Sunday, July 19, 2009

I just found out i got my thousand readership today so it is a milestone for me! i have not updated as I like as i have been bogged down from a feeling of discomfort this past week so i have to pick up where I left. Yes i still got a thing to say about conversion in fact it still occupies my thought. Before I put a nail to this affair I have to bring the readers and remind them what our former Prime Minister Pak Lah recommended but which was shot down by the Muslim NGO's which proclaim they have the best interest of the ummah at heart or did they? I wonder? I applauded the move to announce the conversion of new Muslims publicly because it would stop what happen to people like Mohan and avoid the ensuing controversies. If conversion is private then why when you die it become public affair? And if we Muslims are like the hadiths which says we are like one body thus we are responsible for one another then knowing someone else faith is important so we could remind our brothers of transgression made if it was committed don't you think so? If we took responsibilities on their bodies when they die don't you think we are not responsible when they are alive? Pak Lah saw the light and because he was weak he can't bulldoze it through but it was good idea sadly the Muslim Ummah as usual is at fault! Here's the piece of news and read!

Court backs Islamic officials in 'bodysnatch' case

Monday, 06 July 2009 14:19

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's high court has ruled that a Sikh man converted to Islam before his death, over the objections of his family who are demanding the return of his body, his lawyer said Monday.

In the latest "bodysnatching" case in predominantly Muslim Malaysia, the court backed Islamic authorities who said that Mohan Singh, a 41-year-old film director who died of a heart attack last month, was a Muslim.

"The family is very disappointed with the ruling as they wanted to get his body and cremate him under Sikh rites, but it was expected and we are now rushing to appeal," family lawyer Rajesh Kumar told AFP.

Muslim burial today

"We are hoping that the family will be allowed to appeal but the Muslim authorities now have custody of the body and they are expected to rush a Muslim burial by today, which will make the situation worse," he said.

Kumar said that presiding high court judge Rosnaini Saub had refused to grant a stay order on the ruling, which would have allowed the body to be kept at a hospital morgue pending the appeal.

"This makes it very hard because if we win on appeal, it would be difficult to exhume the body from a Muslim graveyard as that would upset Muslims."

A Sikh when he died

Kumar said Islamic authorities claimed that Mohan, who had directed some local films, converted to Islam in 1992, although Kumar's family say he was a practising Sikh when he died and his religion was marked on his identity card.

Conversion rows are common in Muslim-majority Malaysia, and wrangles between relatives and Islamic authorities over the remains of people whose religion is disputed have helped raise ethnic tensions.

The issue has stoked fears of the "Islamisation" of the multicultural country, which is also home to large ethnic Chinese and Indian communities. - AFP

Malaysian move on conversion welcomed

April 12th, 2008 - 2:07 pm ICT by admin Tell a Friend -

Kuala Lumpur, April 12 (IANS) Two major political parties, besides representatives of the bar and religious groups have supported the government’s proposed move for a law that any non-Muslim seeking to convert to Islam must inform the family in writing. The Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) that has spoken for the 33 percent ethnic Chinese population since the country became free and the opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP) welcomed the move Friday.

There is no word yet from the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) that, like MCA, is part of the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN) and speaks for the eight percent ethnic Indians.

MIC is currently afflicted by dissensions following last month’s poll debacle.

Malaysia has a majority Muslim population and Islam is the official religion.

In announcing the proposal Thursday, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the absence of a ruling concerning non-Muslims resulted in problems like the oft-reported disputes over religious burial rites when a convert dies.

He said those who wanted to convert to Islam must inform their family through a form or letter declaring that their family had been told.

There had been a number of such cases highlighted in the press over the years, some of which had ended up in litigation, The Sun newspaper noted Saturday.

Opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP)’s Indian origin chief Karpal Singh said: “This move is necessary to avert any misunderstanding when claims are made to bodies of non-Muslims who have converted to Islam when they die.”

“What is more important, and which requires to be addressed immediately, is the necessity of making it easier for non-Muslims who have converted to Islam, to revert to their original religions, in keeping with freedom of religion if they so desire, as guaranteed under the Federal Constitution,” said the lawyer-lawmaker.

“As the position stands, non-Muslim converts are required to resort to the Sharia Court to renounce Islam, and are further required to undergo rehabilitation. In my view, no obstacle should be placed in the way of non-Muslim converts who wish to renounce Islam,” he added.

Karpal Singh urged the government to relax the requirement for non-Muslim converts to go to the Sharia Court to renounce Islam.

“There is considerable concern and disquiet among non-Muslim converts who wish to renounce Islam,” said Karpal Singh

MCA president Ong Ka Ting welcomed the move. “MCA’s stand has been consistent in pushing for such a move. However, we would like to seek clarification on the process of implementation of such a requirement.”

Ong sought a time period for the intending convert to inform the family members and that the process should be ‘transparent’.

“The court also must not allow the unilateral conversion of any minor children resulting from the civil marriage. The court should not view this as a loophole as the religion of the child should remain status quo until he/she attains the age of majority,” Ong said.

