For this episode, I was joined by a Malay ex-Muslim Fairuz to discuss apostasy in Malaysia and his experiences trying to officially renounce Islam. He shared with us his story of growing up as a Muslim boy in Malaysia in a very religious family. In spite of his ultra-religious family, Fairuz started developing doubts and questioning the Islamic teachings he was receiving at a very young age.
Fairuz and I also discussed his relationship with a Christian girlfriend and how it created problems for both of them. He opened up about his decision to petition the Malaysian government and the Sharia courts to renounce Islam as this was the only way that his marriage to his Christian girlfriend would be formally recognized.
He also shared the ordeals that he went through in Sharia court-mandated counseling and psychotherapy for 4 years, which was one of the hoops that Fairuz had to jump through for him to get the renunciation formally completed. Fairuz was also subjected to intrusive surveillance as the religious by state investigators as they were trying to build a case to block his renunciation of Islam.
We then talked about Fairuz’s family and how his parents decided to side with the state over their own son. They even went so far as to testify against him in the court proceedings and they signed off on having Fairuz committed to a detention center for more counseling and psychotherapy. However, Fairuz managed to escape to Sweden with his girlfriend.
We wrapped up the show by discussing Fairuz’s asylum-seeking process in Sweden and the hurdles that he is facing. I hope this episode shows you what ex-Muslims in Malaysia and some Muslim majority countries are experiencing. I invite you to take a listen.