ABIM calls for standard apostasy ruling

May 14th, 2008 by poobalan | View blog reactions Leave a reply »
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The case involving Tan Ean Huang was actually clear cut, but it dragged for months. The lady did everything opposite to Islam, her husband who is muslim did not help her out and actually disappeared. She converted out of need to get marriage, not for love of religion. Yet, she had to attend counseling, of which she only attended once. I guess they couldn’t get to her. She was steadfast and managed to escape from the religion. It would have been a mockery if the court decided otherwise.

However as MCCBCHST pointed out, it should have been made easier. Perhaps MCCBCHST should get together and provide some sort of counseling to all the its religions’ followers on the dangers of converting. If I’m not mistaken there were some phamplets given out on the impact of conversion. Not sure by whom though. There should be an independent body that will serve as a clearing house, where those planning to convert should send their application. This body should consist of apolitical members nominated by MCCBCHST and other NGOs. The government obviously cannot be a part of it, since that will put Islam on par with other religions. The body must verify that the possible convert understands the impact of his/her action by means of an interview, signed affidavit, etc. Any issues like property division, child custody, etc must be clarified and settled before the person converts, not after.

The same should be for those who want to return to their original religion. They can approach the independent body, show proof that their spouse (if married) had been informed, attend interview, provide sworn statement, and settle their custodial (child born during converted period) and property (obtained during converted period) before returning to their original religion. The person should be given a choice if want to attend counseling with islamic religious bodies. He should have option to forgo those steps. The independent body can act as arbitrator for any disputes. Once settled, the person can be free to follow back his original religion.

Another thing to note is that the person managed to revert to her original religion due to loophole in the state law. ABIM makes use of this case to call for standardisation of laws related to conversion and apostasy, which means that it will be practically impossible to come back to ones original religion. They want to plug the holes fast before more cases come up.  But look at how long it takes to review the problematic cases like Subashini or Revathy. No effort to ensure the victim is able to use civil court, but instead asked to refer to syariah court in case of Subashini.


Abim: Time to have standard apostasy ruling

source

PETALING JAYA: It is time to find a common formula on hukum syarak (Islamic ruling) and procedures regarding apostasy in Malaysia. said the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia.

Abim president Yusri Mohamad said a collective study involving fatwa (edict) leaders and legal experts was needed and the opinions of all relevant parties, including non-Muslims, should be taken into account before deciding.

Yusri was commenting on the Penang Syariah High Court’s decision last week to allow an application by Muslim convert Siti Fatimah Tan Abdullah, 39, to renounce Islam and revert to Buddhism, her original faith. Siti Fatimah, whose Chinese name is Tan Ean Huang, had converted to Islam in 1998 to marry an Iranian Muslim but the husband left a few months after the marriage.

“The court’s decision is an important one and should be viewed fairly so that the right attitude can be taken with regards to recent developments on murtad (apostasy) issues.

“Siti Fatimah’s case proves that the Syariah Court can side the sentiments of non-Muslims. The perception that Syariah Courts are one-sided towards Muslims is wrong,” he said in a statement yesterday.

He said there were other cases before this where a new Muslim convert had received the Syariah Court’s approval to leave Islam.

“The judges in these cases made their decision based on facts of the case in a situation where apostasy laws were unclear or not standardised in the states,” he said.

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