In Islam, woman returning to earlier faith can end marriage if she likes: Delhi high court

 In Islam, woman returning to earlier faith can end marriage if she likes: Delhi high court NONE The Home Ministry’s ban on the book by controversial Canadian author Irshad Manji titled ‘Allah, Liberty and Love’ has been removed. This follows Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge Justice Zaleha Yusof’s decision to allow ZI Publications Sdn Bhd’s application for judicial review today.ZI Publications, the publisher of the Malay translation of the book, had sought to quash the Home Ministry’s ban against the book as sales of the English version had been in the market over a year prior to the translated version Interpreting a 75-year-old law, Delhi high court has held that a non-Muslim woman who embraces Islam after marriage but reconverts to her original faith can dissolve the union due to apostasy. Granting divorce under the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act 1939 to Sultana (name changed), a division bench of Justice S Ravindra Bhat and Justice Najmi Waziri also clarified there is no requirement in such circumstances for a woman who leaves the pale of Islam to prove her act in a trial. The mere act of apostasy dissolves the marriage if she so desires. “Were a woman married under Muslim personal law to apostatize, the marriage stands dissolved. In such circumstances, the woman is entitled to seek a decree of declaration that the marriage stands dissolved from the date of her apostatizing,” Justice Waziri explained. The bench went into the circumstances under which the pre-Independence act was passed in 1939 to emphasize, if people come or are brought into Islam from a different religion, they should be permitted to go back for which there should be no bar. The HC was hearing an appeal filed by the husband Asif (name changed) challenging the grant of divorce by a Saket family court to Sultana on her petition. Asif contested Sultana’s reconversion back to Hinduism and alleged she did it under pressure from her parents. Asif also cited Section 4 of the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act to contend that it prohibits dissolution of marriage only on the ground of apostasy. Several Malay women and a man wearing an MCA T-shirt proclaiming “Defend the Constitution”. One makcik remarked that MCA translates hudud as “law of amputation.” We exited the lift in the MCA building and went to our cars. We had just listened to Hanipa Maidin, Sepang MP, and Dr Zulkefly Ahmad, former MP for Kuala Selangor, both from PAS explain why they are pushing for mandatory extreme punishments (hudud) in Malaysia.They made it clear that for them hudud is much more than punishment. Hanipa and Dzul came across as men driven by the conviction that “Islam” means subjection to a system of penal laws. For them, these laws determine who may be judges; the rules of evidence; mandatory punishments.They made it clear that for them hudud is much more than punishment. Hanipa and Dzul came across as men driven by the conviction that “Islam” means subjection to a system of penal laws. For them, these laws determine who may be judges; the rules of evidence; mandatory punishments. For them, these laws have been dictated to men by God, and established by the actions of the Prophet of Islam. Hanipa and Dzul came across as sincere men who believe there are destructive elements in society, and that they have been called and equipped by God to disable these elements. For them, God is shouting in our ears the names of these destructive elements through the megaphone of diabolical punishments: lashes, amputation, stoning. Yet, they carefully avoided using those three words. Hanipa and Dzul came across as carefully avoiding use of the words “lashing,” “amputation” and “stoning” because the images attached to those punishments will limit the number of people who will accept them as rational beings. For them, it is important to come across as respecters of “democracy” and “the Federal Constitution” – words which they used repeatedly. On her part, the estranged wife argued that for her reconversion to Hinduism no evidence is required to be led, as her mere statement ‘ipso facto’ amounts to abjuration of Islam and its tenets. She also filed an affidavit admitting to her apostasy along with two fatwas from two mufti. The wife also informed the court she had withdrawn complaint filed under Domestic Violence Act and another petition seeking maintenance. Now that she had apostatized, neither the marriage nor any right to claim maintenance subsisted. The HC agreed with the trial court verdict and ruled that Section 4 has not altered the rule of Muslim personal law that apostasy dissolves a marriage. “In the opinion of this court, all that Section 4 has done is to introduce an intervening mechanism, but to reach the same conclusion, i.e., that apostasy would not by itself dissolve the marriage and some further substantive act would be required to be done in this regard; the substantive act being the filing of a suit seeking declaration as to dissolution,” it observed. However, it rejected Asif’s argument that Sultana would have to prove her apostasy. Hanipa has been called a “human rights lawyer”. Dzul earned a PhD in toxicology from Imperial College, London. These men display the extent to