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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 November 2006, 11:41 GMT
Religious freedom in Malaysia
Malaysian muslims pray behind of the Koran during a special morning prayer at the National Mosque in Kuala Lumpur
Crossing Continents will be broadcast on Thursday, 16 November 2006, at 1102 GMT

On BBC Radio 4 and online
Malaysia is at a crossroads. Next year, this multi-racial, multi-religious nation of 25 million people celebrates its 50th anniversary since independence.

Yet many believe racial divisions and religious tensions are on the rise and that the careful balance the government has maintained between its Chinese, Indian and Malay populations is precarious.

Farish Noor - Malaysian academic and activist - casts a critical eye on his home country.

He examines the current debate around religious freedom, and the sensitivities surrounding those who wish to convert from Islam.

He also talks to some of those whose lives could be threatened if they change their religion or if they support those who do.

Will Malaysia uphold constitutional guarantees enabling all citizens to practise their faith? Or has the political sway of Islam overtaken a secular Malaysia?

Crossing Continents was broadcast on Thursday, 16 November 2006, at 1102 GMT and repeated on Monday, 20 November 2006, at 2030 GMT.

Presenter: Farish Noor, Malaysian academic and activist
Producer: Linda Pressly
Editor: Sue Ellis


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