Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has advised Muslims to accept the Federal Court’s ruling on unilateral conversion for the sake of religious harmony.
The former premier, who is also Muslim Welfare Organisation of Malaysia (Perkim) president, said this in light of the Federal Court’s decision to nullify the unilateral conversion of M Indira Gandhi’s three children to Islam by her ex-husband Muhammad Riduan Abdullah.
“We heard the (court) decision that the religion of the children must be agreed to by both parents.
“Many of us did not feel easy with this decision and we wanted a just and solid action whereby Islam is prioritised,” he said in his speech during Perkim’s 58th-anniversary celebration on Thursday.
However, Dr Mahathir said there are cases where wise decisions needed to be made for the sake of religious harmony in a multiracial nation such as Malaysia.
“When we look at such cases, we must be very considerate and prioritise justice for all parties. Islam requires us to deliver fair judgments.
“This is why I ask that we be prepared to accept decisions that we cannot shift (alih).
“We try to change things that we can but things that we cannot, we must accept,” said Dr Mahathir.
A day earlier, a Muslim coalition said it will file a judicial review in a bid to overturn a landmark Federal Court decision that outlawed the unilateral conversion of children recently.
Movement to Defend Ummah reached the decision after a roundtable discussion involving Malaysia Shariah Lawyers Association president Musa Awang, former chief justice Ahmad Fairuz, Ummah chairman Ismail Mina Ahmad and Pahang mufti Abd Rahman Osman.
The movement’s chief secretariat Aminuddin Yahaya said the Federal Court’s decision to nullify the conversion of the three children was not in line with the Constitution that states Islam is the main religion of the country, the Malay Mail reported.
He said the Federal Court’s decision had given the civil court the power to decide matters that are the purview of the Shariah court.
“It looks like the Shariah court, in the long run, will become subservient to the civil court,” he was quoted saying, following a closed-door meeting attended by around 200 people at the KL International Hotel.
“We want the Shariah court to be given more power.”
Aminuddin added that he hoped the Council of Rulers would issue a statement to ease the segregation of Islam as it is a matter of public interest.