CAIRO - An Indian hair salon owner has alleged that her two children have been converted to Islam by her Muslim-convert husband without her consent, asking Shari`ah courts to reconvert them to Hindu.
I didn't even know that he had converted to Islam until early this year, S Deepa, from Jelebu, Negeri Sembilan, told The Malaysia Star on Saturday, June 8.
Deepa, 29, has been married since 2004 to her lorry-driver husband N Viran, 30.
The couple was estranged from February last year.
About two months ago, the woman went to check on her son at his preschool class in Titi.
When I got there, a staff member told me that my husband had taken him away. Since my husband had converted to Islam, I decided to go to the Islamic Centre in Seremban to report that my kids and I would not be embracing Islam, she said.
According to Deepa, she found her husband and two kids at the centre.
He even picked up my daughter from school and took both of them to the centre where they were converted, she claimed.
I argued with an ustaz and my husband there that this was unconstitutional but I was told by the ustaz to come back another day to reverse the decision.
When I returned the next day, Ustaz Zul told me the matter was out of his hands and that I have to go to Shari`ah Court to seek redress, she told a news conference.
I then lodged a police report as the conversion of my children was done without my knowledge and permission.
Her lawyer, S Karthigesan said he would file an application in the civil court to reverse the decision.
This is clearly ultra vires the Federal Constitution. We need to put a stop to such acts, he said.
Under Malaysia's two-tier judicial system, Shari`ah courts handle family law cases involving Muslims, while secular courts handle those involving non-Muslims.
Malaysia's Constitution says that the religion of a child under 18 should be decided by the parent or guardian.
Some lawyers have argued that this should be interpreted to mean both parents, but the courts have not agreed, ruling that the consent of one parent is sufficient to convert a child to Islam.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net