Monday, April 23, 2007


There were 4 forwarded text messages (sms) in all. All arriving in my mobile’s inbox sometime during lunch on Sunday. Did anyone else receive this?
Don’t miss astro 9.30pm 2nite on aljazeera news. It will make you question wat d msian govt is doing abt apostasy cases, specifically involving conversion out of islam n its impact on non-muslims here. Never b4 seen footage of apostate in detention, taken by Ong Julin, filmmaker re:broga incinerator. PLS 4WARD
Initially it caught my attention, but when I asked if anyone verified the news before forwarding it, my senders merely replied that I could do it by turning on the tv. I don’t have Astro, but I heard there was a lot of confusion out there Sunday about the missing programme.

It now appears that there was indeed such a programme, but the smses got the details wrong.


In today's program, we examine the crime of a baby can be torn from its parents because a Muslim woman dared to marry a non-Muslim.

Religious freedom in Malaysia has been under the spotlight recently, with a string of disputes involving the country's non-Muslim minorities. The most high-profile is that of Siti Fatimah; she was born a Muslim but she married a Hindu man out of love. She calls herself Revathi, a Hindu name, and together the couple have a 15 month old baby girl.

But because she was living as a Hindu, Siti has been accused of apostasy - or deserting her religion. She's been detained at a Rehabilitation Centre, and her baby has been taken away. Her husband Suresh, who is banned from seeing both his wife and child, spoke to Everywoman about the battle to win back his family.

Joining Shiulie Ghosh to discuss the issue is Zainah Anwar from Sisters In Islam, and Farid Suffian Shuaib, Law Lecturer at Malaysia's International Islamic University.

[AlJazeera website here]

The problem with technology (in this instance, mobile phone messaging) is not just that it has an unintended way of consuming cultures and transforming societies; the ease with which it assimilates into our habits makes us careless, even reckless. Quentin Schultz says in his book Habits of the High-Tech Heart that ‘technological reticence’ is necessary if we wish to develop thoughtful habits of the heart in our age.

So the fw that went flying around was a genuine mistake, although correct in substance. All the more reason to be careful when messaging (and blogging!).

STOP PRESS: View a 60-sec clip of the AlJazeera programme on MalaysiakiniTV

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