Lina Joy a Malaysian Christian who was born Azlina Jailani. a moslem appled to the countries top secular court to have her name and religion changed on her identity card.
The court complied with regards to her name but said she had to go to the Sharia Court to get an official change of religion.
Joy argued that as a Christian the Shariah court had no juristiction.
A three-judge Federal Court panel ruled Wednesday that only the Islamic Shariah Court has the power to allow her to remove the word "Islam" from the religion category on her government identity card.
The Malaysian Constitution guarantees freedom of religion to all citizens. But Muslims, who comprise nearly 60 percent of the 26 million population, have not been allowed by the Shariah courts to legally leave their religion.
I would normally post this to news24seven...but I think it is worth some wider debate:
Alliance Party media release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Wednesday 30 May 2007
Death of Auckland woman in power scandal is a devastating indictment
of New Zealand today
The Alliance Party says the death of an Auckland woman yesterday
after her oxygen machine failed when electricity was cut off to her
home is a indictment of a society where money comes before people.
Alliance Party President Victor Billot says the death of the woman
was all the more preventable as it appears at least some electricity
staff were informed of her personal situation.
"This is a terrible personal tragedy, but at its root is a political
cause - this is a direct result of the free market system in
electricity where company profits now overrule basic civilized
"The money was more important than the safety, health and wellbeing
of a New Zealander. That is a devastating indictment of where New
Zealand is heading as a profit-driven society dominated by corporate
interests and greed."
Mr Billot says there needs to be a full investigation as to the
events leading up to the incident where Mercury Energy cut off the
power to the woman's house.
"What we don't want now is a smother up and a white wash - we want to
have the corporate bosses held responsible for what their company
does, and we want the investigation to look into how the
privatization and corporatization of electricity has led us to this
The Alliance has consistently called for the public control of
electricity with democratic, transparent management to ensure that
all New Zealanders have access to affordable power.
Mr Billot says under such a "public good" system, the Auckland
tragedy could never have occurred.
"Many New Zealanders will be going without power this winter because
they can't afford it. Will it take more tragedies before the profit
system is dumped and we replace it with a system that actually looks
after human beings?"
I can't help but be stunned at the birdbath shallow analysis of their own positions that many self-proclaimed 'atheists' are making on the blogs.
James and others keep trying to insist that Atheism is not a belief system, clutching at secular dictionary definitions like straws.
The issue is actually determined by logic, not what a secularist or a Christian chose to write in a dictionary.
Science has no empirically-testable theory to explain the origin of the universe or life. Thus, regardless of all the fluffy debate around the edges of the issue, all discussions about origins ultimately are grounded in metaphysics, not physics.
The 'atheist' bloggers I referred to are more correctly defined as hard agnostics. That's because they don't actually understand what atheism is. It is not a "lack of belief", the word specifically encompasses a declaration that God does not exist. It is a positive declaration. Atheist philosophers like Flew, Nielsen and others have long recognized this point and it is accepted and established in academia.
To be a true atheist, you must do more than lack an opinion on the existence of a deity, you must adhere to a belief that the deity is fictional. Obviously, an atheist cannot empirically prove that, so regardless of how firmly they believe it, or how firmly they "lack" a belief in said deity, their worldview is ultimately faith-based: they have faith that their belief is correct.
If you are willing to acknowledge the possibility - however remote - that a deity might exist, then regardless of how much you doubt the possibility you are, in philosophic terms, a hard agnostic (skepticism being a variety of this). A hard agnostic indeed "lacks" belief in a deity, but leaves themselves a rational doorway such that were a Deity to appear in the clouds and declare his presence to the entire world, the agnostic would not have to perform the mental somersaults that a true atheist would.
Agnosticism is, however, still a faith belief - a position that remains impossible to prove or disprove scientifically. At its core it argues that there is not enough evidence for the existence of God, and the more sophisticated philosophical arguments are based on the impossibility for finite mortals to truly know such an infinite God, if indeed he did exist. Thus the agnostic says that until such time as he is proven wrong he is better to live his life as if God did not exist. He takes it on faith that he is right.
You then move into other explanations of origins like Theism, Deism, Finite Godism, Pantheism, Panentheism, Polytheism etc. All of which are, like the first two, metaphysical. Download winmail.dat
This document was delivered to the Asia Pacific Interfaith Forum at Waitangi on 29 May 2007
THE NEW ZEALAND GOVERNMENT AND DELEGATES OF THE ASIA-PACIFIC INTERFAITH FORUM BEING HELD AT WAITANGI
29 - 31 MAY 2007
The peoples of New Zealand wish to formalise New Zealand's Christian heritage in such a way that it cannot be tampered with by future Governments. We seek to have this declaration officially recognised by New Zealand Parliament at the earliest opportunity.
STATEMENT ON NEW ZEALAND'S RELIGIOUS IDENTITY:
1. We formally recognise New Zealand as a Christian nation.
2. Christianity affirms freedom of religious choice.
3. Future Governments shall protect and preserve New Zealand's Christian heritage and the above principles forever.
29 May 2007, Waitangi
The Governments proposed National Statement on Religious Diversity (NSORD) sets out eight principles, none of which recognise or acknowledge New Zealand's significant Christian heritage. The first principle states, "New Zealand has no established or official religion" and amongst other things, says schools should teach a diversity of religions. Although it is 'technically' correct that NZ does not have an official religion, from the basis of 'established' meaning 'those things that have been set in place,' Christianity has played a major role in shaping our National identity. If the Government's NSORD were to be embraced at a political level in its current form, then those elements of Christianity that currently exist in our constitutional, judicial, political and social arrangements would have no basis to remain.
