Shari’a alert from the AP:
A Malaysian court on Wednesday rejected a Hindu widow’s claim over the body of her husband, who Islamic authorities say converted to Islam last year and should be buried as a Muslim.
The ruling by the High Court threatens to blow up into a rare interracial and religious dispute in this Muslim-majority nation, which prides itself on religious tolerance among a population that also includes Buddhists, Christians and Hindus.
The ruling clears the way for the Islamic Affairs Department to take possession of the body of ex-army commando M. Moorthy, 36, lying in a hospital mortuary since his death Dec. 20. His widow, Kaliammal Sinnasamy, has disputed an Islamic Sharia court’s ruling last week that Moorthy is a Muslim convert and should be buried as a Muslim.
“So much for good interracial relations” in Malaysia, said Haris Mohamad Ibrahim, a lawyer representing Malaysia’s Bar Council. “The judge has just told the widow and her family to go back and leave the body of their beloved to be buried by strangers.”
High Court judge Raus Sharif, ruling on an appeal by Kaliammal, said he has no jurisdiction to overrule the Sharia court decision. Constitutionally, the Sharia court handles religious cases involving Muslims and cannot be touched by the other legal branches in the country.
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