Pssst. I’ll Pay You to Convert . . .
Malaysia has become a case study illustrating why government should deliberately provide neither incentives nor disincentives to join a particular religious group.
Conversion away from Islam in that country is punished with five years in prison and a $3,000 fine. But a Muslim who marries a non-Muslim and converts his spouse to Islam gets an apartment, an automobile, and a windfall of $2,700 plus ongoing payments of $270 per month.
Next to the cries of those who suffer out of conviction, one can almost hear the mental calculators spinning, as people group together to figure out how they can use the conversion racket to better their financial situation. The smart money may well be on polygamy.
Not only does any such policy unreasonably restrict non-favored religions, but it both denigrates and undermines the religion it is designed to favor. In this case, the Malaysian government, which has just strengthened these legal provisions, shows a profound disrespect for Islam by proffering material benefits in return for outward religious submission.
Mutatis mutandis, this would be an insult to Christ. It is certainly an insult to Allah. And it holds Islam up to universal mockery. Can one be a true Muslim in his heart and support such laws?
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