which professional success and academic awards do not predict what men believe God desires. Kudos to Hanipa and Dzul for being on a panel chaired by a woman (Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir) and including Dr Farouk Mousa of the Islamic Renaissance Front and Zainah Anwar of Sisters in Islam. Farouk and Zainah have a far different understanding of how politicians should read the scriptures and set priorities. Yet they are as convicted as Hanipa and Dzul about the urgent need to act against social ills. The similarities and differences between Hanipa and Dzul (Group A), on the one hand, and Farouk (Group B1) and Zainah (Group B2) on the other hand were easy to discern. Note: I did not see any evidence of collaboration between Farouk and Zainah. I am calling them “Group B” merely as a means of analysis. The similarity between Groups A and B is that they are Muslims, work under the constraints set by the Federal Constitution and support active governance through a system of law and enforcement. I’ll limit myself to six differences between Groups A and B. Homogeneity of Islam Group A portrays Islam as capable of being homogenous, despite clear evidence to the contrary over the past 63 years in the peninsula (PAS was founded in 1951) and over the past 14 centuries worldwide (Islam was “revealed” from 570-632 AD). They say Islamic homogeneity will eventually be achieved in Malaysia. Group B says Islamic homogeneity is an unrealistic goal. They say the reality is that Shia and other Muslim groups are persecuted now in Malaysia, and that the Shafi’i school alone is accepted in Malaysia, despite other schools such as the Hanafi, also having an ancient lineage. Men’s role in establishing the seriousness of crimes Group A portrays the Quran and the Hadith as crystal clear with respect to punishment – though it, at the same time, says the initial implementation will be imperfect. Group B points out glaring difficulties. For instance, the Prophet ordered amputation of a hand of a thief who stole upwards of a quarter of a dinar. They ask how PAS determined that equals RM2,000 today and how disagreements among scholars were resolved. The results of hudud implementation in other lands Group A says Malaysians should not discuss the success or failure of implementation in other lands. Group B says we should exhaust every avenue of learning and use that learning to read with fresh eyes what was handed down 1,400 years ago. They point to nations such as Pakistan and Tunisia where hudud implementation has “failed”. They add that implementation of hudud is not a priority in other Muslim-majority nations. The priority of focusing on hudud Group A says hudud has been in the manifesto of PAS from long ago and those who voted for PAS voted for hudud. They say this compels them to proceed, at least in Kelantan. Group B says the priority should be eradicating corruption and social inequality. They recall that during a famine, Caliph Omar (the second Caliph) set aside hudud punishment for theft. They say since there is widespread poverty in Malaysia, poverty eradication and reducing the gap between rich and poor must come first. Sharia Courts in Malaysia today Group A laments the 3, 5, 6 limit on Sharia courts: up to three years of imprisonment; up to RM5,000 in fines; up to six strokes of the cane. They say these limits are unacceptable, since civil courts are permitted higher limits, and since Islamic law sets higher limits. Group B says the Sharia courts are already ineffective in imposing punishments, the most glaring of which is the poor record of fulfilment of awards to wives and children of men who gain divorces. They say “fix that first!” The principle of equality Group A are politicians. They quietly agree Islamic law demands all Muslims be treated as equal under the law; yet they say the Malay rulers will remain above the law, including Islamic law – as this is “a constraint imposed by the Federal Constitution”. Group B are activists. They point to the global shame brought upon Islam by the implementation of Islamic law in Brunei which exempts the Sultan of Brunei from even the capability of doing wrong. They say hudud implementation should start with the elites. Ustaz Dr Fathul Bari, an exco member of Umno Youth was also a panellist. He came across as a polished speaker (in Malay) with broad knowledge both of Islam and the political history of hudud in Malaysia. Sadly, he clearly believes one cannot discourse with him if one’s command of Arabic does not match his. So I’ll not discuss what he said. Twelve hours after exiting the lift, I’m still wondering if the makcik was right to be

The law is positively biased towards women, and rightly so  “Soul has no Gender”, yet overtime our cultural heritage has been diluted. Malaysia has been called the rape capital of the world is been deemed as an anti-woman nation, a country that is not safe for women. Feminism rose in the West many years ago and globally feminism may be at the fourth wave, yet the tide of the second wave of feminism hasn’t washed over the entire The law is positively biased towards women, and rightly so  “Soul has no Gender”, yet overtime our cultural heritage has been diluted. Malaysia has been called the rape capital of the world is been deemed as an anti-woman nation, a country that is not safe for women.
