KUALA LUMPUR – The case of a couple who declared themselves apostates and allegedly insulted Islam on Facebook has to be investigated by the Penang Islamic Religious Department (JAIPP) before any action can be taken by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM), said JAKIM director-general Datuk Othman Mustapha.
He said JAKIM will look into the matter including providing counselling to the couple after getting the reports from JAIPP and the enforcement authorities.
“We must find the best way to get them back on the right track. I find a lot of offers have been made to the couple for discussions on their action.
“So we have to get close to them to find out their problem and treat them well, we do not know what transpired and how they were hurt,” he said.
He was speaking to reporters after attending the Muslimah Carnival and Yayasan Anak-anak Yatim Sultanah Haminah (YAYSH) aid presentation ceremony which was graced by Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Hajah Haminah at the Federal Territory Mosque here Saturday.
Othman was asked to commment on media reports on Thursday that Majlis Perundingan Pertubuhan Islam Malaysia (MAPIM) had lodged a police report against Sharifah Farlearton and her husband, who had declared themselves apostates and allegedly insulted Islam on Face book.
The couple who have five children and are now believed to be living in Melbourne, Australia had claimed to have left Islam for almost a year.
In an interview with local newspapeper (Berita Harian), Sharifah Farlearton claimed to have a change of heart about Islam because she was not satisfied and dissapointed over several things.
Othman also clarified that apostasy among Muslims can only be approved by the Syariah Court after undergoing a certain process.
“Under the law, apostasy is valid if approved by the Syariah Court but until now not a single case has been approved by the Syariah Court allowing a Muslim to become an apostate,” he said.
Othman added that based on what the couple had to say, he believed they took the action based on disappointment on individuals rather than the religion. – BERNAMA