Court denies Muslim convert’s bid to return to Christianity

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The Kuala Lumpur High Court has denied a male convert’s application to renounce Islam and revert to Christianity, his original faith.

The 45-year-old man married a Muslim woman in 2010. However, the couple divorced in 2015.

In 2016, he filed an application in the shariah court to renounce Islam but was ordered to attend “counselling sessions”.

The shariah court subsequently dismissed his renunciation application and ordered that he undergo further counselling sessions.

The man’s appeal to the shariah appeals court was also rejected.

He then turned to the civil courts seeking to nullify the decisions of the shariah court and sought a declaration that he is entitled to profess Christianity, his original faith.

Delivering his decision today, Justice Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh ruled that the civil courts cannot review decisions made by the shariah courts.

Citing a similar ruling by the Court of Appeal made earlier this year, the judge said the appeals court had ruled that “the civil court clearly has no power to review a shariah court’s decision, let alone reverse, depart from or re-litigate (it)”.

“I am bound by the Court of Appeal’s decision. It (the shariah court’s decision) is non-justiciable,” he said.

The court made no order as to costs.

The man was represented by lawyers Fahri Azzat and Iqbal Harith Liang, while senior federal counsel Ahmad Hanir Hambaly appeared for the federal government. – FMT