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YOURSAY | Wrong to ‘manipulate’ children in conversion row

YOURSAY | ‘What was the Perlis mufti thinking with his stunt?’

Mum demands authorities prove she consented to children’s conversion

BobbyO: How can children below their natural intelligent age understand the consent to change their religion?

How can Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin resort to such an activity by trying to “bribe” the young children (14-year-old twin girls and 10-year-old boy) to change their beliefs?

They should be returned to their mother, Loh Siew Hong, and when they reach the age of a consenting adult, then only should the question be put to them.

Even God won't approve of such an act. He had created humans to think freely and give them the ability to decide for themselves.

The mufti should have known better than to manipulate young children.

Dr Raman Letchumanan: The children were held “captive” or “protected” by the authorities from anyone, not even the mother, who has custodial rights, could visit them without permission.

All of a sudden, a man turns up, brings food, asks the children questions which they are not capable of understanding, apparently getting them to answer in front of a video camera (not sure if the answer was coerced), and broadcasts it to the public.

No decent human being would do such a despicable act to children. If he is man enough, he would have done it in public in the presence of others and also accord the same opportunity to the mother who is denied meeting, hugging, feeding or talking to the children.

Malaysia could answer for this at the UN Human Rights Council next. Meanwhile, let decent human beings judge this act.

Hrrmph: What is the point of the Perlis mufti asking the children if they have been coerced into becoming Muslims? Are the children old enough to know what religion they wish to profess?

Children cannot convert without the consent of their parents, so asking them and posting the video online is beyond unconscionable.

Would these Muslims agree to it if the same thing was done to their children in another country, such as conversion to Christianity without their consent?

Except that this kind of nonsense is not imposed anywhere else in the world. Only in Malaysia and some other Muslim countries.

Once converted, willingly or by subterfuge, one cannot convert back without being hounded out of the country.

Even when these people have no faith. If such a Muslim professes that God is Almighty, these conversions are doing Him no service. He sees what’s in our hearts.

Noor M: Many here are bashing Asri, let it be. I’m not here to defend him.

But when the father is in jail and the mother is asking for her children whom she has custody of, just hand them over to her.

If the religious departments are so worried about their akidah, worry not, God Almighty knows how to protect His servants.

The mufti, meanwhile, might have just spoken what was presented to him, we were not there to ascertain the truth of the matter.

Give him some benefit of doubt, most of the time he talks sense and is reasonable. If he erred this time, please forgive him. He is human, like us, after all.

The problem is not the religion, it’s the law. It’s the dual system that we have in place.

The Islam that I know and understand is just and fair. The children are born non-Muslims, let them be so until they are of legal age and they can decide otherwise.

Freethinker: The mufti intention may have been noble, but at the same time idiotic.

How can a child give consent, let alone decide if they want to stay as Muslim or not? I doubt they even know the implication of being a Muslim as the option to leave the religion later is non-existent.

The Federal Court had made the judgment and any parties continuing to interpret the law according to their own whims is akin to contempt. Indeed, the attorney-general should immediately take action to clear this matter up.

Proof Of Pudding Always In The Eating: It is difficult to comprehend Asri's actions as they are unbecoming of a religious preacher. If the religion preaches compassion, then the preacher should show the most compassion, especially towards a single mother from an abusive relationship.

The in-camera questioning of two children and the assertion that he would ensure they remain Muslims smacks of ‘shiok sendiri’ arrogance. The Islamic NGO and Perlis Welfare Department that allowed access to the children to Asri while denying the mother are equally complicit.

PurpleRabbit4431: We always know that when a person is below 18, all legal decision of this person is to be decided by the parents until the person has attained the age of 18 when he/she can decide for him/herself.

Why can't the religious authority understand this?

Newday: It is not the mufti’s job to ask minors whether they want to stay Muslim or not. They have gone through much trauma in the last three years, being illegally taken away from their mother.

It is clear that the legal guardian/mother never consented to their conversion. It disgusts me that the fanatics seem to have more power than what our secular law has determined in this case.

IndigoKite6964: The lawyers for the mother, Loh Siew Hong, should file a contempt of court review against the mufti.

The two eldest children, being 14 years old, are still considered minors. That is why they need parental consent as they are not legally bound by law to any decision they make.

What the mufti has done is repulsive, asking the children whether they want to remain Muslims without the knowledge of their sole custodian. Does he not have better things to do than to meddle in this case?

How not to be Islamophobic when these things happen?

Knucklehead: Asri should let the law take its course. Don't meddle where you are not needed.

A mufti questioning children means nothing in the eyes of the law. They are not of legal age to make that decision. Does he not know the law?

Quo Vadis Malaysia: I am a parent. I am beyond heartbroken. I can fully understand the feeling of helplessness, despair, utter frustration, even anger at the situation.

I am crying even as I write this. No parent should ever be separated from their child the way the authorities have done so in this case.

What justice and laws are on display here? Where is the humanity and compassion?

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