Due to the multi-ethnic and multi-religious population of Malaysia, a dichotomy exists between Muslims
who are predominantly Malays and the non-Muslims. Article 3 of the Malaysian
Constitution enacts that Islam is the religion of the nation. However as a
provision in Clause (1) of Article 3, it is guaranteed by the Constitution that
non-Muslim nationals would be free to profess and practise their own religions.
On 7th June 1988, the members of
the controversially elected parliament of Bangladesh passed the Constitution
(8th Amendment) Bill imposing Islam as the state religion of the country which
broke away from another religious-based country - Pakistan - only 17 years ago.
The four pillars of the Constitution of Bangladesh originally were nationalism,
democracy, secularism and socialism. Secularism and socialism were dropped from
the Constitution in 1977 to be replaced by ‘total faith in Allah’ and ‘social