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Taiping man fails in bid to annul conversion to Islam during childhood
Published on: Wednesday, September 20, 2023
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Taiping man fails in bid to annul conversion to Islam during childhood
The Taiping High Court says it falls solely under the shariah court’s jurisdiction to determine the validity of the man’s conversion.
PETALING JAYA: A 29-year-old man has failed in his attempt to challenge his conversion to Islam before the Taiping High Court.

The man’s parents took him to the Taiping district religious office on Aug 15, 2002, and converted him and his siblings to Islam. He was eight at the time.

He claimed that he did not recite the “Kalimah Shahadah” (affirmation of faith) at the time of his conversion.

He also claimed that his family did not practise Islam after they converted, and that his parents regretted the decision to embrace the religion.

The man also said he has never practised Islam but has been practising Hinduism all his life.

He filed a suit before the High Court, seeking a declaration that he is not a Muslim and that his conversion to Islam was invalid.

The man named the Perak government and the state Islamic religious and Malay customs council as defendants.

Judicial commissioner Noor Ruwena Nurdin allowed the state government’s bid to quash the suit on grounds that the man should have pursued the conversion before the shariah court.

“It appears that the applicant is seeking to renounce the Islamic faith.

“This court does not have jurisdiction to hear the matter as it falls squarely under the shariah courts’ jurisdiction to first determine the validity of the conversion,” she said.

The court also took note that the man and his siblings previously filed a renunciation application before the shariah court but subsequently withdrew it.

“The court cannot speculate that, if he went on with (the shariah court application), he might be ordered to go for ‘counselling’ like in the case of a 37-year-old woman,” Ruwena said.

She was referring to a case involving a woman from Selangor, who is appealing to challenge her religious status before the Federal Court.

The Selangor Islamic religious council (Mais) succeeded in its appeal this year to reinstate the woman as a Muslim.

Before taking her case to the civil courts, the woman had filed an application before the shariah court seeking a declaration that she was no longer a Muslim, but the renunciation bid was rejected.

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