SIS’ challenge to fatwa ruling to be heard in March

KUALA LUMPUR: The challenge by women’s rights group Sisters in Islam (SIS) against the fatwa imposed on it will proceed for full hearing on March 13 next year.

Lawyer Majdah Musa, who is representing the Selangor Islamic Religious Council, said the High Court fixed the date during case mention today.

“The case will be heard before judge Nordin Hassan,” she added.

Also present was SIS lawyer, Farhan Haziq.

High Court judicial commissioner Faizah Jamaludin had heard the case mention after it was remitted to the High Court from the Federal Court.

The High Court will decide whether civil courts can hear judicial reviews involving fatwas.

SIS filed a legal challenge in 2014 in a bid to revoke the fatwa by the state’s fatwa committee which said the group subscribed to liberalism and religious pluralism, and deviated from the teachings of Islam.

Two years later, another High Court dismissed SIS’ challenge on grounds that civil courts cannot hear issues on religious matters.

Last year, however, the Court of Appeal said civil courts could hear religious matters.

In September, the Federal Court ordered that SIS’ case be tried at the High Court. All parties in the legal challenge, namely SIS, the state government and the fatwa committee, have consented to the hearing.