GEORGE TOWN: The mother in the centre of a unilateral conversion case, Loh Siew Hong, should be given custody of her three children but their conversion to Islam must not be reversed, Penang mufti Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor said today.
He said cancelling the children’s conversion was “impractical” and might “further complicate the situation”, adding that they should remain as Muslims for the good of all.
The mufti was commenting on the call by Indira Gandhi Action Team’s Arun Dorasamy, who is reportedly pushing for the children’s conversion to be cancelled.
“Doing that would only muddy the good ties that the Hindus have with Muslims in the country.
“From an Islamic perspective, one’s faith in Islam cannot be reversed through a court decree, but only if that person voluntarily wants to leave Islam without any pressure from anyone,” he told FMT.
Wan Salim said the authorities should allow her to meet her children as much as they like at venues which are deemed safe, adding that Loh can have her children back home periodically under police monitoring.
“Islam does not prevent family members of different faiths to live under one roof. In fact, they can even share meals together so long as the food is not considered to be haram,” he said.
Wan Salim also proposed that Loh’s children be sent to boarding schools, where their welfare and safety can be taken care of.
“I’m making this proposal, which is best for the children, so that we can solve the mess we are in.
“This way, no parties are taken advantage of and, at the same time, protect the sensitivities of Muslims who believe that hidden hands are pushing to revoke the children’s conversion to Islam.”
Loh’s habeas corpus application to have her children back will be heard in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow where they will be present with her.
Last year, Loh obtained a divorce from her husband and was granted full custody of her children. Police, however, had failed to recover them even after the Kuala Lumpur High Court had ordered them to do so.
Loh discovered recently that her twin daughters, aged 14, and 10-year-old son had been unilaterally converted to Islam by the Perlis religious authorities.