“The government had and must now reassure those seeking fairness and justice especially for non-Muslims, whose lives have been affected by unilateral conversions of their children,” Baljit said in a statement“The longstanding issues that have been hurting the society due to overlapping jurisdiction between civil and syariah courts must be addressed promptly and effectively to enable social recovery.
Feminism rose in the West many years ago and globally feminism may be at the fourth wave, yet the tide of the second wave of feminism hasn’t washed over the entire subcontinent where many women are not allowed an opportunity to employment due to patriarchal norms. For these reasons and many more, the laws of  have been amended over time to favor women, and although there is a heated debate over the right or wrong of the bias towards women, it is undeniable that crimes against women are still on the rise. So if the law is positively biased towards women, then it is rightly so.The party’s law and human rights central burchief Baljit Singh said the bill was tabled last year and had been listed in the order paper for second reading at the just concluded Dewan Rakyat sitting.
“The fate of the spouses and children affected in cases of unilateral conversion and interfaith custody disputes remains uncertain following the bill being pushed back.
subcontinent where many women are not allowed an opportunity to employment due to patriarchal norms. For these reasons and many more, the laws of India have been amended over time to favor women, and although there is a heated debate over the right or wrong of the bias towards women, it is undeniable that crimes against women are still on the rise. So if the law is positively biased towards women, then it is rightly so.

Gerakan has expressed disappointment that the federal government has decided to defer the tabling of the amendments to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976.

.indignant over the MCA’s alleged translation of hudud. The Home Ministry’s ban on the Bahasa Malaysia version of controversial Canadian author Irshad Manji’s book ‘Allah, Liberty and Love’ has been lifted. This follows Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Justice Zaleha Yusof’s decision today to allow ZI Publications Sdn Bhd’s application for judicial review on the Bahasa Malaysia version. NONEIrshad Manji’s (right) book was banned by the Home Ministry on May 29, 2012 and the ban on the English version remains. ZI Publications, the publisher of the Malay translation of the book, had sought to quash the Home Ministry’s ban against the book as sales of the English version had been in the market over a year prior to its translated version ‘Allah, Kebebasan dan Cinta’. Justice Zaleha in her broad grounds reasoned that the English text has been on sale in the Malaysian market for a year and had not cause any disruption to public order. She asked if it is true the book was prejudicial to public order, then why was no action taken to ban the English version when it was first circulated. “Why was the prohibition made only when it was translated to the national language?As I understand it, the root of the respondents’ concern is it would result in religious confusion as the authority decided to ban the book only when it was translated into Bahasa Malaysia.Does this mean that only the Malay speaking readers will be confused while English readers would not?” Argument fortified Lawyer Nizam Bashir who appeared with K Shanmuga for ZI Publications, said this fortified their argument that the sale of the Malay translated version would not result in untoward events. Nizam indicated that the judge is expected to write the full grounds later.NONEIn their judicial review application, ZI Publications helmed by Ezra Zaid (right), had named the Deputy Home Minister, Home Minister and the government as respondents. The company claimed they were not allowed any opportunity to voice their views before the Deputy Home Minister’s ban on the printing, importing, producing and selling of the book last year. They further claimed that the book only contained opinions in the form of brief summaries criticising current approaches in the administration of the religion, which were not harmful. The ban, they alleged, was null and void as it was inconsistent with Article 10(1)(a) and 8(1) of the federal constitution, related to freedom of speech and expression. They are seeking to have the order declared nullified, with costs. Besides this case, ZI Publications had also filed another judicial review application to challenge the power of the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department to prosecute them in the Syariah court citing it limited the company’s freedom of expression. It was also reported that the Home Ministry and Federal Territory Islamic Department (JAWI) had been ordered by the Kuala Lumpur High Court to drop the syariah charge against Borders Gardens store manager Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz for distributing the book. Justice Zaleha Yusof had ruled that JAWI’s raid on March 23, 2012 predated the ban order issued by Home Ministry and that the prosecution of Nik Raina amounted to retrospective enforcement. 488542119-pope-francis-is-pictured-during-his-general-audience-at In response to a United Nations inquiry, the Vatican has released data on the number of priests it punished for child sexual abuse cases in the last decade. From the AP: The Vatican revealed Tuesday that over the past decade, it has defrocked 848 priests who raped or molested children and sanctioned another 2,572 with lesser penalties, providing the first ever breakdown of how it handled the more than 3,400 cases of abuse reported to the Holy See since 2004. There are around 410,000 priests worldwide, which means about 0.83 percent, or 1 in 120, priests were officially punished by the Vatican over that period. (The AP notes that this covers only punishments handed down by the Vatican, as opposed to “local diocesan tribunals,” which means that “the total number of sanctioned priests is likely far higher.”) The church says that penalties short of defrocking are given to elderly or infirm priests who would otherwise be left destitute, and that they are kept away from contact with children.

