Why is Malaysia still practising female genital mutilation? — Sivananthi Thanenthiran & Rozana Isa

Source: The Malaysian Insight

BY SIVANATHI THANENTHIRAN & ROZANA ISA

FEMALE genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C) threatens about three million girls annually and at least 200 million girls and women have been cut in 30 countries, according to Unicef.

However, activists believe it is practised in at least 45 countries. While FGM/C is often associated with Africa, it is more widespread in Asian countries, including Malaysia.

In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) unanimously passed a resolution calling it a human rights violation and urged nations to ban the practice and the ban was reaffirmed in 2014. The resolution was adopted by all UN member states, including Malaysia.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines FGM as comprising all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

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‘Rape victim’s tudung did not save her’

Source: Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: The recent conviction of a Kelantan man for rape and murder has prompted an activist lawyer to question the effectiveness of PAS’s Islamic administration, particularly as it pertains to the protection of women.

Nik Elin Rashid, who is a Kelantan native, said one would have expected sexual offences and violent crimes to be rare in a state governed according to Islamic principles.

Last Wednesday, the Kota Bharu High Court found Mohammad Awari Ahmad, 25, guilty of the 2015 rape and murder of housewife Yashmin Fauzi. He was sentenced to death for the murder and 18 years’ jail and 12 strokes of the rotan for the rape.

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#UndiRosak campaigners targeted by vicious cyber attacks

Source: The Star

PETALING JAYA: Social activists propagating the #UndiRosak (spoilt votes) campaign are being attacked in cyberspace by those who disagree with the controversial campaign.

“Whore”, “slut” and “toilet paper” are just some of the sexist remarks disgruntled netizens on Facebook are hurling at activist Maryam Lee after she and several others spoke at a forum on the #UndiRosak campaign on Jan 25.

After the forum, a Pakatan Harapan supporter posted on Facebook and alleged that Maryam had been hired to promote the #UndiRosak campaign as a ploy to help Barisan Nasional win in the coming general elections.

His post started a flood of attacks on Maryam from angry Opposition supporters, with some even superimposing images of her face on lewd photos.

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Federal Court: Islam requires convert to consult spouse before changing child’s faith

Source: Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 31 — Islamic principles oblige Muslim converts to seek their non-Muslim spouses’ opinion before altering the religion of children born to a civil marriage, the Federal Court has indicated.

In the full judgement for its landmark ruling on Monday, the Federal Court highlighted two tenets in Islam — namely Al Syura, or consultation, and Al Adl, or justice — that are prescribed to Muslims.

“There was no consultation if the reverting parent has absolute right to change the original religion of the children without consulting the non-reverting parent,” Federal Court judge Tan Sri Zainun Ali said in a 100-page judgement sighted by Malay Mail.

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PM: Putrajaya may ban unilateral child conversions

Source: Malay Mail Online

Najib Razak giving a press conference during UMNO Supreme Council meeting at UMNO Headquarters, Menara Dato’ Onn, Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) on January 30 2018. Via Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 30 — The government will consider re-introducing a legal amendment to ban unilateral child conversion to Islam, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today after a landmark court ruling in M. Indira Gandhi’s case.

The prime minister was referring to Section 88A of the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act that the government had withdrawn before passing amendments to the law last August.

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Kes Indira: Mahkamah sivil boleh tafsir isu perundangan Islam

Sumber: Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, 30 Jan — Perlembagaan Persekutuan tidak menghalang mahkamah sivil daripada mentafsir atau menilai isu berkaitan undang-undang Islam.

Dalam penghakiman bertulis kes M Indira Gandhi, lima ahli panel mahkamah persekutuan berkata klausa 1A bawah Seksyen 121 Perlembagaan tidak mengurangkan kuasa mahkamah sivil berkaitan perkara dalam bidang kuasa mahkamah syariah.

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Answered: Who has the power in conversion cases — Gurdial Singh Nijar

Source: The Sun Online

BY GURDIAL SINGH NIJAR
(Deputy President, HAKAM)

ONCE ever so rarely emerges a court decision that will have a reverberating effect far beyond its own facts and parties to the case.

I speak of yesterday’s decision of the Federal Court in the Indira Gandhi case.

Before the Federal Court were two important questions: (1) who has authority to decide on matters of conversion of religion – the syariah courts or the civil courts where an issue arises involving its constitutional or statutory interpretation?

(2) In such conversion cases can one parent (without the consent of the other) have the final say? Read more

Indira Gandhi’s case shows civil law trumps shariah law

Source: The Malaysian Insight

THE landmark decision in the M. Indira Gandhi case sets a precedent that civil law prevails over shariah law, lawyers and civil groups said today.

The Federal Court yesterday ruled that the unilateral conversion of Indira’s three children to Islam was null and void, requiring the consent of both parents and the constitutional word “parent” was a case of being lost in translation.

Lawyers for Liberty’s Eric Paulsen said the ruling prevents cases which takes into consideration both civil and shariah law to bypass the common law.

“The judgment is extremely significant, as it conclusively stated that unilateral conversion is no longer valid.

“Therefore, a newly converted spouse can no longer circumvent civil law and go through the shariah system in order to unfairly gain custody of the children,” he told The Malaysian Insight.

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‘Indira judgment welcomed, but authorities must follow through’

Source: Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: A human rights NGO today hailed a landmark ruling which set aside the unilateral conversion of three children to Islam, expressing hope however that the authorities would follow through.

Lawyers for Liberty executive director Eric Paulsen said the Federal Court’s ruling in M Indira Gandhi’s case was long overdue.

He said he was happy that the matter had been resolved “in the favour of justice”, adding that the ruling shows that Muslims and non-Muslims are equal under the law.

“But failure of authorities to follow through on the decision will impact the confidence in court judgments.

“It could lead to a collapse of the system which could see people taking matters into their own hands,” he told FMT.

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Other cases of unilateral child conversion

Source: Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 30 ― While M. Indira Gandhi won her case at the Federal Court against the conversion of her three children to Islam without her consent, a few other women were not so fortunate.

The apex court’s decision to nullify the unilateral conversion of Indira’s children ― which was done by her Muslim convert ex-husband who also abducted their youngest child nine years ago at the age of 11 months ― was the opposite of a previous verdict in another case of unilateral child conversion ― R. Subashini’s case.

The Federal Court yesterday ruled that according to the Federal Constitution, the consent of both parents is needed to convert a minor, while another apex court panel in Subashini’s case had interpreted the Constitution to only require the permission of one parent.

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