Everyone has a right to live..right to follow the religion of their choice. However that right is sometimes becomes the right to oppress, and eventually it becomes the rule by fear.
In Malaysia, a muslim will never be able to leave islam, even if he/she wants to.
They must follow the fasting month religiously, we have enforcement officers who check on the people who eat during the fasting month. They can arrest and fine not only the person who is eating, they can also cancel the license of the eatery that sold the food to a muslim, during the fasting hours.
A newspaper that published the offending cartoon of Prophet Muhammed is banned for life.( never mind that it was published under the title that”not much effect in Malaysia” regarding the controversy, though it is an islamic country)
A muslim girl in Malaysia will never be able to attend a beauty pagent…This is even if she has no problem doing the swim suit part of the pagent, the idiots who makes the rule think otherwise.
The same girl can’t go out for a date with her boyfriend, unless she brings another female, or else she will be arrested for “close proximity”
Once she is married she may then live under the fear that any day her husband can take another wife.
We have religious leaders who encourage beautiful women to stay home, since they can always lure rich husbands anyway.
Same leaders also fine muslim women who don’t wear the tudong.
I am glad I wasn’t born in to a bumi family. I could choose to live my life the way I want. I could go to a buddhist temple or a hindu temple. I could choose to go to a church. I could enter MV Doulos the floating ship( muslims in Malaysia are forbidden to visit the ship, because doulos sell christian literature).I could study any religion i wanted to, read any religious books i wanted to, without being banned for life under blasphemy. I could go out on date without taking my pain in the butt sisters. I could marry knowing very well that another wife is goodbye at the courts.
Religion is meant to show the truth and the way.. was it ever meant to suppress and rule by fear? would heaven close the door on me for the way I dress, for my belief?.
Years ago while doing my rural posting in a village far away from civilization I met a christian missionary, who told me, Jesus is the only way to heaven. Then I asked her, what would happen to those who don’t beleive in Jesus, she said they wouldn’t go to heaven. She was pretty sure that heavenly gate only opened to those who followed Jesus. Yet she couldn’t answer, what happend to those who lived before Jesus was born, those who lead a ‘pure’ life,but don’t beleive in jesus? Do they not go to heaven? She couldn’t answer.
Then I asked her who Cain married, If Adam and Eve were the first people, and Cain their first born, when Cain was banished from the eden, who did Cain marry? Were there other people as well?
Would Dalai Lama go to heaven? If he doesn’t, then perhaps heaven is nothing but an illusion, created to bring fear to the people. Fear to suppress. We would be free, the day religion frees us.. The day we live because we want to and choose our options wisely. Until then we kill in the name of religion.. and then pray for redemption..