Malaysian Lawyer: Muslims Have No Right to Leave Islam

KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 ― Apostasy is not a constitutional right, a Muslim lawyer claimed today as he argued that freedom of religion does not include the liberty to leave a faith.

Writing in his column on Malay-language daily Sinar Harian, Muslims Lawyers Association president Datuk Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar said that Article 11 of the Federal Constitution merely accorded Malaysians the right to practise their own faith, but not to switch religions.

“Saying that apostasy is a right for Muslims is straying from the real purpose of the religion,” Zainul said.

“Article 11(1) of the Federal Constitution gives the right for everyone to practise their own religions. That means it gives the right for a Muslim to practice Islam, a Buddhist to practice Buddhism, and so on.

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