Malaysian high court strikes down state's Sharia-based laws

Trending 3 weeks ago

Malaysia's apical tribunal connected Friday struck down Shariah-based criminal laws successful an opposition-run state, saying they encroached connected national authority. Islamists denounced nan determination and said it could undermine belief courts crossed nan Muslim-majority nation.

In an 8-1 ruling, nan nine-member Federal Court sheet invalidated 16 laws created by nan Kelantan authorities government, which imposed punishments rooted successful Islam for offenses that included sodomy, intersexual harassment, incest, cross-dressing and destroying aliases defiling places of worship.

The tribunal said that nan authorities could not make Islamic laws connected those topics because they are covered by Malaysian national law.


Malaysia has a dual-track ineligible system, pinch some authorities laws and Shariah — Islamic rule based connected nan Quran and a group of scriptures known arsenic nan sabda — covering individual and family matters for Muslims. Ethnic Malays, each of whom are considered Muslim successful Malaysian law, dress up two-thirds of Malaysia’s 33 cardinal people. The organization besides includes ample Chinese and Indian minorities.

The lawsuit decided Friday was revenge successful 2022 by 2 Muslim women from Kelantan, a agrarian northeastern authorities whose organization is 97% Muslim. The blimpish Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, aliases PAS, has governed nan authorities since 1990.

Lawyer Nik Elin Nik Abdul Rashid, who brought nan situation to nan authorities laws pinch her daughter, said nan court’s ruling attested to nan Malaysian Constitution arsenic nan ultimate rule of nan country.

Hundreds of Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party supporters gathered extracurricular nan Federal Court calling for nan protection of Shariah.

"We are very sad today. This is simply a achromatic Friday for Islamic Shariah laws," PAS Secretary-General Takiyuddin Hassan told reporters. "When Shariah laws successful 1 locality go invalid, this intends that Shariah laws successful different states whitethorn now look nan aforesaid risk."

Malaysian media quoted Chief Justice Maimun Tuan Mat arsenic saying nan ruling does not conflict nan position of Islam arsenic nan charismatic belief and dismissing claims that nan tribunal was trying to curb nan powers of Shariah courts.

The PAS is simply a personnel of nan guidance bloc but is nan azygous biggest statement represented successful Parliament. It besides runs nan governments successful 4 of Malaysia’s 13 states.

The statement favors reliable Islamic ineligible norms and erstwhile sought to instrumentality a criminal codification known arsenic "hudud," which prescribes penalties specified arsenic amputations for theft and decease by stoning for adultery. The national authorities blocked nan move.

Mohamad Na’im Mokhtar, nan authorities curate successful complaint of belief affairs, promised that nan tribunal ruling woold not impact nan position of Shariah courts. He urged Muslims to enactment calm and said that ongoing efforts to empower Shariah courts would continue.

The rumor could airs a situation for Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, who is struggling to triumph Malay support aft taking agency pursuing a 2022 wide election.

Anwar has besides disputed PAS's assertion that nan tribunal lawsuit was an onslaught connected Shariah. He has said nan the guidelines rumor was astir authorities jurisdiction and that nan matter shouldn't beryllium politicized.