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Malaysia says “no” to Syariah? July 26, 2007

Posted by Tim in Malaysia, News, Religion.

The only time Malaysia seems to get on Digg/Slashdot/Google News these days seems to be when people are shaking their heads at us, so it was a relief to see this piece from Reuters – Malaysia’s top court draws line after Islamic cases:

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia’s highest court has ruled that legal cases involving non-Muslims cannot be decided by sharia courts, drawing a line after a spate of high-profile cases that left many in legal limbo.

The Federal court, in a landmark judgement, held that disputes between a Muslim and a non-Muslim on family and Islamic matters should be settled in a civil court, the New Straits Times reported on Thursday.

“They (non-Muslims) can’t be present to defend themselves in the sharia courts,” Judge Abdul Hamid Mohamad was quoted by the daily as saying.

The ruling came amid a bitter debate on whether the mainly Muslim nation is an Islamic state. The polemic has exposed religious and racial faultlines ahead of a widely expected early general election.

Preventing a repeat of the Lina Joy and Revathi Massosai cases will be a huge step towards making sense of Malaysia.



1. Muhammad Yunus - July 26, 2007

I’m still skeptical about this development Tim. Malaysia’s politics has a predisposition of public statements that are inconsistent with implementation.

And with the elections just around the corner, you know how ‘manis mulut’ politicians become.

2. Beatriz Fuentes - June 17, 2008

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