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Syariah Court’s Decision Supports Muslims Right to Work without Fear (26 February 2015)
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PRESS STATEMENT
“Syariah Court’s Decision Supports Muslims Right to Work without Fear”

The decision by the Kuala Lumpur Syariah High Court to discharge Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz is very much welcome and highly anticipated. Sisters In Islam (SIS) commends the Syariah Court for showing compassion exercised in the interest of justice, and for recognising the hardship, suffering and pain experienced by Nik Raina throughout the extended duration of her case.

For three long years, Nik Raina was stigmatised by the accusation that she had insulted Islam and was treated like a criminal, when in fact she was just doing her job as a bookstore manager. This decision supports the right of Malaysian Muslims to work without the threat of being arbitrarily arrested and prosecuted without reasonable cause.

We concur with the remarks made by the Honourable Judge Yang Arif Mohd Amran Mat Zain, who in his wisdom noted to the effect that the spirit of both the civil court and the syariah court are grounded in justice. By discharging Nik Raina and disallowing further delay to the case by the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Department (JAWI), the Honourable Judge put into practice the Islamic principles of justice and fairness, as envisaged by the Federal Constitution.

This is in line with Surah An-Nisa verse 135, which states, “O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for justice as witnesses to Allah even as against yourselves or your parents or your kin and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts) lest ye swerve and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.”

In the way the learned Judge has acted in the spirit of this verse, so also do we hope that the Attorney General’s Chambers will espouse these same higher ideals (of justice and fairness) by not pursuing any further appeals in defence of JAWI’s unlawful actions before the Federal Court.

SISTERS IN ISLAM

26 February 2015

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