Bar Council’s Indian origin woman chief, Ambiga Sreenevasan called it “an important first step”.

Islamic religious authorities must be satisfied that the family members have been duly notified. “They should require documented proof of such a notification. A self-declaratory document from the intending convert will not suffice,” she added.

A. Vaithilingam, the Indian origin chief of the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism said: “This is a positive first step in ensuring that our laws and system of administration are not abused by those wanting to avoid their obligations to their loved ones by converting to Islam.”

He recommended that there should be “black-and-white proof” of notification from the convert.

Take family permission for conversion, Malaysia tells non-Muslims

April 11th, 2008 - 6:12 pm ICT by admin Tell a Friend -

Kuala Lumpur, April 11 (IANS) The Malaysian government will introduce a regulation requiring non-Muslims wishing to convert to Islam to inform their family before doing so. Announcing the move Thursday, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said: “We will have a regulation. When a person wants to convert to Islam, we have to ask him whether his wife knows about it. If people want to convert, there is nothing wrong, why must they hide? Tell them (the family).”

Noting that there was no such regulation at present, Badawi advised non-Muslims wanting to convert to inform their families to “make things easier for everyone”, The Star quoted him as saying Friday.

“We don’t want problems later when the man converts and converts the children also, when the wife has rights too,” he said after chairing a meeting of the National Council on Islamic Religious Affairs here.

Religious bodies and the Malaysian Bar Council have welcomed Badawi’s announcement, the newspaper said.

Bar Council chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan lauded the measure but said details of its implementation must be worked out.

She said Islamic authorities must be satisfied that the family of the person wanting to convert had been informed before allowing the non-Muslim to proceed with his or her intention.

“This is only one of the issues that faces a non-converting spouse and there are many others that need to be looked into, but this is an important step,” she said.

Conversion is allowed under the Malaysian constitution. However, there have been many cases of families of non-Muslims challenging the decision in courts, especially when it comes to the question of the faith the children should follow.

Court rulings asking the complainant to go to the Islamic Sharia court have been resented.

One such case was of a former army commando, a Hindu, whose family pursued the case before law after he died. They disputed his decision and wanted to cremate him as per Hindu rights.

Badawi said he told those at the meeting that religious issues were “very sensitive” and should be tackled wisely to avoid racial tension.

Council of Churches of Malaysia general secretary Hermen Shastri said the council had repeatedly made such a proposal to prevent problems when a spouse discovered that his or her partner had converted in secret.

“But we should go further in ensuring that should the non-converting spouse not want to follow the converted spouse (in converting to Islam), all matters regarding the dissolution of the marriage must be handled in the civil court,” he said.

Shastri suggested that converting non-Muslims should be required to provide documented proof that they had informed their families.

“This is to avoid conflicts arising within the family when the converted spouse makes claims, legal or otherwise, which the non-converting spouse is kept in the dark about, for example, on the conversion and custody of children and property rights,” he said.

Muslim clergy opposes Badawi’s proposal on conversion

April 29th, 2008 - 5:30 pm ICT by admin Tell a Friend -

Kuala Lumpur, April 29 (IANS) Senior Islamic leaders of Malaysia have rejected a proposal by Prime Minister Abdullah Amad Badawi that requires non-Muslims wishing to convert to Islam to inform their family before doing so. Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) director-general Wan Mohamad Sheikh Abdul Aziz said it was decided at a recent conference that met to streamline Syariah, the Islamic laws and civil laws.

“Based on Syariah laws, there is no ‘nas’ (quotations from the Quran to prove or settle a point) compelling a person wishing to convert to Islam to inform the family before doing so,” Wan Mohamad said in a statement Monday.

The conference also decided that the need to inform loved ones should be left to the discretion of the person wishing to convert.

Wan Mohamad said present Syariah laws on conversion and related matters were sufficient and the present practices should be continued.

“Nevertheless, provisions for registration, custody and the education of converts need to be formulated in a more effective manner,” The Daily Star quoted him as saying Tuesday.

Wan Mohamad added under the Syariah laws, the duties and responsibility of the convert towards his non-Muslim parents did not stop after the conversion.

Badawi had said the government would introduce a regulation requiring non-Muslims wishing to convert to Islam to inform their family before doing so.

He said this would prevent problems of families disputing the conversion of their loved ones when they die.

Conversion by non-Muslims to Islam and the jurisdiction of courts while settling disputes that arise out of the conversion has been an issue in Malaysia.

Enunciating Badawi’s views, minister in the Prime Minister’s department Zaid Ibrahim has stressed all laws should be able to address “the dissatisfaction and problems of various races in the country”.

He pointed out that in a multiracial country, the government should seek the views of the people, instead of acting unilaterally.

“For example, in formulating the Federal Territories Islamic Family Law, the government must make sure that it also takes care of the interest of the non-Muslim community.

“Any party which proposes to charge a non-Muslim with zinah for committing adultery with a Muslim should state clearly under which law and section can this be done,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.


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