I laud KSY's intention to criticise the lack of recourse for non-Muslims in the case of Moorthy/Muhammad (or whichever comes first), but I wish KSY could correct his earlier statement on how Dr Mahathir Mohamad was right about Malaysia being an Islamic state which makes a connection between the incidental failure of the Syariah Court justice system and the presumed systemic fault in Islamic state ideals.
Muslims believe syariah as the only true embodiment of justice which upholds the rights of Muslims and non-Muslims alike. As a matter of fact, the establishment of secular law founded on principles contrasting to Islamic tenets is an act of imposing a belief which contradicts the faith of almost all practicing Muslims of this country.
With regard to the majority practicing Muslims who believe in coexistence with people of other beliefs, the syariah establishment does not contradict with the spirit of democracy and humanity. It is the current interpretation and the implementation of the syariah that can be problematic at times, not the syariah itself.
Yet, misunderstanding between the two was prominently resonated with Malaysian Consultative Council for Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Sikhism (MCCBCHS) vice-president Harcharan Singh's and Rev Wong Kim Kong's comments that imply syariah as something that alienates the non-Muslims from rightfully exercising their belief, whether religious or secular, and feeling "threatened and fearful that syariah laws will be taken as the supreme law". Similar to the western utilitarian principle, non-Muslim minorities are free to exercise their rights to practice their belief that which do not disturb the practices and observances of the Muslim majority and I don't see why religious authorities should fear letting the deceased die as a non-Muslim in case of absence of evidence that proves otherwise.
Caliph Ali (May God be pleased with him) once recognised his stolen shield when he saw it in the possession of a Jew and brought the Jew before a qadhi (judge) named Shuraih. Ali was unable to present a witness or proof to his claim, and the judge rule in favor of the Jew, who later admitted he stole the shield (and Ali forgave him). Ali never borrowed the strength embodied in the caliphate position to interfere in the line of justice. This is similar with Caliph Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz's insistence to bring the complaint of an unjustified Muslim army's presence in the land of the non-Muslims (Samarqand) before a tribunal. After the inquiry was over, the qadhi, though himself a Muslim, passed the judgement that the Muslim army must vacate the town.
Thus, it is clear that borrowing strength solely from the complacency and superiority of being among the majority and denying the rights of the non-Muslims to stand on the same level as the Muslims are both against the noble intention of the syariah.
It is embarrassing to note that the religious authorities made no attempt to reconnect with Moorthy/Muhammad in affirming his status of faith before he went into a coma, let alone fulfilling his right as a new convert to be taught the basic fundamentals of Islamic faith. He was only to be approached during the final moments of his life.
I have the feeling that the current syariah court failed to follow the intention of the syariah as prescribed by the Islamic faith, but this alone cannot serve as a basis for anyone to discredit the relevancy of Islamic law in the constitution which governs the Muslim majority while at the same time respecting the rights of the non-Muslim minority.
Since the dead have already been buried, it is not the issue of the ambiguity of faith at the point of Moorthy/Muhammad's death or whether he was coerced into Islam silently (again, coercion goes against the spirit of Islam) that should be the center of repercussion (in the absence of solid evidence).
The issue centers on the absence of avenue for S Kaliammal (Moorthy's widow) to provide her proof with the similar level of transparency and credence that the Islamic religious authority enjoys, not on presumed syariah's irrelevancy and its connection with current syariah practices which led to the recent brou-ha-ha.