People should not be compelled to adopt a particular religion and this should also apply to Malays, says Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar.

"When you ask me, there is no compulsion in religion... how can anyone say sorry, this (religious freedom) only applies to non-Malays, it has to apply equally." she said.

Hudud forum Nurul Izzah
She was speaking at a forum on "Islamic State: Which version; Who's responsibility?" in Subang Jaya this morning.

The Lembah Pantai MP was responding to a question from the floor on whether Malays should have religious freedom like non-Malays. 

"Malay" is defined under Section 160(2) of the federal constitution as a person who professes Islam, habitually speaks the Malay language and conforms to Malay customs.

Ultimately, she said, what should be sought is "quality" where Muslims' faith is strong.

"Even me, being schooled in Assunta (secondary school) with a huge cross in the hall and an active singing Catholic society did not influence me," she said.

However, Nurul Izzah stopped short of saying that Malays should be legally granted religious freedom, saying: "I am, of course, tied to the prevailing views."
To a question on the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transexual (LGBT) community, Nurul Izzah conceded that as Muslims and even for Catholics, there were limitations. 
However, she stressed that the principle for Pakatan Rakyat was that the community should not be victimised.

'Muslims' freedom ignored'

Human rights lawyer, Malik Imtiaz, on his part, noted that there had been a "back door attempt" to revise the country into an Islamic state with a single interpretation with Muslims being the biggest victims from this insidious move.

"We talk about how non-Muslims are affected by the so-called dominance but tend to forget that the biggest victims of this discussion are the Muslims because everyone recognises the freedom of non-Muslims but people don't seem to talk about the freedom of Muslims.

"The point is diversity is as important for Muslims as it is for everyone else. 
"No one stops (a Catholic) from going to a Catholic or Protestant church but for the state, there is only one version of Islam... if you don't believe this kind of Islam, you are a deviationist," he said.

As such, Malik said what had been creating was a monolithic Islam that was being manipulated for political purpose and turned into tool to either woo or intimidate voters.