Malaysia

Religious police who fined courting couples for holding hands in Malaysia were criticised by the government for being ‘overzealous’ yesterday.
Sisters in Islam (SIS) welcomes the decision of the government to appoint women to serve as judges in the Syariah courts.
Due to the multi-ethnic and multi-religious population of Malaysia, a dichotomy exists between Muslims who are predominantly Malays and the non-Muslims. Article 3 of the Malaysian Constitution enacts that Islam is the religion of the nation. However as a provision in Clause (1) of Article 3, it is guaranteed by the Constitution that non-Muslim nationals would be free to profess and practise their own religions.
Ms Noriani Nik Badli Shah, research manager of Sisters in Islam, an NGO which lobbies for the rights of Muslim women, said not many Muslim women were aware of this right, and those who did were discouraged from using it by social pressure.
In April the state government, led by the opposition Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), proposed a bill to institute new laws governing rape. It was set to be tabled in the State government special assembly in July.
Malaysian women's groups have warned that plans to enact strict Islamic laws in an opposition-ruled state would be a leap backwards in the fight for gender equality.
The fundamentalist Muslim government in a Malaysian state will ban women from wearing bikinis and from sharing swimming pools with men.
En arrivant au pouvoir en 1999, le parti Terengganu avait juré de "renforcer la loi islamique".
Sisters in Islam is shocked by a newspaper report (The Star, 19 April 2002) that JAKIM is planning to ban Muslims with no "in-depth knowledge on Islam" from expressing themselves in public on Islamic issues.
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