Observing a recent religious ritual, one was struck by how much of the prayer had to do with individual desire. One didn’t know what exactly the shlokas being recited by the priest meant in Sanskrit, but going by the translation offered, it seemed as if the prayer was nothing but a laundry list of petulant and very specific demands. For health, wealth, success in business ventures, opportunities to travel abroad, the demand for male children and the fervent hope that one’s enemies and ill wishers meet with a variety of inauspicious and altogether unhappy accidents. In short, under the garb of holiness and piety, what was being transacted was a shoddy deal between man and God, with one’s belief in the divine being bartered for some material goodies.
The motion on Syariah Courts (Criminal Juridiction) Act 1965 or Act 355 tabled by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday has sparked a war of words between MCA and DAP.
MCA claimed that two of its lawmakers were vocal against Act 355 when PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan gave his speech in support of the motion, while none of the DAP lawmakers stood up to oppose.
“Although MCA has only three backbenchers, two MCA parliamentarians – Tebrau MP Khoo Soo Siang and Alor Gajah MP Koh Nai Kwong stood their ground and challenged PAS’ motion by throwing questions at him.
“DAP has 36 MPs but were silent or nowhere to be seen. Where were they?” said MCA in the social media yesterday.
Takiyuddin delivered his seconder speech after Hadi tabled the motion on amendments which seek to raise the punishment cap for syariah offences to 30 years’ jail, RM100,000 fine and 100 strokes of the cane.
The current syariah punishment cap is three years’ imprisonment, RM5,000 fine and six strokes of the cane.
Khoo, who interjected during Takiyuddin’s speech, said the non-Muslim community viewed Hadi’s motion as a violation of the Federal Constitution, while Koh (photo) asked whether it went against Article 8 of the constitution on the issue of equality before law.
MCA youth chief Chong Sin Woon also claimed that none of the DAP lawmakers spoke up in the Dewan Rakyat during the proceeding.
“Both Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng were not even in the House,” said Chong in his Facebook account.
Netizens, however rebutted MCA, claiming that Kit Siang and his colleague Gobind Singh Deo, had tried to block Hadi from tabling the motion even before the Marang MP read it out.
‘Subramaniam was more honest’
Meanwhile, DAP’s Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching has accused the MCA deputy president of lying for stating that MCA was in the dark on whether Hadi’s motion would be debated, as reported by Chinese daily Kwong Wah Yit Poh.
“Wee Ka Siong, (you) need to think of how to cover your lies when you have lied. Incompetency is more despicable,” she said in the social media.
“There was still 12 government bills listed (in the parliamentary’s order paper) as of April 4, the second last day of current Parliament session. Hadi’s motion was listed item 13 on the order paper. Logically thinking, it was not possible to be brought up for debate,” she elaborated.
But the House sat from 10am on April 6 to 5am on April 7, and had passed six bills and the government deferred another six bills, Teo added.
“On April 7, Hadi’s motion became the first item listed on the order paper.”
“Not conspiracy? Why retract the six bills? […] Could it be the Parliament planned to adjourn the sitting by 12pm after the question-and-answer session between 10am and 12pm (on April 7)?” she asked.
Teo said MIC president Dr S Subramaniam, who admitted the bill would be tabled but not debated, was more “honest” by admitting that BN parties knew that Hadi’s motion would be tabled in Dewan Rakyat, but the House would not debate it.
