Empower syariah court and law, to do what?

Opinion  |  S Thayaparan
Published:  |  Modified:

“The learned judge apparently equated apostasy to treason in western civilisation and stated that in many countries around the world, treason is a serious offence as it is of national security concern and punishable by the harshest penal sentence.”

- 'Syariah Court dismisses Revathi's application to renounce Islam' (The Malaysian Bar 2007)

COMMENT | Does anyone remember the Revathi case? Probably not. Malaysiakini ran a series of articles about her case which you can read here: 'Revathi: That’s my name forever'.

One passage from one of the reports is especially noteworthy in an odious way. It is an allegation by Revathi Masoosai that she was fed meat prohibited by her religion (Hinduism) when she was detained at the Islamic rehabilitation centre in Ulu Yam.

Mengenai dakwaan Siti Fatimah (Revathi) bahawa dia dipaksa makan daging (yang dilarang dalam agama Hindu), (pegawai perhubungan) Rohana Hassan berkata, pihaknya tidak menerima laporan mengenai perkara tersebut.

"'Majlis Agama Islam Selangor (Mais) melayannya sebagai orang Islam kerana permohonannya untuk keluar Islam belum diputus oleh mahkamah,' katanya.

"Rohana berkata, mengikut undang-undang Islam Selangor, jika seseorang itu telah memeluk Islam, mereka mesti menjadi umat Islam sehingga mati.

(Regarding Siti Fatimah's (Revathi) allegation that she was forced to eat beef (which is forbidden by Hinduism), Mais officer Rohana Hassan said, they have not received any report on the matter.

"Mais treated her as a Muslim because her application to exit Islam had not been decided," said Rohana.

She said according to Selangor's Islamic laws, if a person embraces Islam, that person must be a Muslim until death.)

This struck me as particularly cruel....

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