Woman who declared herself an apostate has to enter her defence in Syariah court

KUALA TERENGGANU, Sun.: Kamariah Ali, the woman alleged to have declared herself an apostate, has been told to enter her defence by the Syariah High Court here today.

Judge Mohamad Abdullah said that based on Kamariah statement, she had declared herself a non-Muslim in 1989 at the Syriah Court in Kota Baru but her latest identity card, issued in 2004, showed that she was still a Muslim.

“Based on the evidence of the four witnesses called by the prosecution, Kamariah was still a Muslim when she was arrested.

“The question of whether she had declared herself an apostate or not is not within the authority of the prosecution. As such I find there is a case and call Kamariah to defend herself,” said Mohamad.

Sky Kingdom

The Sky Kingdom was a quasi-religious interfaith commune located in the eastern Malaysian state of Terengganu.

Malaysia demolished the commune in August, 2005

While Malaysia has a secular legal system, the country is ruled by a ‘moderate’ Muslim majority.

“Muslims in Malaysia come under the purview of religious courts that are not part of the secular federal legal system. Any attempt to deviate from Islamic teachings, or to leave the religion, can bring harsh penalties from the religious courts.” [Source]

Sky Kingdom leader Ayah Pin claims to be a deity

The group includes former Muslims

Kamariah, a former Al-Azhar University graduate, was charged under Section 7 of the Syariah Criminal Offence Enactment (Takzir) (Terengganu 2001) with declaring herself an apostate to avoid action being taken against her at the Syariah Lower Court in Besut.

Kamariah was arrested together with 58 other followers of the Ayah Pin sect on July 21, last year [should be: 2005 – RNB].

They were all charged under Section 10 of the Syariah Criminal Offence Enactment (Takzir) (Terengganu 2001) for not adhering to the state fatwa (edict) which had ruled the teachings as deviant.

Hearing has been set for two days from Feb 6, next year.


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Religion News Blog posted this on Sunday November 26, 2006.
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