Sharia (Syaria) Alert from modern, moderate Malaysia: you have to apply to leave Islam, and your application may not be accepted. “Woman fails in bid to renounce Islam,” from New Straits Times, with thanks to Teri:
KOTA KINABALU: A 24-year-old Muslim woman yesterday failed in her application to renounce Islam on the grounds that she did not practise the religion and was never given religious education.
Syariah High Court judge Jasri @ Nasip Matjakir said the applicant did not submit any concrete evidence that she was no longer a Muslim in action, behaviour or deed that could expel her from Islam.
In her affidavit, read by counsel Hamid Ismail, the Sino-Kadazan said her non-Muslim lifestyle would cause society to look down on her and she would be subjected to the judgment of the syariah court.
The applicant’s father was a Muslim while her mother, a Sino-Kadazan, converted when the couple got married.
Hamid said the basis of her application was under Article 11 of the Federal Constitution “” that she had the right to choose her religion and must not be prevented from doing so by anyone.
This is as held by the Su- preme Court in the case of Minister of Home Affairs, Malaysia and Anor v Jamaluddin bin Othman, 1989 1 MLJ 418.
The second basis was that Islamic law on apostasy is not applicable in Malaysia because there is no total application of Islamic law in Malaysia.
Jasri, in his judgment, said although the Federal Constitution did state that every individual deserved to choose his or her religion, it did not give authority to the syariah court to allow Muslims to renounce their religion. “The court can only decide whether one’s action is permissible according to Muslim laws.
“The reasons given by the applicant are based on fear of punishment which is against the teachings of Islam. Is fear a good enough reason?
“The court finds the reasons given are weak and not one that can be used as permissible to murtad (leave Islam).”