone? Though I may not be agreeable with what the content of the forum, but I would say that the Bar has every right to discuss any matters pertaining to that issue. The Bar consists of multi racial, religion, and being diverse in its membership. As I said earlier, Muslim member of the Bar can explain the matter during the forum. The result of the forum will not consign as papal bull but merely a discussion relating to the social issues. Even if a resolution is made at the end of the forum, isn’t there any Muslim intelligentsia who can offer a ‘counter’ argument. Perhaps that is the problem; there is no intelligentsia in Muslim community.Since when matter pertaining to Islam cannot be openly discuss by ‘non Muslim? It is hard to find a modicum of intelligent explanation to justify the said rationale.I am not going to pretend to be naïve of the casus belli that lead to this situation. Several ‘controversial’ court cases had engendered the ‘uneasy’ feeling in the society. Some quarters are just playing with this issue to advance their agenda.However, I am perplexed with the way the Muslim responded to the issue. Rather that intelligently explain the issue, the Muslim resorted to street protest, threat of Sedition Act, ISA and other host of other statutory provisions. If the issue is conversion from religion to another, then stick to that issue. Why should we cloud our mind with anger? I wonder for how long Muslim in this country should hide behind the sham ‘constitutional’ argument. As a Muslim, I may be expected to condemn the forum which I profusely didn’t. One may label me as perfidious albion which should be condemn as well. If that is the position, then as the title may suggest, this is one the voice of ‘sinners’.
Aurora: I agree with the writer. Where are all the Muslims lawyers in the Bar Counsil? We should be able to discuss the matter in a rational way. I believed there will be the answer to any questions if we are willing to really discuss about it no what the issues. To all Muslims lawyers, please do step forward in this matter.