Case in Malaysia Could Decide if Sharia Supercedes Constitution

Malaysia(Morning Star News) A case involving the constitutional position of sharia (Islamic law) courts in the Malaysian legal system could strengthen the power of the courts to block Malay conversions from Islam.

In the potentially landmark case, due to be heard on Thursday (Aug. 13), the Federal Territory Islamic Council claims that sharia courts are separate from and not subject to Malaysia’s federal court system.

Malaysia has two legal systems: the sharia courts and the federal courts. The sharia courts settle family matters (such as divorces), inheritance questions and violations of the pillars of Islam. These courts can impose limited punishments (six months’ imprisonment and fines up to about $1,300). They apply exclusively to Muslims – only Muslims can bring cases to these courts, and until 2006 only Muslims testified in them.

A Christian lawyer, Victoria Martin, noticed that it was difficult to resolve interfaith disputes in sharia courts, so she obtained a diploma in sharia from the International Islamic University Malaysia. In August 2009, she applied to the Federal Territory Islamic Council (Majilis Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan, or MAIWP) for permission to practice in sharia court.

Her application was not processed because she was not a Muslim; rule 10 of the Sharia Court Rules Act (1993) states that sharia lawyers must be Muslims. By contrast, Singapore, which has a similar legal heritage, allows non-Muslims to practice in sharia courts.

In October 2009, Martin sued in Malaysian court requesting a judicial review of the rejection of her application. She lost, but later she won on appeal. The appeals court cited section 59(1) of the Sharia Court Rules Act (1993), which states that anyone with “sufficient knowledge of Islamic law” may be an advocate (attorney) in sharia courts.

Both the Malaysian Attorney General and the MAIWP have challenged Martin’s argument that her constitutional rights have been denied. Their case is going to be heard in the Malaysian Federal Court on Aug. 13, pitting constitutional rights against sharia.

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The Islamic Council holds that because Islamic law always prioritizes the rights of the community over those of an individual, such laws should not be subject to freedoms that are part of the Malaysian Federal Constitution.

A decision for Martin would affirm the supremacy of the Federal Constitution. A decision against her, however, would mean that Islamic laws supersede federal laws. This would place the sharia courts beyond the reach of the federal courts.

If the position of the sharia courts is beyond review of federal courts, Malaysia’s 15 million ethnic Malays would be affected immediately, because all Malays are defined in the Constitution (Article 160) as Muslims. As “sons of the soil” (bumiputeras), they are given special affirmative action types of privileges.

One consequence of bumiputera status is that it is not possible for a Malay to convert to any other religion without changing ethnic status. Only sharia courts can change a person’s religious (and ethnic) status. A decision against Martin in the case thus would strengthen the sharia courts’ power to impede Malays converting to other faiths.

In short, the Martin case will be critical in defining the position of the sharia courts with respect to the federal court system. The placement of one system over the other will rest on the decision.

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  • Angel Jabbins

    Congress needs to investigate and get to the bottom of this. Are we just going to take PP’s word that they are not harvesting baby parts for profit? The woman said right on tape that PP is paid $30 to $100 per ‘specimen’. (High demands translates into greed.) And, ARE women signing consent forms to have their babies chopped up? (Because that is exactly what is happening to those children.) After a baby is aborted, PP has the body to dispose of. Are they just taking parts from babies without consent? Who would know? PP has very little oversight compared to other types of medical facilities. A full investigation needs to be done in light of this undercover operation. PP has a tract record of lies and deception.

    • A Friend

      “PP has very little oversight compared to other types of medical facilities.”
      Kermit Gosnell is a perfect example of that. It’s amazing that the left is all about regulations until it comes to abortion.

      • Angel Jabbins

        So true, Friend, so true!

    • WorldGoneCrazy

      People that murder babies for a living have no problem with the “small” sin (in their view) of lying.

  • The Last Trump

    These sick “liberal” women today would make the Nazis blush. Disgraceful monsters.

    • WorldGoneCrazy

      Planned Murder in Da Hood: “Nucatola did not mean what she said when she said what she meant.” Oh, OK, all cleared up. 🙂

      There is no PP-stapo and stop asking so many questions!

  • Dave_L

    Here’s a transcript I assume is authentic: centerformedicalprogress(DOT)org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/PPFAtranscript072514_final.pdf
    play with the url…

  • Quincher Glock

    Exodus 20:13 ” You shall not murder” If they don’t repent now, they will be judged.

  • Nidalap

    Ghoulish, it really is, and literally in this instance too. Too bad it probably won’t make any difference. The, by far, greater evil had already been done to these babies before their organs were ever touched. If the general public cannot be convinced of the greater evil, how will the lesser sway them…

  • Angel Jabbins

    “It is a ‘clump of cells’ until it is time for Planned Parenthood to make a profit.

    Then suddenly ‘it’ has valuable organs.”

    Shared on Facebook

  • Ceualiok

    TO COUNTER ANY ACCUSATIONS: I am pro-life, considering human life begins at conception. An abortion is murder of a baby, from my perspective. OK?

    My question about this new report that is sweeping the Internet is WHY now? Connie Chung’s news report is dated March 2000…. THAT is over 15 years ago! Why now is this being promoted as news? More than anything I find it very suspicious – a typical political ploy to distract the conservative masses while the “leaders” take away more liberties and freedoms of Americans. I think that the conservatives are being ‘conned’, using this evil as a distraction. If people were so angry about it, then why not be screaming about it for the past decade?

  • FoJC_Forever

    Whether they sell their body parts or not, which they apparently are doing, Planned Parenthood is a wicked organization responsible for the murder of millions of babies. They don’t bear the responsibility alone, but they facilitate murder every day in this country. Selling the body parts of the slaughtered innocents is the next step in this wickedness.

    The callousness of this woman, and she is just one of many, is horrid and repulsive. I know it exists, but to hear someone speak so casually about harvesting babies is bone shaking. Everyone alive today was once one of these tiny lives, and could have been a victim of the American Holocaust, and could have had their little bodies pulled apart and sold.

    Judgement is coming.