Former law minister Zaid Ibrahim has urged parliamentarians to support the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Amendment (LRA) Bill to ensure fairness to all citizens.
"Being fair to other people is simply about doing to them what you would expect them to do to you.
"If you want others to be reasonable, then you should also be reasonable," he said in a blog post today.
The LRA Bill aims to end unilateral child conversion and will be tabled in parliament next March.
Perlis state assembly, however, passed an amendment to their Administration of the Religion of Islam Enactment 2006 on Thursday which would allow unilateral child conversion.
Zaid posed a hypothetical question to those who voted in favour of the amendment in Perlis, asking them what if unilateral child conversions were to happen to them instead.
"How would they feel if (hypothetically) a non-Muslim parent could unilaterally convert a Muslim child to Hinduism or Christianity?
"They would cry: that’s not fair. The whole country would be in turmoil," he said.
Justice for all
He cited the cases of R Subashini and M Indira Gandhi, whose Islam convert husbands had unilaterally converted the children and gained custody of them.
This shows that unilateral conversions have caused much pain and misery to so many people, as non-Muslim mothers have been denied custody through unilateral conversions, he said.
He pointed out that there are clear passages in the Quran asking Muslims to empathise and sympathise with those in suffering, and to love humankind and do justice to all, regardless of creed.
They should not feel good for being facilitators to the conversion of non-Muslim children, regardless of circumstances and the child's knowledge of the religion, to Islam, he said.
Instead, he said, if they "really want to go to heaven", they should support the LRA Bill in the next parliamentary sitting in March.
Previously, there has been some criticisms over the LRA Bill, particularly from the Muslim Lawyers Association, who claimed that amendments sought were unconstitutional because it violated Article 12(4).- Mkini