PETALING JAYA, July 17 — Sisters in Islam (SIS) today urged the authorities to look into unresolved issues, such as the age of marriage for Muslims and the unilateral conversion of minors to Islam, to improve the image of the religion in Malaysia.
The women’s rights group was referring to a statement by Islamic Development Department Malaysia (Jakim) director-general Mohamad Nordin Ibrahim that suggested it adopt a more tolerant approach for matters related to Islam in the country.
“It is important to recognise not only the diversity of races in Malaysia, but also the diversity in the different scholarships, thoughts and opinions in Islam.
“The manner in which Islam has been administered in Malaysia has earned it a reputation of being harsh, uncompassionate and inhumane.
“It is therefore timely that the image of Islam and Islamic authorities be improved in the eyes of the public,” it said in a statement.
SIS also appealed to Jakim to be more open when engaging with NGOs, including women’s rights groups, to discuss the impact that the previous Jakim administration had on women and other vulnerable and marginalised communities in Malaysia.