Sunday, April 13, 2008

Islamic NGOs Disagree To Having Non-muslims Inform Family Before Embracing Islam

(Bernama) KUALA LUMPUR, April 13 -- The Allied Coordinating Committee of Islamic NGOs (ACCIN) does not agree to having non-Muslims inform their family before converting to Islam.

Its chairman, Sabariah Abdullah, said such a move would deny them the right to convert and would be seen as forcing them to inform their family when the situation then would still be inappropriate.

"It should be left to the individuals to decide whether to inform their family or otherwise because it would be difficult for the family to accept the fact and would cause problems to the convert as well as his family," she told a press conference.

Sabariah said the major problems the convert would face were rejection by the family members, threats to commit suicide or inflict self-injury and fear of isolation by the family.

ACCIN has 16 member organisations, including the Malaysian Muslim Youth Movement (Abim), the Malaysian Chinese Muslim Association (Macma), the All-Malaysia Indian Converts Welfare and Missionary Association (Al-Hidayah) and the Malaysian Muslim Welfare Organisation (Perkim).

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, in announcing the proposed rule, had said it was meant to avoid problems, especially when the converts died and their family disputed the status of the deceased's religion.

Abdullah had said those who wanted to convert to Islam must inform their family through a form or letter declaring that their family had been told. He said the idea behind the rule was to recognise the rights of the affected families, especially the spouses.

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