Sunday, March 8, 2009
A non-Muslim, rules court
SEREMBAN: A 60-year-old man whose identity card carries a Malay name, but was raised as a Christian since he was 2-months-old, was yesterday declared a non-Muslim by the Syariah Court.
However, Mohammad Shah @ Gilbert Freeman's application to have his Malay name removed from his identity card was rejected by judge Mohd Nadzri Abdul Rahman Ibrahim.
Nadzri said he was satisfied and did not have any doubt that Shah was a non-Muslim before, during and after the application was made through his lawyer Hanif Hasan.
"I believe a name does not reveal a person's religion, although it normally provides a picture of someone's religion.
"The facts from his birth, baptism and marriage certificate, including oral statements by witnesses, have proved that the applicant has been brought up as a Christian since he was 2-months-old."
He said the applicant was born as Mohammad Shah @ Gilbert Freeman on April 17, 1948, was baptised at the Seremban Visitation Church at the age of 3 and was married to P. Anjalie in a Christian ceremony on Aug 3, 1974.
"Even though Shah's father is a Muslim, Section 108 of the Administration of Islamic Law (Negri Sembilan) Enactment does not apply because he was never raised as a Muslim and did not embrace the religion as stated under the law.
"There is also no proof of a valid marriage, according to either Muslim or Christian rites, between the applicant's father, Mohd Syed @ Mohammad Said, and his late mother, Doris Josephine Freeman.
"His mother did not embrace Islam and was a Christian until her death on March 19, 1969. She was buried at the Sikamat Christian Cemetery in Seremban."
On the removal of the name Mohammad Shah from the applicant's identification card, Nadzri said the court only had the authority to ascertain his religious status.
"The application to remove his Malay name pertains to the administration of the National Registration Department as it is the department's jurisdiction to manage the registration process."
NST Online » Local News