We are challenging the process, not the fatwa, says SIS

SIS founding member Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir said that the judicial review the group has filed was aimed at getting an explanation on the reasoning for the fatwa that declared the NGO as deviating from Islam. — Picture by Choo Choy May
SIS founding member Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir said that the judicial review the group has filed was aimed at getting an explanation on the reasoning for the fatwa that declared the NGO as deviating from Islam. — Picture by Choo Choy May

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 6 — Muslim women's group Sister in Islam (SIS) said today that it is challenging the process involved in formulating a religious edict or fatwa and not the authority of the state religious body to issue one.

The group clarified its position after the Sultan of Selangor said that religious edicts in the state are issued with his consent.

The group's founding member Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir said that the judicial review the group has filed aims to get an explanation on the reasoning for the fatwa that declared the NGO as deviating from Islam

"We were not informed when the fatwa was passed or even after it was gazetted," said Marina at a press conference today.

"Once it is gazetted and if we don't challenge it, it becomes a law and if we contravene the law, it is a crime.

"How would we know we were contravening it if we didn't know about it, and it so happened that we came across it by chance, 10 days before the deadline," she said.

On Friday, SIS filed for a judicial review on a gazetted fatwa in Selangor that declared the group of deviating from Islam.

SIS executive director Ratna Osman said they were filing the challenge as the fatwa – which was gazetted on July 31 - was issued without the group being told or questioned..

The three-month grace period to review a fatwa ended the day SIS filed the judicial review.

The group named the Selangor Fatwa Committee, the Mais and the state government as respondents at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

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