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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

    » 05/08/2008, 00.00


    Islamic court “authorises” conversion from Islam to Buddhism

    In Penang state an Islamic tribunal emits a rare sentence accepting the request of a woman to leave Islam. In recent years, Islamic judge’s closure on conversion cases has provoked strong political and social tensions.

    Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A Malaysian court has accepted the request of a woman convert to Islam to return to Buddhism, her original religion.  The sentence is the first of its kind in recent months, which has seen progressive closure on the part of judges regarding cases of citizens who want to leave Islam, the nation’s majority religion.  The case was reported by Ahmad Munawir Abdul Aziz, lawyer for the Council of Islamic Affairs for Penang state, in the north of the country.  According to the lawyer, the tribunal granted permission to Siti Fatimah Abdullah to re-embrace Buddhism, which she had left in 1998 in order to marry a Muslim of Iranian origins.

    Recently cases similar to that of Siti Fatimah have come to light, but have resulted in a ban on changing religions, creating strong ethnic and religious tensions in Malaysia.  The most famous case is that of Lina Joy, an ethnic malay.  Last year after a lengthy legal battle her conversion to Christianity failed to gain legal recognition.  Despite guarantees of full religious freedom, Malaysia has established that all questions regarding the faith of ethnic malays – including their conversion – be judged by the Islamic courts rather than civilian law.  In fact, two legislations exist in the country: Islamic law and constitutional law, which often are in direct opposition to each other.  In the case of Lina Joy this is evident: the Constitution guarantees religious freedom; Islamic law prohibits conversion to another religion.


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    See also

    12/06/2007 MALAYSIA
    Lina Joy affair sparks apostasy debate among Muslims
    Legal experts and Islamic scholars and leaders square off before a large audience in a public debate over the conflict that pits Sharia against civil law in conversion cases. Some believe the issue has not been settled since the Qur’an is silent as to how apostasy should be punished and that what punishment that does exist “is man-made”. Others insist that any dialogue must be preceded by “respect for religion and its experts.”

    30/05/2007 MALAYSIA
    Kuala Lumpur refuses to recognise Lina Joy’s conversion to Christianity
    The Federal Court has referred the case of Lina Joy, a women seeking legal recognition of her conversion from Islam, to the Islamic courts. The country’s contradicting laws are laid bare: religious freedom guaranteed by the Constitution cannot co-exist with Islamic law, which is increasingly imposed on the nation’s citizen’s even non-Muslims. Outside the court hundreds of demonstrators shout “Allah-o-Akbar”.

    01/06/2007 MALAYSIA
    A Muslim can renounce his faith, but only as set out by Sharia
    Malaysia’s Chief Justice explains while upholding the Federal Courts ruling on the Lina Joy case, the Christian convert forced to face an Islamic court judgement. The Premier Badawi excludes that political pressure influenced judges, but admits the governments need to deal with the issue of non Muslim citizens and Islamic Courts.

    03/04/2007 MALAYSIA
    Great risk that Sharia law might trump secular law (Overview)
    A heated debate is underway in the predominantly Muslim country as to which legal system, Islamic or secular, should prevail in cases involving Muslims and non Muslims in matters regarding the family and freedom of conscience. Here are some examples where Islamic law and Malaysia’s Constitution are at odds with one another. The government is paralysed over the matter.

    31/08/2007 MALAYSIA
    50 years on from independence,” unity” remains a dream for Malaysia.
    Festive celebrations in Kuala Lumpur to mark the country’s independence from Great Britain. The government focus on economic progress and national unity. But discriminating politics in the country against ethnic and religious minorities and the rise of conservative Islam threat growth and social harmony as well as the secular Constitution. The bishops Conference warns against “the erosion of fundamental rights” and invites Catholic to “promote dialogue”.

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