SHAH ALAM, June 4 — The Selangor government has ordered the state’s Islamic authority Jais to help Zarena Abdul Majid formally change her religious status from Muslim to Hindu, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said today.
The Selangor Mentri Besar added that action will be taken against Jais officers found to have violated standard practices in their raid on Zarena’s Hindu-style wedding last weekend.
“She (Zarena) can change her name to whatever name she wants...she has never been a practicing Muslim,” he pointed out to reporters here.
“The state has ordered Jais to assist her in resolving the matter.”
The bride, whose name was given as Zarina Abdullah Majid in a statement from the Selangor mentri besar’s office, has also been spelled Zarina Abdul Majid and Zarena Abdul Majib in other news reports.
The Malay Mail Online has not been able to reach either the bride or Jais to confirm her real name.
Khalid explained that he was informed by Jais this morning that Zarena had been registered as a Muslim by her father but has never practiced the faith and had been brought up by her Hindu mother her whole life.
He said the raid by Jais was a major “embarrassment” by the religious authority.
“According to Jais, it was not a raid. According to the press, it was a raid. According to us it is an embarrassment.
“A wedding is supposed to be a great occasion. They shouldn’t have spoiled the wedding,” MB Khalid stressed.
On Sunday, religious authorities detained Zarena in the midst of her Hindu wedding ceremony at a temple in Shah Alam, on suspicion that she, as a Muslim, was marrying a non-Muslim according to non-Muslim rites.
Zarena had claimed that she and her siblings were secretly converted by her Muslim convert father when they were children, but they have long been practising Hindus since their father divorced their mother and abandoned the family over 20 years ago.
Jais deputy director Ahmad Zaki Arshad was earlier reported to have said they were investigating the case under Section 10 of the Shariah Criminal Enactment (Selangor) 1995, for insulting or bringing disrepute to Islam.
Ahmad Zaki, however, was later reported to have denied claims that they had raided the wedding, saying that they had only acted on public complaints and carried out a routine check as she had a Muslim name.
“Jais needs to get the views from the mentri besar and the state executive councillors in matters pertaining to religion and race,” Khalid added.