“He said it was a decision made during the BN supreme council meeting recently,” she added.
Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah president Joseph Kurup also admitted that BN arrived at a consensus that Hadi’s proposal to amend Act 355 would not be debated, she said.
“Is Wee trying to tell us that both Subramaniam and Joseph were lying, while he was the only honest government officer?” she asked.
This seems to tie in with the beatific halo of commercialism that seems to hang over the serene countenance of religion these days. Television channels are full of products claiming to be divine ‘yantras’ that offer a variety of precise interventions in our lives, and come with the hallowed testimony of several has-been film and television stars. And the commercial angle does not stop at hawking products that matter-of-factly drain out the milk of human blindness. Over the last couple of years, some Hindi news channel have brought to us several exposes involving many religious gurus, the latest one being the reports on Nirmal Baba. In most of these, the picture painted of the leaders in question is deeply unspiritual, with allegations ranging from fraudulently exploiting religious sentiment for personal material gain, enabling money laundering to sexual misconduct.  The themes of material exploitation, sexually predatory behaviour and narrow minded chauvinism resulting in hate crimes of all hues, ranging from selective violence to acts of mass murder and terrorism recur across geography and different religions. Of course, this is hardly the whole picture when it comes to religion, but it is a sufficiently prominent aspect of it for us to take notice.
What has changed is the nature of religious practice rather than belief in religion for it continues to enjoy a pre-eminent position in the life of most people in the world. In India, the coming of economic reform and relative affluence has strengthened religion rather than weaken it, and the evidence is all around us. Television channels devoted to building the brands of individual gurus, religious festivals have become the site of legitimised consumption, and even the Janlok Pal movement needed their support to mobilise numbers. In a more everyday sense too, religious rituals continue to be an integral part of our lives, with temples being full, particularly at exam time.
It is not as if personal prayer that seeks divine blessings for one’s well being is a product of today alone, for  have grown up on stories of various devotees who perform impossible feats of penance in order to win vardaans which they then use to wreak havoc on the humankind. In a more everyday sense, prayer has been an instrument of improbable hope, as human beings try to reverse the unequal relationship they have with arbitrary circumstance with a concentration of hope and a spectacle of surrender. Prayer is simultaneously a peremptory demand and a submissive entreaty, full of narcissistic magnification as well as servile diminution.  Traditionally, the two parts of prayer were kept apart, at least on the surface. One was expected to surrender unquestioningly and become part of a larger collective before the right to ask for anything in return was granted. Increasingly, now the submission is put into the background by the demand; the prayer itself is contingent on results. Prayer is now a transcated vector, pointing unambiguously in the direction of desire, undeterred by its scale and improbability. One interesting site in which this shift can be seen is in the frequency and tenor of the Hindi film bhajan.  The lyrics of the devotional songs have strikingly moved from being selfless paeans to a larger nameless God (Allah Tero Naam, Tu Pyaar Ka Saagar Hai, Ham ko man ki shakti dena, Tora Man Darpan kehlaye and many others) that had larger collective goals in to highly specific demands being made of individual deities in the later films. If in earlier times, the emphasis was on self-improvement and unconditional surrender, we see a more demanding relationship in evidence today. Of course, the larger reality is that the filmi bhajan is rarely seen on screens nowadays; it is not that easy to shoot it on a beach against the backdrop of slithering thighs. Even in everyday life, particularly in the north, the filmi bhajan one hears at the local jagran is likely to be set to the tune of Munni Badnaam Hui rather than a more traditional melody. The idea that the religious intent expressed loosely makes its content irrelevant seems to be the dominant one on display. The gap between professed religiosity and practised humanity seems to be growing wider.
As a result, the social utility of religion has diminished significantly. Religion is seen instead as a personal technology of progress that has all the trappings of a good deal, a remote control that can be pointed anywhere at any time. The power of religion to unite diverse groups under its umbrella and to make human beings rise above themselves has been an important aspect of religious practice. Today, we rarely see concerted efforts to mobilise groups around larger social causes without the effort descending into some sort of commercial enterprise. The business of religion is lucrative in part because what is being sought from religion is changing. We want our gods in our pocket, ready to be brandished whenever opportunity strikes.
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