High Court rules Sabah woman's conversion to Islam invalid

GEORGE TOWN : The High Court here has ruled that the conversion of a Catholic woman to Islam four years ago was illegal.

Justice Quay Chew Soon, in his ruling on Tuesday (April 16) , said that the conversion was deemed invalid due to non-compliance with Penang's state Islamic laws which specify that the consent of both parents is necessary for minors to convert to Islam.

He said that because the woman was underaged at the time of conversion and lacked parental consent, her conversion was considered invalid from the outset.

"Ultimately, she was below 18 at the time of conversion. That is crucial. I am granting the declarations sought,” he said.

During his decision, Quay also asserted that the woman's conversion conducted by the Penang Islamic Religious Council (MAINPP) on June 11, 2020, was invalid.

He issued a certiorari order to revoke her Islamic conversion certificate and all associated documents.

Additionally, he instructed the removal of her information from the state’s Muslim converts’ registry via a mandamus order, affirming her continued affiliation with the Catholic faith.

No ruling was made regarding costs.

The 21-year-old from Sabah embraced Islam in 2020 at 17 to marry her then Muslim boyfriend, but he ended the relationship a few months later.

The woman from Keningau stated in a judicial review filing that she was converted to Islam at the office of the Islamic Propagation Society International along Jalan Argyll on June 11, 2020, when she was 17 years old.

Her parents, who are farmers in Keningau, submitted an affidavit confirming that she was a practicing Catholic and had been baptized at the St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Keningau in 2005.

They asserted that they had never consented to their daughter's conversion to Islam.

In the judicial review, the woman named MAINPP and the Penang state converts’ registry as respondents.

Shamsher Singh Thind and J Gunamalar represented the woman, while Abd Daud Abd Rahim and Dayang Roziekah appeared on behalf of MAINPP.

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High Court , Penang , Conversion , Unlawful , Invalid


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