Accepting Diversity is the Way Forward Towards a more Progressive and Inclusive Islam for Malaysia

Sisters in Islam (SIS) commends the Pakatan Harapan Government for takings steps to review the administration of Islam in Malaysia.
The manner of which Islam has been administered in Malaysia has earned it a reputation of being harsh, uncompassionate and inhumane. It is therefore timely that the image of Islam and Islamic authorities be improved in the eyes of the public. SIS has always advocated against incidents where Islamic authorities have overstepped their authority or treated minority groups harshly etc. It is our hope that JAKIM will be more open to engagements with NGOs, including women’s rights groups, in discussing the impacts that the previous JAKIM administration had onto women and other vulnerable and marginalised communities in Malaysia.
While the statement by Director General of JAKIM, Mohamad Nordin Ibrahim, points towards adopting a more tolerant approach for matters related to Islam in Malaysia, we would like to remind that many outstanding issues remain to be resolved including the age of marriage for Muslims and unilateral conversion of minors to Islam.
It is important to recognise not only diversity of races in Malaysia, but also diversity in the different scholarships, thoughts and opinions in Islam. We look forward to progressive and open dialogues on Islam, the kind that takes into account the lived realities and experiences of all Malaysians.
Sisters in Islam
17 July 2018
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