Islamic Tolerance Alert from modern, moderate Malaysia. “Malaysian Hindu loses bid to ban Muslim conversion,” by Jalil Hamid for Reuters (thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist):
PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia (Reuters) – Malaysia’s highest court threw out on Thursday a bid by a Hindu woman to stop her estranged husband from converting their youngest son to Islam.
Her case is another sign of strain in the social fabric of the multi-racial nation, where many non-Muslims believe their rights are being trampled by the Muslim majority.
R. Subashini took legal action after her husband converted himself and their elder son, now four, to Islam in 2006. She says she now fears the husband wants to take their two-year-old, who still lives with her, and convert him to Islam as well.
The Federal Court rejected her request for an injunction on technical grounds, leaving her free to try again, but one judge noted the court’s jurisdiction was limited, given the husband was now a Muslim and therefore governed by Islamic or sharia law.
“The civil and sharia courts cannot interfere with each other’s jurisdiction,” said Nik Hashim Nik Abdul Rahman, one of two judges who dismissed the case. One judge dissented.
Family law has become an emotional battleground between Malaysia’s religious communities, with non-Muslims complaining civil courts are too willing to surrender jurisdiction to their Islamic counterparts in cases involving a Muslim conversion.
Marriages between Muslims and non-Muslims are forbidden in Malaysia, so once a non-Muslim spouse converts to Islam, the union is broken, lawyers say. While it can still exist under civil law, in reality the Islamic court does not recognise it.
A lawyer for R. Subashini said that although his client’s case failed on a technicality, the judges’ comments made it clear they recognised the husband’s right, as a newly converted Muslim, to have recourse to the Islamic courts….