Thursday, September 5, 2013

‘I was converted to Islam without my knowledge’ | Free Malaysia Today

‘I was converted to Islam without my knowledge’

Priscilla Prasena | September 5, 2013-FMT
A Hindu woman who has been converted to Islam without her knowledge is facing persecution for the authorities for practising her faith.
SUBANG JAYA: An illiterate Hindu woman has been converted to Islam without her knowledge and only found out through the National Registration Department (NRD).

Madinah Kanniammah Abdullah, 54, who lives in a rundown longhouse settlement in Kampung Bunga Raya, Subang, said she had never been a Muslim.

The mother of five told FMT that her problems started when she got into a relationship with an Indian national when she was a teen.

“I was 19 then and was in love with a man from India. He told me that he was Hindu and even prays in temples.

“We lived together for a week and that was when I found out he was a Muslim,” she said.
Madinah said her boyfriend took her identification card on the pretext of opening a bank account for her.
“But when he returned the IC I noticed that my name had been changed. When I asked him he said it was the correct spelling of my name in Malay,” she said.

Madinah found out later that her new IC indicated her as a Muslim, after a check with the NRD.
“I can’t read and write. So how could I possibly have signed any documents?” she asked.

She said she used thumbprints and could not recall signing any marriage documents with the Muslim man.

Years later, Madinah married a local Hindu in a customary wedding and started having problems when her first child was born.

“I had a tough time trying to register him as a Hindu in his birth certificate because of my Muslim name on the IC.
“Due to this problem, my eldest son is registered as a Muslim,” she said.

Fearing that her other children will end up registered as Muslims, Madinah decided not to get MyKads for her other children.

One of her sons will not be able to sit for the PMR examination next month, while one daughter may have to skip her SPM examinations next year as they do not have MyKads.

“Their future is in jeopardy because they do not have MyKads,” Madinah added.

She said her husband was bedridden due to illness and being taken care of by his mother.

She said she was being treated like an outcast by her in-laws and her own family out of fear of getting into trouble with the religious authorities.

“I am being blamed for ruining my children’s lives as my eldest son is registered as a Muslim,” she added.

Madinah said she faced harassment from the religious authorites and the police.

“We do not go out from our home besides going to work and school. Sometimes my children get caught for not having MyKads or eating during Ramadan.

“My family is treated like refugees” she said.

Madinah said she had highlighted her plight to the MIC before but nothing was done.
“The whole longhouse settlement voted for MIC and I personally urged others to vote for the party candidate upon listening to their promises,” she said.

Madinah urged the government to look into her plight and allow her family to practise the faith of their choice.

“ I was born as Hindu and I want to die as one,” she said.

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