Atheism is Unconstitutional, Malaysia’s Minister Says

Atheism Unconstitutional

According to Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, atheism should not be allowed in Malaysia for any citizen. Atheism contradicts both the Federal Constitution and the Rukunegara, Deputy Minister said.

Atheism is, in the broadest sense, the absence of belief in the existence of deities. Less broadly, atheism is the rejection of belief that any deities exist. How could the absence of belief in deities be unconstitutional? Children believe in Santa Claus but some older or smarter children don’t think that Santa exists; maybe their lack of belief is unconstitutional too. Atheists don't use God to explain the existence of the universe and some children don’t use Santa Claus to explain Christmas gifts. It should absolutely be their choice to believe what they want.

A few months ago, the photo of the gathering by the Malaysian consulate has caused uproar from some in the Muslim community recently after it was highlighted by pro-Islamist blogs, leading to threats of violence and death on social media. Even the Malaysian government wanted those people to be punished for not believing in Islam. Although Malaysia is a multi-religious society, it appears that the Malaysian constitution only theoretically guarantees freedom of religion. Islam is the official religion of the federation, as well as the legally-presumed faith of all ethnic Malays.

“Atheism contradicts the first principle of the Rukunegara, which is a belief in God. We need to understand, that in the Malaysian context, our Federal Constitution states that freedom of religion is not freedom from religion,” Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki said. Rukunegara is the Malaysian declaration of national philosophy instituted by royal proclamation on Merdeka Day, 1970, in reaction to a serious race riot known as the 13 May Incident which occurred in 1969. The incident proved, at that time, Malaysian racial balance and stability was fragile. Immediately thereafter, the Malaysian government sought ways to foster unity among the various races in Malaysia. One of the methods used to encourage unity is the Rukunegara.

“It is unconstitutional to say we can spread ideologies that incite people to leave a religion or profess no religion at all,” he said in reply to a question by Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud (Amanah - Kota Raja) in Parliament on Thursday (Nov 23), The Star reports.

“The Government can draw up any legal provisions necessary to prevent such beliefs and doctrines, which is deemed to be a threat to the sanctity of Islam. As for the non-Muslims, it (atheism) also goes against the laws of public order and morality. For instance, anyone who tries to spread ideologies and doctrines that promote atheism and similar beliefs, which tarnish the sanctity of other religions, can be charged under the Sedition Act,” he added.

Photo Credits: @PeteSkeptic

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