Loading
Malaysian convert denied her Christian identity by Sharia court

.- Malaysia's highest court has rejected a six-year appeal by a Malay woman to have her Christian identity officially recognized.

The Federal Tribunal ruled that only the Shariah (Islamic law) Court could allow Lina Joy, 42, to remove the word Muslim from her identity card.

"You can't at whim and fancy convert from one religion to another," said judge Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim reading the court's decision on Wednesday.

The verdict ends a legal battle that began in 2001 when Joy asked the courts to recognize her conversion to Christianity.

Joy was born Azlina binti Jailani into a Muslim and ethnic Malay family. However, in 1998, she converted to Catholicism.

At that time, the Civil Registry of Marriages refused her application to marry a Catholic man because she had a Muslim name. The country’s Civil Marriage provision prohibits Muslims from registering marriages as civil ones.

She managed to have her name changed to Lina Joy in 1999, but the Muslim designation on her identity card remained despite her declaration that she is a Christian. The government’s Registration Department refused to change the designation, insisting instead that she seek an order from the Shariah Court, stating that she had become an apostate.

She took the matter to the courts, expecting that her right to religious freedom would trump civil policy. But the court pointed to a provision in the federal constitution that defines Malays as Muslim. In other words, Malays cannot renounce Islam because Islam is inherent to their identity as an ethic group. The court ultimately referred Joy to the Shariah Court.

The likelihood that the Shariah Court would rule that Joy could renounce her Muslim identity was slim since no other ethnic Malay has ever been granted the same, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The verdict has confirmed the predominance of Islam over other religions in the country, which is likely to increase the dissatisfaction of the Christian, Hindu and Buddhist minorities.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

3D Church mapping
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Jul
30

Liturgical Calendar

July 30, 2014

Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:44-46

Gospel
Date
07/30/14
07/29/14
07/28/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 15: 10, 16-21
Gospel:: Mt 13: 44-46

Saint of the Day

St. Peter Chrysologus »

Saint
Date
07/29/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:44-46

Homily
Date
07/30/14
07/29/14
07/28/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: