KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 31 — The Muslim convert who unilaterally converted his children in a custody battle with his Hindu ex-wife insists he will not allow them to exit Islam, in response to a landmark ruling requiring both parents’ consent to change a minor’s faith.
Izwan Abdullah also maintained that his case involving S. Deepa would not be affected by the Federal Court’s decision in M. Indira Gandhi’s case.
“To make my son a murtad (apostate) would be totally unacceptable,” he was quoted as saying by The Star Online today.
Izwan added that their custody fight had been resolved in court.
In February 2016, the Federal Court altered a High Court custody order and granted Deepa custody of the daughter, then 11, while Izwan got their son, who was eight at the time.
Their case was additionally controversial as Izwan had snatched the boy away from his ex-wife after he unilaterally converted the children to Islam.
Despite the watershed decision on Monday, a lawyer who had acted for Deepa said the latter was not planning to renew her legal battle against Izwan.
“She (Deepa) is not considering anything now,” the lawyer was quoted as saying in a text message to the portal.
In a landmark ruling on Monday, the Federal Court voided the unilateral conversion of Indira’s three children by her Muslim convert ex-husband, ruling that both parents’ consent was necessary to change the minors’ religion.
The ruling brought clarity to an issue that had plagued Malaysia for years, but which the government and Parliament did not resolve despite pledges to the effect.
The Federal Court additional ruled that the country’s superior courts were empowered to examine matters related to Islamic law, notwithstanding a constitutional amendment that precluded them from considering topics under the jurisdiction of the Shariah courts.