This statement (outlined above) presumes the separation of Church and State, treats all people equally before the law and is not intended for the purposes of imposing the Christian religion on society. Its principle aim is to protect and preserve New Zealand's Christian heritage for the benefit of future generations.
Personally, I can't find anything wrong with this. Tamaki is right...once you let it slide then a whole range of cultural and constitutional norms disappear with it because they no longer enjoy any special place. More to the point...abolition of Christianity's status suggests to any other culture that should they gain sufficient political clout that their own norms might become part of the legal fabric of society...which brings us back to the core issue in this whole debate: why do people emigrate and why do we let people emigrate and what do we expect of immigrants?
Mass migration outside of war and conquest is a thoroughly modern phenomenon...first seen with the opening up of the New World but really only taking off in the past 100 years as part of an increasingly globalist vision for the world.
Do we support the globalist "no-borders" concept of one world village with free movement everywhere and no national borders? Or do we support the ancient tradition of states that largely reflect their own dominant cultures? When migration occurs it is effectively seasoning for the culture, rather than the main course. In other words, the migration results in assimilation and the forging of a common national identity, rather than a collection of separate cultural identities that just happen to share the same arbitrary borders (Yugoslavia, Iraq anyone?). Where migration creates significant minorities modern history is showing it creates tensions.
There is a case to be made for immigration on economic grounds and on cultural and diversity grounds, but uncontrolled migration is nothing less than conquest without bloodshed. Download winmail.dat
George Orwell's famous quote "All animals are equal but some are more equal than others" was written long before the advent of "equal opportunites laws" but its applicability to "equal opportunities" initiatives has been demonstrated time and time again.
This time in Australia where equal opportunity laws prevent discrimination based on race, religion or sexuality.
So it should be illegal for a gay bar to ban hetrosexuals, right?
Not that it matters to me one whit - by the sound of it the establishment concerned is not my sort of place. I doubt I'd want to drink there in the first place.
But the hypocrisy of the Victorian state civil and administrative tribunal who ruled it was permissible to bar hetrosexuals despite Australia's equal opportunity legislation forbidding discrimination on the basis of sexuality and the support of civil liberties groups for this decision beggars belief.
Well it should beggar belief but where the left is concerned double standards ceased to surprise me long ago.
Investigate editor Ian Wishart says an embarrassing media stunt has backfired on police and the government with this afternoon’s admission by the Police Complaints Authority that it has no power to investigate serious allegations of police corruption.
Both Police Commissioner Howard Broad and Police Minister Annette King had made much of Broad’s decision to ask the PCA to investigate the issues raised by Investigate magazine two weeks ago.
But Investigate’s editor says the PCA refusal to investigate shows the Police were only going through the motions and didn’t even bother to dot the i’s and cross the t’s to ensure an investigation actually took place.
“Best case scenario is that Police National Headquarters are simply incompetent and incapable of laying a functional complaint with the PCA. Worst case scenario is that PNHQ is corrupt as charged, and simply undertook the ‘referral’ to the PCA as a media publicity stunt to make it look like something was being done, in which case that stunt has now backfired embarrassingly on both police and their Minister,” says Wishart.
“If you read the PCA decision carefully, you’ll see they acknowledge the allegations are ‘serious’ and that they span a 15 year time period. Very pointedly the PCA then says the relevant Act of Parliament does not give the PCA the functions of a Commission of Inquiry. That’s a clear signal that Lowell Goddard probably believes a Royal Commission is the best course of action as well. She didn’t even have to mention it.
“Since the story broke in the latest Investigate magazine, we’ve been deluged with documents and information from current and former police telling us we’re right on target and telling us where to find more evidence.
“Good cops want this corrupt stranglehold over their profession broken, and that’s something Police Association spokesman Greg O’Connor should think about before he opens his mouth again.
“The PCA says that the only way of bringing the matters under PCA jurisdiction would be for the Police Commissioner to first launch an internal investigation into himself and his colleagues – a suggestion laughable because of the blatant conflicts of interest involved,” says Wishart.
Police National Headquarters now unsurprisingly says it has no intentions of starting its own investigation, leaving a Commission of Inquiry the only option.
“Only residents of a banana republic would be comfortably reassured by today’s developments," said Wishart.
They claim it is unfair and unsafe to players not used to such altitudes.
Maybe so but it effectively limits international matches being played in soccer mad nations such as Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru, all of whom had hoped to stage World cup qualifiers.
The altitude controversy first emerged way back in 1968 when the Olympic games were held in Mexico city, altitude a mere 2300 meters and there was much whining at the time although now that controversy has been long overshadowed by the infamous black power salute given on the winners podium by Tommie Smith (Gold medalist) and John Carlos (Bronze medalist) for the 200 meters.
Sure enough altitude did prove problematical for some competitors in endurance events at the Mexico games.
On the other hand in track and field events of short duration the athletes thrived and world records tumbled some not to be broken for decades.
Still soccer has more in common with endurance events than the long jump I guess and playing a game at nearly 4000 meters when you are not used to it, as recently happened to Brazilian club Flamengo when they met Bolivian team Real Potosi at Estadio Mario Mercado Vaca Guzmán (altitude 3967 meters) seems a big ask.
A tricky one, if enforced teams like Real Potosi and their local supporters will be restricted in the home games they will be able to enjoy.
But when you think about it in all sports the home team does enjoy some advantage being used to the conditions and having friendly supporters, why should altitude be singled out as a special case?
Ian Wishart's blockbuster new book Eve's Bite continues to dominate serious reading in New Zealand, with six straight weeks so far in the Top 10 bestsellers list.
Although pipped from its number two spot by a plethora of cookbooks and travelogues released for Mother's Day, Eve's Bite continues to be the highest placed general non-fiction title in New Zealand, as the figures will show when they are officially released this Friday. Download winmail.dat