PETALING JAYA: The father of the 32-year-old woman, whose Hindu wedding was disrupted by the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) last Sunday, said he will never consent to his children renouncing Islam.
Security guard Abdul Majeed Gulam Kader, 54, said he would not sign any documents to Zarena or her other siblings, Shahull Salleh, 30, Zaleha, 28 and Abdul Gulam, 24, to even change their names to Hindu names at the National Registration Department (NRD).
“They were born to Muslim parents and that makes them Muslims too,” Abdul Majeed said.
His eldest daughter Zarena’s temple wedding to a Hindu man was disrupted by Jais after the department received a complaint about her religious status.
Zarena has been quoted as saying that her father was a Muslim convert who deserted the family when they were children.
Zarena was also quoted as saying that she was raised as a Hindu by her mother.
However, Abdul Majeed, whose parents were Pakistani and Indian Muslim, said his father had brought him and Zarena’s mother Vasantha to Perkim to convert her and got them married there in 1979.
“Vasantha’s Muslim name is Zainab and that is the name in all the children’s birth certificates,” said Abdul Majeed.
Abdul Majeed also denied he was estranged from his family when his children were young and said he was thrown out of the family home in Petaling Jaya in 2000 after he reprimanded his younger daughter for coming home late.
“Some hurtful words were exchanged and I’ve not been in good terms with them since,” said Abdul Majeed, adding that he had been homeless since and stayed at his workplace.
He said Zarena had come to see him at his workplace about two months ago and asked him to sign some documents.
“I refused and said issues such as this must be discussed at home and not on the streets,” said Abdul Majeed.
In a related development, Abdul Majeed’s stepmother Fatimah Abdullah said her stepson and his wife used to quarrel bitterly over her (Zainab’s) family’s habit of taking the children to the temple when they were young.
“I reported the matter to Jais twice some years ago about the children being taken to the temple but it did not bother to do anything,” claimed Fatimah.