Hudud 4: Islamic State

What kind of state is Malaysia? Note that I do not ask directly whether Malaysia is or is not an Islamic state. Although it is a complex matter, I believe that from a constitutional point of view there is, in fact, an objective answer. In a paper titled The Federal Constitution: Is Malaysia a Secular State? , Mohamed Azam Mohamed Adil,  of the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) Malaysia notes, with reference to previous scholarly works and citing Articles 3(1), 12(2) and 37 of the Federal Constitution, “Malaysia is not a secular state, nor is it a truly theocratic state.” In this light, it can be said that our national being lies in a state of becoming, in a field of possibilities somewhere in-between these two negative ontologies. Many Malaysians argue about the legitimacy of the increasing role of Sharia on the basis of their personal convictions on whether or not Malaysia is or is not an Islamic state. This is akin to putting the cart before the horse. In fact, Malaysia will become more or less of an Islamic state on the basis of how we proceed with the private members bill making its way through parliament today and other similar laws that are likely to follow.

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