MALAYSIA: Silencing Freedom of Expression
The ASEAN Progressive Muslim Movement (APMM) is a civil society’s group that was formed as an outcome of a regional meeting of Southeast Asian human rights advocated held in Jakarta on 16-17 October 2009. The meeting was organized by conducted to examine how certain interpretations of Sharia laws are affecting the rights of the women in Muslim contexts in the region and undermining democratic institutions and processes in countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, the Mindanao region in the Philippines and Thailand. APMM has members or 30 person from 21 organization in ASEAN countries including some organization that are based in Jakarta such as Aceh Human’s Rights NGO Coalition, PEKKA, Solidaritas Perempuan, and SCN-CREST.
We, the APMM, have noted from various media reports that on February 25th 2010, the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (MAIS) has lodged a police report against Sisters in Islam (SIS) because of SIS’ press statement on the caning of three Muslim women that was announced to have taken place on February 9th 2010. This report by MAIS is one of six lodged against SIS and also against P. Gunasegaram, Managing Editor of the Malaysian newspaper, The Star for his article ‘Persuasion not Compulsion’ on February 19th 2010.
Update: Uncertain Role for Female Shariah Judges in Malaysia
KUALA LUMPUR — Women’s groups have applauded the recent appointment of two female judges to Islamic courts in , but its significance is not yet clear: The new judges will have to wait a month before finding out whether they will be prevented from hearing certain cases.
Malaysia appoints first female judges in Islamic courts
Malaysia: Islamic Courts Appoint First Female Judges
The decision by the Malaysian government to appoint women judges to its Islamic courts has been welcomed by Muslim feminist groups.
The group based in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, told the BBC it had been pressing for this for many years.
The government said the new judges were part of its sharia reform efforts.
Malaysia runs two parallel legal systems - the civil courts for its non-Muslim citizens and the Islamic system.
"We've been calling for the appointment of women to the sharia courts since the late 1990s," said Ratna Osman, head of the legal unit of SIS, an influential Muslim women's group.
"When you have all male judges, there is some insensitivity - the more so when they are listenining to women's grievances," she said.
Malaysia: Muslim law terrorizes Malay women
The caning sentence given to a Muslim woman last year for drinking beer was a sign of the slow ‘talibanization’ of Malay society, says an Islamic expert.
Moral police need policing, too
Fearing public embarrassment, couples accused of infringing religious laws on morality often put themselves at risk of physical hurt, and even death.
WHEN a fatal accident happens, usually there will be an enquiry to find out the reasons behind it. Landslides may cause homes to be buried along with some occupants so an enquiry is needed to decide who is at fault and to be held responsible.
Or schoolchildren out on an excursion may wind up drowned and investigations must be done, not least to ensure such a tragedy never happens again.
UPDATE: MALAYSIA - Kartika's caning sentence commuted to community service
In a Press Statement issued by Sisters in Islam (SIS), the Malaysian women's group, one of the most well-known nongovernment groups in this Muslim-majority country, registered their happiness with the decision by Sultan of Pahang, Duli Yang Maha Mulia Tuanku Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah, to commute Kartika’s caning sentence to community service.
Malaysia: Religion Minister Rejects Child Marriage Reform
KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - – Malaysia's religion minister on Tuesday defended Islamic laws that allow girls under 16 to marry, amid a controversy over two youngsters who were married off to middle-aged men.
Malaysia: Ban lifted on Sisters In Islam (SIS) book
KUALA LUMPUR: The SIS Forum (Malaysia) succeeded in throwing out the Home Minister’s order banning its 215-page book, Muslim Women and the Challenges of Islamic Extremism.
ASEAN Progressive Muslim Movement recommendations for 15th ASEAN Summit
Southeast Asia Muslim human rights advocates express concerns on the