It is welcomed news that the Penang Syariah Appeal Court finally allows Muslim convert Siti Fatimah Tan Abdullah to revert to Buddhism. It has always been a contentious point and sensitive cases where when a non-Muslim convert to Muslim, it is difficult to revert back to its original faith.
Things become more complicated when one spouse become Muslim and this is followed by divorce. Rightfully, it is the civil court that has to decide since the marriage is according to civil law. However, often it is the Syariah court who feels that they have the jurisdiction over Muslim convert and thereby makes decision that leads to complications.
I think all of us accept Islam as official religion in Malaysia. All right thinking Malaysians also accept the fact that we have religious freedom that anyone of us is allowed to have the religion of our choice and this is enshrined in the constitution.
In the case of Muslim convert of Siti Fatimah, I must congratulate Justice Datuk Ibrahim Lembut for saying “We cannot impose its teachings on non-believers nor force people to embrace Islam”. The judge has taken into consideration that Siti Fatimah did not practice the religion after the conversion. This, I believe is very pertinent that in order for the court to be satisfied, they must really practice the religion.
I have said before in my previous posting that MCA stands with the people to uphold and respect religious freedom, and against the spirit of overzealousness and intentional discrimination based on religion. We recognized that profession of faith is primarily a personal choice and involves freedom of conscience. MCA therefore calls for every person to be allowed the freedom to choose his / her religion.
It is interesting to note that many non-Muslim seems to enter into marriage with Iranians without knowing what they will go thru. Personally, I know 2 other cases, of which the marriage lasted only 2 months. Maybe the Iranian is just practicing contract marriage without informing their partners and non-Muslim girls may be so gullible or unaware that it’s a marriage of problem and not happiness.