Here in Malaysia, the Lina Joy case continues to attract attention. Lina Joy, as you may recall, is the Malay woman who was 'born into Islam' (by Malaysian law, all ethnic Malays MUST be Muslim). She has long since turned away from the 'religion of her birth'. Lina Joy, to her credit, has chosen to become a Christian, and is waging a legal battle to be able to marry her Christian fiancee as a Christian as well as her right to live as a Christian (the real 'religion of peace'). Her legal team is standing by Ms. Joy and pleading her case, despite numerous Islamic death threats.
Ms. Joy has been battling for years for the right, supposedly guaranteed by the Malaysian Constitution (supposedly the "Supreme Law" of this country), to exercise the freedom to choose her own religion. This is something Americans and Westerners take for granted, and something that Islam takes away.
Well, Malaysia's top court is stalling on the matter:
Court has yet to decide on Lina Joy’s appeal
PUTRAJAYA: There will be no decision yet on Lina Joy’s appeal to the Federal Court against the Court of Appeal’s majority decision on Sept 19 last year which ruled that the National Registration Department director-general was right in not allowing her application to delete the word “Islam” from her identity card.
Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim said the three-man bench comprising himself, Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak, Datuk Richard Malanjum and Federal Court judge Datuk Alauddin Mohd Sheriff needed time to look into the submissions by the parties carefully because the issue was sensitive.
The Malaysian Federal Court is damned if they do and damned if they don't. Denying Ms. Joy her constitution right to freedom of religion is tantamount to throwing the "Supreme Law" of Malaysia out the window. Granting her wishes to formally leave Islam will cause the usual Muslim reaction--a violent one ... protests, intimidation, threats of violence, riots, demonstrations, and maybe worse. Muslims and Muslim groups have already made veiled threats to do such things if 'their side' loses the case.
Considering this 'no-win' situation, the court's reluctance to pass judgement isn't terribly surprising. Rather than doing what's right, I expect them to continue procrastinating for the forseeable future, or maybe even indefinitely.