Decision on ‘bin Abdullah’ will lead to new form of stigmatisation, warns SIS

Yesterday, the Federal Court ordered the National Registration Department to remove the ‘bin Abdullah’ from the birth certificate of a Muslim boy born out of wedlock.

PETALING JAYA: Women’s rights group Sisters in Islam (SIS) said it viewed the Federal Court’s decision on the “bin Abdullah” case with mixed concerns as it would lead to a new form of stigmatisation of children born out of wedlock.

Yesterday, the Federal Court ordered the National Registration Department (JPN) director-general to remove the word “bin Abdullah” from the birth certificate of a Muslim boy from Johor who was born out of wedlock.

But the Federal Court also ruled that the boy cannot use his biological father’s name.

In a statement, SIS said the usage of “bin Abdullah” for Muslim children born out of wedlock carries a social stigma as they are often ridiculed, attacked, bullied and targeted.

“The Federal Court’s decision for removing ‘bin Abdullah’ from the child’s name and disallowing him to carry the father’s name will only lead to a new kind of stigmatisation of the child and other children in a similar situation.

“Also, it is now an open question as to what the child’s last name should be.”

SIS went on to note that the naming as “bin Abdullah” is not prescribed by law but by a fatwa, citing two decrees by the National Fatwa Council.

They said that they had often criticised the far-reaching effects of a fatwa.

“The application of a fatwa in such a manner should be scrutinised and subjected to proper consultation, and checks and balances, especially when it has a severe impact on the life of a child.”