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I refer to the letter Secularism the anti-thesis of Islam . The contents of that letter explains the predicament facing the entire Muslim world.

Who says Islamic law reigns supreme in Malaysia? Who says Malaysia is an Islamic state where apostasy is a felony? The author's assumptions reveal the Malaysian Malay weakness aside from the NEP; in a word, Islam. Here is an intelligent Malaysian Malay Muslim saying that apostasy is a felony! My God, where is Malaysia headed for ?

Let me ask all Malaysians two questions viz, where in the world is there a successful, multi- religious Islamic state and when - since the fall of Baghdad in the 13th century - did the Muslim world contribute meaningfully to science and technology? Eight hundred years of nothing!

With this sort of blind following of dogma - totally devoid of questioning and criticism - it is no surprise that the Muslim world is in a pathetic state today. It is time for moderate Muslims to question Islamic dogma.

We cannot blindly follow dogma which is based on the socio-political context of the 10th century to guide us in the 21st century. Scientific progress is based on the freedom of thought, conscience and speech. Ignore or oppress those liberties at the expense of progress.

I support Lina Joy's decision to apostasise because I ask myself - of what use is the 'syahadah' or faith of someone who is compelled by law to remain Muslim? Is God so desperate that He needs the hypocritical faith of people who are forced by law to remain Muslims?

I do not believe so. Islam is higher than mere compulsion. To me, treating apostasy as a crime is simply encouraging hypocrisy. They do not believe - but they will pretend to believe - only because of legal compulsion. I do not believe that such a situation is Islamic. God must certainly rise above petty legalities and ethnic power-play. Even Indonesia does not have such laws.

Besides, how can Malaysia ever build a meaningful scientific community if it wants to come down on the freedom of belief and conscience? Science and religion is not a good mix.

It is time for the moderate Muslims in Malaysia to put their foot down for it is clear to many foreigners like me that Malaysia is headed in the wrong direction. Asean does not need 1,000 miles of an Islamic insurgency. Perhaps when that happens, only then will Malaysian Malays wake up from their deep sleep and dreaming.