Following Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki’s claim that atheism was dangerous, unconstitutional and criminal, secular group Bebas said the allegation was irrational and atheists should not have religious belief forced upon them.
Asyraf said in Parliament yesterday that freedom of religion did not also mean “freedom from any religion”.
He also said atheism could be punished under Shariah law for Muslims or under the Sedition Act for non-Muslims, as the lack of a belief in god supposedly contradicted laws relating to public order and peace.
“Atheists, by and large, conduct their lives in a manner that is ethical, not out of fear or reward-seeking but because they are upholding their own principles and have empathy for others.
“They accept the diversity of opinion, and they are unafraid of debate. In general, atheists want to be left alone and not have religious belief forced onto them. They should be treated no different than those who belong to a particular religion.
“Atheists are not a threat.
“They should have the right to believe what they feel is best for them. After all, there should be no compulsion in religion,” said Bebas in a statement, Malay Mail Online reported.