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Malaysia: NUCC defends protection for atheists and Muslims alike in proposed new law

The National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) today hit back at criticism made by a coalition of Malay groups that its proposed anti-discrimination law recognises atheism and contravenes the Rukun Negara principle of belief in God.

According to The Malay Mail Online, NUCC’s law and policy committee member Mohd Zharif Badrul said the interpretation of religious beliefs in Section 4 of The Racial and Religious Hate Crimes Bill should be read with Section 5 and 6 which criminalises hate crime based on religion.

“For example, if A hurts B because B is an atheist, then A would have to be punished under the law.”

“It can also be used as B (an atheist) who attacked A just because A is a Muslim,” he said in a statement.

In a column in Mingguan Malaysia on Sunday, MuslimUPRo chief Azril Mohd Amin noted that the NUCC’s National Harmony and Reconciliation Bill 2014 defined “religion” as “any religion and includes any belief or lack of a religious belief”, which he said would include atheists and the freedom to renounce a faith.

For more detail please check The Malay Mail Online