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Malaysia urged to review Islamic conversion, ensure justice for non-Muslims

ICC Note:

Recent cases of ‘body-snatching’ by Sharia Courts claiming the bodies of non-Muslims for Muslim burial on the grounds of hotly disputed last minute conversions have finally drawn the Malaysian government to review the case.

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1/28/2008 Malaysia, Islam (PRInside) The case is expected to be heard Tuesday, he said.

It is the latest in an increasing number of interfaith conflicts that have raised tensions in multiracial Malaysia.

On Monday, opposition lawmaker Lim Kit Siang urged the government to end “body-snatchings” by Islamic authorities, warning they were aggravating racial polarization and hurting Malaysia’s multiracial harmony.

“We hope the prime minister and the higher ups in the Islamic authorities review this case and ensure that the truth is unraveled,” Hock Ming said, calling for all conversions to Islam to be “fair and transparent.”

Authorities from the Islamic religious department in Seremban could not be reached for comment. No comment was available from the office of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Malaysia has a dual court system for civil matters with secular courts for non-Muslims and Shariah courts for Muslims. In interfaith disputes involving Muslims, the Shariah court usually gets the last word, making a favorable decision for non-Muslims less likely.

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