Muslim-Majority Country Issued Fatwa to Ban Muslim From Entering the Church

Unsplash/Muhammad Adil

Selangor is home to the majority of Muslims in Malaysia. Recently, the government of this country issued a fatwa that prohibits Muslims from entering churches. However, it is not supported by all Muslims.

Fatwa To Ban Muslim

The most populous state in Malaysia is Selangor, which also has the highest percentage of Muslims in the country, with 63.5% of the total population in the year 2020, The Christian Post reported. Islam is recognized as the official religion of Malaysia under the country's constitution. In addition, the legislation allows for some limitations on the practice of proselytizing among Muslims. 

On Saturday, Mar. 15, a fatwa was issued in the state of Selangor, in western Malaysia. It is considered a reaction to an event Malaysia's Sports Minister hosted for residents to learn more about Christianity.

As mentioned, on Open Doors' latest annual World Watch List of nations where Christians are subjected to the most severe persecution, Malaysia came in at position number 43. 

Open Doors has brought attention to a number of the repercussions of the fatwa, including the fact that it would ban Muslims from attending weddings and other events conducted in churches and will have a detrimental impact on the income of event organizers and wedding photographers.

In a video shared on social media platforms, the Muslim lawmaker Syed Saddiq asked, if their children cannot comprehend their contemporaries' religious practices and cultural norms, how can they expect them to coexist peacefully in society? "What is the need to gatekeep Muslims in Selangor? Don't tell me that if you entered a church your faith would waver. Every other person of a different religion here hears the [Islamic] call to prayer five times a day," he added.

In addition, a representative from a charity partner organization with Open Doors in Malaysia expressed worry over the fatwa. 

She stated that it is concerning to witness an increase in occurrences like this one, which gives the Islamic authorities more and more control while restricting the rights of minority groups.

On the other hand, she gets the impression that there has been a mentality shift not only among the members of the minority groups but also among those who belong to the Islamic community. People are growing weary of being manipulated, and as a result, they are speaking their minds.

Moreover, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung reported that Christianity and Islam are monotheistic religions; Christianity originated in the Middle East, and both religions believe that there is only one God and one prophet who God sent. Despite this, there has been a long history of fights, conflicts, and wars between them.

Also Read: In Uganda: Islamic Extremists Kill Christian Man, Attack Pastor, Church Members

Purpose of Fatwa in Muslims

According to The Conversation, "explanation" or "clarification" can also be derived from the Arabic word fatwa. It refers to an ordinance or ruling on Islamic law issued by a recognized religious authority. Establishing a fatwa starts when a Muslim is at a loss for what to do in response to a situation involving their life, beliefs, or Islamic law.

Generally, Muslims seek fatwas when uncertain about any aspect of conduct or embroiled in a dispute because they want to avoid departing from God's commands. They may mistakenly believe that wandering from the road of moral action will compromise their chances of entering paradise. 

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