More than just a religious issue

6 December 2006, The Sun Mr. Benjamin Dawson gave an interview on the tussle over the Catholic family of the deceased Rayappan Anthony and the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (JAIS) on who has the right to bury the dead man according to different religious rites. “Rayappan case, like other conversion cases, is not simply a religious issue. It is first and foremost a Constitutional issue” said Mr. Dawson. Mr. Dawson is of the view that under Article 11(1) of the Constitution, it is the individual and not a third party who has the right to decide his or her religion. He further said that since an individual’s choice of faith is a constitutional issue, neither JAIS nor the syariah court has the jurisdiction to nullify what an individual chooses.

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