Wednesday, March 14, 2018

I am a Buddhist - no, you're NOT!

MM Online - Woman born to Muslim-Buddhist couple wants court recognition as non-Muslim (extracts):

KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 — A Selangor woman born to a Muslim father but raised as a Buddhist by her Buddhist mother who was never legally married wants the court to declare her as a non-Muslim.

Rosliza Ibrahim, who turns 37 in November, has been on a long journey to seek official recognition that she is a non-Muslim. Her case is finally before the Court of Appeal today.

“She was raised a Buddhist by her mother, she continues to profess Buddhism till this day and wants to continue living her life peacefully as a Buddhist in Malaysia,” Rosliza’s lawyer Aston Paiva said when explaining his client’s case.

According to Rosliza, Selangor’s Muslim laws do not apply to her as she was born an illegitimate child to her Muslim father and late Buddhist mother. Rosliza argued that the English common law and Muslim laws’ position is that the natural father would have no rights over an illegitimate child, while only the natural mother would have rights over the child.

Since Rosliza’s natural mother had guardianship rights over her including deciding her religious upbringing, she is arguing that her religion should follow her mother’s wishes for her to be a Buddhist, and she should be subject to civil laws instead of Shariah laws.

“However, for all official purposes, she is being considered a Muslim and the state government of Selangor does not want to exempt her from the application of Muslim laws because of her illegitimate father’s religion.

“As a result, her constitutional right to religious freedom, choice of partner and disposition of property are all adversely affected. She cannot go to the Shariah court as, by law, she is not even a Muslim in the first place. Thus, there is no question of leaving Islam,” Aston said. [...]

At the High Court, Rosliza showed proof that both the Federal Territories and Selangor Islamic authorities had no records of her or her mother having converted to Islam; and with also no records of her biological parents having entered into a Muslim marriage.

Rosliza also showed her late mother Yap Ah Mooi’s October 8, 2008 statutory declaration of not being married to Rosliza’s father when she was born.

But on March 3, 2016, the High Court dismissed Rosliza’s lawsuit, based on the reason that she was not able to prove that her parents did not enter into a Muslim marriage.

“This was decided based on the High Court’s speculation that they could have gotten married in any of the other 10 states in Malaysia or outside of Malaysia,” Aston said, noting, however, that his client was not given a chance to be heard on this as the High Court did not ask her for evidence before its ruling.

Rosliza then filed an appeal to the Court of Appeal, seeking either that her legal bid be allowed or for her case to be sent back to the High Court for the speculation to be resolved.

On October 11, 2016, the Court of Appeal ruled in favour of Rosliza’s appeal and ordered her case to be heard again in the High Court before a different judge.

Given a second chance at the High Court, Rosliza went to the religious authorities of 10 other states in Malaysia (Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Melaka, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Penang, Perak, Perlis and Terengganu), managing to get their confirmation that they did not have any records of her mother converting to become a Muslim, or of a Muslim marriage between her parents.

She even obtained the Immigration Department’s confirmation that her mother did not have a passport, which is necessary for travel abroad.

But despite being armed with such evidence, the High Court on June 22, 2017 rejected Rosliza’s bid “on a speculation that her natural parents could have gotten married but did not register the marriage”, Aston said.

Aston said he will argue today of the “grossly unfair” situation, where the High Court again did not ask for evidence from Rosliza or even interviewed her first, but had allegedly speculated “based on possibilities of her situation”.

Rosliza cannot go to the Syariah court yet .....

Sadly, it seems the High Courts have descended down to speculating her parents were married.

I am sure the great religion of Islam does not need nor want her, yet Islamic and judicial authorities in Selangor and Malaysia are holding her religious status in a vice-like grip. 

What's going on?


  1. Buddhism is not equaled to atheism. Kaytee should espoused the virtues of atheism like Bill Maher

    1. looes74 is one of the most fanatical hallelujah devotees there is. if he ever gets into power he will burn me at the stake, chanting his funereal liturgy with incense from his kemenyan (benzoin) burner

    2. Hi looes74, welcome !! Long time no see....err, no hear.

  2. So, she is an illegitimate child born to a Moslem father in which the JPN thus registered her a Moslem name and a religion of Islam.

    There was no marriage registered either by the civil nor islamic bodies.

    Who gave her that name in the first place? Her father or mother?

    The mother is already dead but where is the father by the way? Why isn't he in court?

    Would that not prevent the court from making speculations?

    1. Yes...many things are not what they seem to be.

      My sympathies for the woman, but something is not right here, in legal terms.

      It would have been impossible for her, 37 years ago, to be registered under the birth name "Rosliza Ibrahim" without the consent of her Muslim father, since (as claimed) there was no legal marriage.
      Unfortunately it being 1980, there may not be documents to back up one way or the other.

      In that case, I'm afraid she was legally registered a Muslim at birth.

      The argument that she has never been a practicing Muslim, therefore should be released from the status may well be fair case, but it is a separate and different matter.

    2. The present day standard in most countries today is there is No Such Thing as an illegitimate child.
      A Child either has a legally acknowledged father or no legally acknowledged father.

      Malaysia's Civil Laws are actually aligned with this modern international standard.
      If the parents are legally married, the child is automatically registered under the father's name. If not legally married, both parents have to acknowledge in writing that the man is the child's father. There is no such legal stigma as to an "illegitimate child".

      If not acknowledged, the child cannot be registered under a father's name. Then it is a problem.

      Islamic law is a different matter - there is a separate contentious legal battle going on about the National Registration Department applying Islamic Law on Muslim parents, when the National Registration Act should be the Only applicable law the NRD should be administering.

      It seems clear cut in this case - no way she could have been registered as "Rosliza Ibrahim" without the father's consent.
      Ergo , she was a Muslim at birth and remains legally so.

      That she has never been a practicing Muslim, therefore should be released from the status is a separate argument, and there is precedent that she has to apply to the Syariah Court for that.