Kuala Lumpur, Mar 7 (ANI): A 60-year-old man, who was raised as a Christian but has a Muslim father, was declared non-Muslim by the local Sharia court.
Mohammad Shah, who was baptised as Gilbert Freeman, carried a Malay name on his identity card. He had sent a plea to the court to remove the incorrect name.
However, the application was rejected by judge Mohd Nadzri Abdul Rahman Ibrahim, who was satisfied and did not have any doubts that Shah was a non-Muslim before.
"I believe a name does not reveal a person's religion, although it normally provides a picture of someone's religion," the NST online quoted Nadzri, as saying.
"The facts from his birth, baptism and marriage certificate, including oral statements by witnesses, have proved that the applicant has been brought up as a Christian since he was 2-months-old."
The judge said the applicant was born as Mohammad Shah alias Gilbert Freeman on April 17, 1948, was baptised at the Seremban Visitation Church at the age of three and was married to P. Anjalie in a Christian ceremony on August 3, 1974.
"Even though Shah's father is a Muslim, Section 108 of the Administration of Islamic Law (Negri Sembilan) Enactment does not apply because he was never raised as a Muslim and did not embrace the religion as stated under the law," added Nadzri.
Moreover, according to the judge, there was no proof of a valid marriage, according to either Muslim or Christian rites, between the applicant's father, Mohammad Said and his late mother Doris Josephine Freeman.
On the removal of the name Mohammad Shah from the applicant's identification card, Nadzri said the court only had the authority to ascertain his religious status.
"The application to remove his Malay name pertains to the administration of the National Registration Department as it is the department's jurisdiction to manage the registration process," said Nadzri.(ANI)