Emir's story
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23-09-2012, 05:47 PM
Emir's story
I have a friend and his story shall not be ignored by the world!

For his safety I have to change the name, so let's call him Emir.

Emir lives in Malaysia, a Muslim country. Only two problems: He is an Atheist and he is gay!
Given these two details we can already paint the picture that his live must be frustrating. In fact, he has no friends there, the only friends he has are online.

After a few bad posts on facebook by the Malaysian government and a few other news, he decided to make a video on youtube. No rant, nothing radical, he simply talked about the things he found disturbing:
  • Atheism
  • LGBT issues
  • women
And he also came out to his family! Now his family is mad, in fact mad enough that his sister started crying, one of his brothers stopped talking to him, another brother said that he is worthless and a crime to society!
He had to take the video down and does not know if he will be reported for two of his three "crimes".
Crime one: Being an atheist
Crime two: Being gay
Crime three: having a tatoo

What will happen if he gets reported?
  1. Atheism: 1 year rehabilitation centre, where he will be forced to practice Islam again
  2. Being gay: 20 years jail (+maybe being beaten with a bamboo stick and a fine)
  3. Tatoo: Forcibly removed


As he had to close down all accounts with his normal username on several social networks and communities, I did not want his story to be unheard. I want that people know what is going on, in Malaysia, a country that is not known to be like that. A country where he won't be killed, because afaik Sharia law is not in place and honor killings not known. But still enough to destroy his life! And if noone is interested in this unfair, inhuman behaviour of a country towards basic human rights, then be it.

At least he tried to get the word out, now he has to be in fear.

Btw if any of you have a good idea on how to help him getting him out of there, I am open for that (He contacted Atheist Alliance International, I contacted Atheist Ireland, to see if anyone can get him out there).
He tried political asylum but he has been told that he has no case... Great huh *sarcasm intended*

"Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2=4" - George Orwell (in 1984)
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23-09-2012, 06:28 PM
RE: Emir's story
(23-09-2012 05:47 PM)Leela Wrote:  I have a friend and his story shall not be ignored by the world!

For his safety I have to change the name, so let's call him Emir.

Emir lives in Malaysia, a Muslim country. Only two problems: He is an Atheist and he is gay!
Given these two details we can already paint the picture that his live must be frustrating. In fact, he has no friends there, the only friends he has are online.

After a few bad posts on facebook by the Malaysian government and a few other news, he decided to make a video on youtube. No rant, nothing radical, he simply talked about the things he found disturbing:
  • Atheism
  • LGBT issues
  • women
And he also came out to his family! Now his family is mad, in fact mad enough that his sister started crying, one of his brothers stopped talking to him, another brother said that he is worthless and a crime to society!
He had to take the video down and does not know if he will be reported for two of his three "crimes".
Crime one: Being an atheist
Crime two: Being gay
Crime three: having a tatoo

What will happen if he gets reported?
  1. Atheism: 1 year rehabilitation centre, where he will be forced to practice Islam again
  2. Being gay: 20 years jail (+maybe being beaten with a bamboo stick and a fine)
  3. Tatoo: Forcibly removed


As he had to close down all accounts with his normal username on several social networks and communities, I did not want his story to be unheard. I want that people know what is going on, in Malaysia, a country that is not known to be like that. A country where he won't be killed, because afaik Sharia law is not in place and honor killings not known. But still enough to destroy his life! And if noone is interested in this unfair, inhuman behaviour of a country towards basic human rights, then be it.

At least he tried to get the word out, now he has to be in fear.

Btw if any of you have a good idea on how to help him getting him out of there, I am open for that (He contacted Atheist Alliance International, I contacted Atheist Ireland, to see if anyone can get him out there).
He tried political asylum but he has been told that he has no case... Great huh *sarcasm intended*

Amnesty International?

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24-09-2012, 12:50 AM
RE: Emir's story
Emir is probably already familiar with the Wikipedia article on LGBT rights in Malaysia, but just in case he's not, it offers a good overview of the situation along with links to several organizations that might be able to help.

What part of the country does he live in? Assuming he's on the peninsula, the states in the northeast, Kelantan and Terengganu, are the most religious and conservative; if he's there, he might consider trying to move to K.L. or somewhere on the west coast, which are more cosmopolitan and somewhat more tolerant.

Coming out at the same time as atheist AND gay in a country that's hostile to both took courage. I admire your friend's bravery.

A friend of mine is a gay (and, I suspect, atheist, although we haven't discussed it) Malaysian guy, ethnic Malay, who's now an Australian citizen but gets back to Malaysia regularly to visit his family. It's possible he may be able to offer Emir some advice. If you'd like to discuss this further, PM me.

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24-09-2012, 03:58 AM
RE: Emir's story
Thanks Chas and cufflink. I will link him this thread so he can read what you guys said.

"Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2=4" - George Orwell (in 1984)
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24-09-2012, 04:58 AM
RE: Emir's story
Cuffs took the very words out of my mouth.

I am in KL right now. Tattoos everywhere. Penang too (I did some work for Intel, there). Loads more tolerance, as you would expect in a more commerce focused environment.

Additionally, there is an election looming with I think, nearly 3million new first time voters (22% of total), so the government-biased papers are full of how money is being spent on helping disadvantaged groups.

And then there was the whole sodomy-trail of Anwar, the leading opposition dude. The general mood in KL was "meh! So what?".

I can't speak for rural areas but they always tend to be more reactionary (in every country I have lived).

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24-09-2012, 07:42 AM
RE: Emir's story
My. God. This. Is. Horrible!

These kind of countries should be baned from existence. You are saying that it is legal to FORCIBLY remove a tattoo? Or that gay people get 20 YEARS in jail? Atheists go to ... OK, this about atheists I understand, serves you right, you god damn heathens.

I'm sorry, I had to put some joke into all this, as this looks like a big joke to me. Seriously, what a fucked up country.

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24-09-2012, 02:40 PM
RE: Emir's story
ok I just talked to Emir and linked him this thread.
Amnesty International: He already contacted them. He also contacted Human Rights Watch and UNHR, and Freethinker and Atheist communities all over the world. So far he got no responses at all.
DLJ: He says he is currently living in a supposedly more liberal part of the country but the government seems to become more strict. Also he says that if you are "born Muslim", which he is, you have no way to practice freedom of religion. If you are not "born Muslim" you can practically do whatever you want.

He has an aunt that is currently living in UK and he is waiting for her to call back.

"Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2=4" - George Orwell (in 1984)
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24-09-2012, 04:12 PM
RE: Emir's story
(24-09-2012 02:40 PM)Leela Wrote:  Also he says that if you are "born Muslim", which he is, you have no way to practice freedom of religion. If you are not "born Muslim" you can practically do whatever you want.

Yeah, that's repulsive.

Malaysia is an Islamic country, but only 60% of the population is Muslim. And it's almost entirely based on ethnicity. If you're an ethnic Malay, you're legally defined to be a Muslim! You have no choice. If you're Chinese or Indian, the two large ethnic minorities, you can be whatever religion you want.

I was once in a hotel bar in Kota Bharu, the capital of the most conservative Malaysian state. The hotel catered mainly to foreigners, but there was a sign behind the bar written in Malay only: "Malays will not be served alcohol." Not Muslims--Malays! I don't know of another situation where you're not allowed to drink based on your race.

I love what Dawkins says here about being "born into a religion":




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24-09-2012, 04:37 PM
RE: Emir's story
And again. I want to give you 20 thumbs up on this post

"Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2=4" - George Orwell (in 1984)
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29-09-2012, 05:22 AM
RE: Emir's story
And people expect me to respect Islam and not scrutinize it?

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