Malaysia court quashes Hindu kids' conversion to Islam
KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - A Malaysian court on Thursday ruled against the 2009 conversion of three Hindu children to Islam without their mother's knowledge, a verdict welcomed by non-Muslim groups.
A high court in the northern city of Ipoh declared the conversion of Ms Indira Gandhi's children, now aged five, 15 and 16, by their father to be unconstitutional, said Indira's lawyer K. Shanmuga. The judge ruled that the father failed to take the mother and children to Islamic authorities for their consent to the conversion, in a rare verdict in the multiracial but Muslim-majority nation, Mr Shanmuga said.
"It is the first time ever that a child's conversion certificate has been quashed by a high court," he told AFP.
Indira, a kindergarten teacher in her late 30s, faced losing custody of her children after her husband converted himself and them without her knowledge. Under Malaysian sharia law, which governs civil matters for Muslims, a non-Muslim parent cannot share custody of converted children.