Appeal against woman renouncing Islam in Malaysia

May 18th, 2008 - 7:43 pm ICT by admin  

Kuala Lumpur, May 18 (IANS) The Malaysian government has said it would challenge a court decision allowing a Chinese woman to renounce Islam and revert to Buddhism. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the court verdict was not final and an appeal before the higher court was almost complete.

He noted that the court decision favouring the woman, Tan Ean Huan - who called herself Siti Fatimah Tan Abdullah as a Muslim - was protested by Islamist groups including a Kuala Lumpur-based political group, Hizbut Tahrir.

The group Friday submitted a memorandum protesting the court’s ruling, the New Straits Times said Sunday.

Pending an appeal, these groups should respect the Penang Syariah Court’s decision, the minister said.

The court, interpreting Islamic jurisprudence, decided on a two-year old case earlier this month, saying it had no choice but to allow the woman’s appeal.

The woman, who embraced Islam to be able to marry an Iranian who left her after a few months, said she had never really practised Islam’s various rituals.

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