Friday, May 9, 2008

Siti Fatimah Tan Abdullah - not the end yet

The Syariah High Court in Penang may have allowed the application by Muslim convert Siti Fatimah Tan Abdullah to renounce Islam and revert to her original faith but that's not the end of her problems. Or the problems of others in the same situation. The court did not grant her application to change the religious status on her IC from Muslim to Buddhist, saying that it did not come under the court's jurisdiction and she had to pursue the matter with the National Registration Department. Let's hope the NRD would be kind to her. Unlike the civil courts, Syariah Courts are not bound by the principle of judicial precedents. The Syariah court judges exercise their own judicial findings. The Penang Syariah Court's decision maybe unprecedented but other states may not necessarily follow suit. For that matter, the next case that comes up in Penang, the judge is not bound to make a similar decision. The concept of precedent is for the purpose of consistency which is normally followed, unless the facts and circumstances being tried are different. But lawyers and court reporters have told me that the gates have not been opened. The Penang decision is a victory for the freedom of religion but don't jump for joy too fast.

8 comments:

PKR sux said...

PKR has betrayed the rakyat!
Khalid Ibrahim has betrayed the rakyat of Selangor!

caravanserai said...

Will there be total freedom?
When religion springs to life?
Words of ancient caught up in time
Changes must flow for a progressive nation

Though Allah/God words
Wrote it down thousands years ago
Yet why there are frictions still?
Amongst the people of the world

There are many roads to paradise
Open our eyes and see it through
The Lord knows how His children work
He scatters them so no traffic jam
On the journey one takes on the road

Only narrow minded people
Only theirs is the best amongst the lot
Teach them the meaning and the right approaches
Otherwise one can’t punish a student who fails
Because the teacher fails to teach properly

The recent Syariah High Court case in Penang
It isn’t a victory; it is the beginning of a change
The long road to seek the right to profess one’s religion
It is basically between God and the seeker of truth

In Indonesia one can’t find this narrow minded rule
The people there can change as they like it
Without raising a personal problem with the religious authority
Religion is a private promise between a believer and God
And it is up to the person to learn and practice it

Let the liberty flows
Even in religion one professes
Let there be no shackle to impede one’s journey
God/Allah doesn’t want it to happen
He waits for His children
Maybe with His big cane and carrot
Depending on what His children have done
While learning the ropes of good and bad
On Earth – the good and evil of one’s life

true trojan said...

"The Penang decision is a victory for the freedom of religion..."

NO. You got it all wrong. Freedom of religion means not having to go to court in the first place when you want to leave your religion.

Freedom of religion means not having to ask permission to leave a religion.

There's no victory at all.

And please, remove USC [and Stanford for that matter] from your profile. Your newspaper is a disgrace to my alma mater.

AllCreatedEqual said...

Dear pkr sux, what has this got to do with Khalid Ibrahim? Regarding this, there is no use forcing religion on people. If a religion is good, you don't have to force it on people, allow people to choose unless the religion is bad, then you need to force it on people. If you intend to force your religion on others, are you saying that your religion is bad that you cannot attract people and have to force people to accept it?

Anonymous said...

Religion is a personal relationship between an individual and his God, whomsoever he conceives Him to be. For all God respecting people, there exists a concept that there is right and there is wrong, and that right begets rewards and wrong begets damnation. Note the operative word "personal". Understand too that the ability to differentiate right from wrong denotes maturity. If one accepts this logic, then one cannot avoid feeling baffled by the hordes of religious zealots who think they are put on this earth to champion religion, and the politicians who choose to keep the people in the dark about the truth of religion. What is the point in having a "believer" who does not believe? And if it is a personal matter to begin with, why should it bother anyone ... the courts, the NRD, the religious councils...? Busy yourselves with something else instead - fight crime, help needy folks ... etc

Ted said...

Do people go to courts because they decide to change cars? No...its a decision made purely on the choice of an individual!

Likewise, the person we marry, the religion we choose, the God we choose to profess.

Anonymous said...

It's just mind boggling to know that what want to profess and believe in is also being controlled in this country!... Come on people! (people in authority)! You guys are going against the very fundamental nature of the human spirit/soul, that is to be free... Free to make choices in life... Don't play God... Let God decide! Why can't this Government see that?! You just keep on frustrating the people, don't ya... We don't mind when the government makes mistakes, acknowledge it,and mayb apologise.. But when it comes to mindless policies like having to seek permission to profess a religion is just beyond me and definately asking for trouble..

amoker said...

This case has been 'media relationed' to show that the country have freedom of religion. It was actually a non affair.

1. It was a slam dunk case of a lady who obviously is not a Muslim.
2. Even so, the long delay was not mentioned as she had to endure many trips to the court.
3. This case was showed out during the Lina Joy case to showcase Syariah court is the real authority over conversion.

Of course, the verdict is surely positive.

Does court decide what your religion should be? Does it justify what would have been a more just verdict for Lina?