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Woman loses bid to be declared not Muslim
Published on: Wednesday, May 08, 2024
By: FMT
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Woman loses bid to be declared not Muslim
The Penang High Court ruled that a woman, who claimed never to have practised Islam, was a Muslim as her biological mother was of the same faith.
PETALING JAYA: The High Court here has dismissed a woman’s bid to be declared a non-Muslim in official records kept by the national registration department (JPN).

Justice Quay Chew Soon dismissed the 27-year-old woman’s suit against JPN on grounds that the case falls within the jurisdiction of the shariah courts and not the civil courts.

The woman had claimed that she was “never a Muslim” and never practised Islam. She said she was raised by her adoptive mother as a Hindu after her biological mother, a Muslim, died.

However, Quay pointed out that the adoptive mother had indicated that the child was a Muslim when she applied for an identity card for the woman, then aged 12.

“The plaintiff (woman) contended that she was raised as a Hindu by the adopted mother and never took any studies about Islam in school,” Quay said, adding that the court noted she studied moral education and sat for the paper during her SPM examination.

“It matters not whether she practises or believes in the religion of Islam. If a person is born a Muslim (whether she chooses to practise or not), she is in law a person ‘professing the religion of Islam'”.

Quay said under Section 2(1) of the Administration of the Religion of Islam (State of Penang) Enactment 2004, a state law, the woman is considered Muslim if either of her parents is of the faith.

“The plaintiff argued that JPN does not have her biological father’s religious status and information on whether her parents were married. She contended even if he was a Muslim, he could not ascribe his religion to her.

“That is not the point. The crux of the matter is that she is considered Muslim by virtue of the enactment,” he added.

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