Unilateral Conversion in Malaysia - Understanding the Controversy

Malaysiakini's story on a proposal that might be put before the Selangor State Assembly to allow for unilateral conversion has stoked not just controversy but also talk to the ouster of both the Menteri Besar and Speaker of House. K. Shanmuga, Director of the Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism & Human Rights join Melisa Idris and Sharaad Kuttan to clarify points of law in this link.

Read More
Desi Hanara
Religious Freedom in US and Indonesia

Religious freedom in the United States is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Read More
Desi Hanara
What’s Up With Buddhist Persecution in Vietnam?

Buddhists in Vietnam may not face violent attacks, but government restrictions on their faith are keenly felt.

While reports of arrests of, or attacks on, Buddhists in Vietnam are not frequent, the religious community has for decades lived in a perpetual atmosphere of persecution, which cannot be quantified by the number of “incidents” but instead manifests through official and unofficial restrictions imposed by the Southeast Asian country’s communist government.

Read More
Desi Hanara
What’s Up With Religious Freedom Worldwide?

An overview from Nadine Maenza, vice chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

Persecution of religious minorities, particularly Christians and Muslims, has risen around the world over the last few years, and a new trend is emerging where non-state actors are playing an increasing role in targeted attacks, said Nadine Maenza, vice chair of the bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Read More
Desi Hanara
Ongoing Use of Defamation Laws Raises Questions of Malaysia's Reform Credentials

More than a year since the electoral victory of the Pakatan Harapan coalition in May 2018, reforms of repressive legislation restricting fundamental freedoms have progressed extremely slowly. While steps have been taken to establish a self-governing media council and some positive amendments to the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, the government has not followed through on commitments in its campaign manifesto to repeal or review repressive legislation, including the Sedition Act 1948, Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 and the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984.

Read the article by the Civicus reviewing the repressive legislation in Malaysia that continue to restrict fundamental freedoms here.

Read More
Desi Hanara
A Closer Look at How Religious Restrictions Have Risen Around the World

Over the decade from 2007 to 2017, government restrictions on religion – laws, policies and actions by state officials that restrict religious beliefs and practices – increased markedly around the world.

To access the tenth annual report on Religion and Public Life, published by the Pew research Centre which dives deeper into the ways government restrictions on religion and social hostilities involving religion have changed, from 2007 to 2017, please click here.

Read More
Desi Hanara