Selangor fatwa declaring Sisters in Islam as a deviant group stands — High Court

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 27): The 2014 Selangor fatwa that declared Sisters in Islam (SIS) as a deviant organisation for subscribing to "religious liberalism and pluralism" still stands.

High Court judge Datuk Nordin Hassan ruled today that the fatwa issued by the Selangor fatwa committee and gazetted by the Selangor government was in order.

Justice Nordin also ruled that the High Court does not have the jurisdiction to rule on the case based on Article 121(1A) of the Federal Constitution where such matters should have been referred to the Syariah Court.

"The said fatwa is within the limits of the constitution as stipulated under Article 74 and the Second Schedule of the Federal Constitution. This court is not clothed to hear the present application due to jurisdictional issues.

"The court also finds the decision dated July 14, 2014 is not tainted with illegality and proportionality," said Justice Nordin.

Article 121(1A) stipulates that the civil courts do not have jurisdiction within matters pertaining to Islam which is to be referred to the Syariah Court.

The court also ruled that the fatwa does not violate SIS' right to freedom of expression and also decided that despite SIS being a registered organisation, the fatwa applies to it as the office bearers are Muslims.

Justice Nordin in his oral judgment also noted that the Selangor Fatwa Committee had compiled with all procedures in making the fatwa and that the state has the right to have the fatwa gazetted.

The court ordered SIS to pay costs of RM10,000 after dismissing the legal challenge brought by the organisation against the fatwa.

Also present to hear the ruling were Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir and Datin Rose Ismail, who are among the founding members of SIS.

SIS executive director Rozana Isa described today's decision as disappointing and would make a decision on whether to appeal or not after consulting with SIS' lawyers.

SIS was represented by lawyer Surendra Ananth while Datuk Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar appeared for the Selangor Islamic Council and the Selangor fatwa committee.

SIS had named the Selangor Islamic Council, its fatwa committee and the Selangor government as respondents in the case.