Sisters In Islam
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Sisters in Islam (SIS) is an independent non-governmental organisation,
formed in 1988, which believes in an Islam that upholds the principles
of equality, justice, freedom and dignity.



on Shariah
& Civil Law

every Monday, Thursday & Friday from
10 am - 5 pm

03-7784 3733

Baraza 3 - Islam and Human Rights: Conflicting or Complementary?









































































































"My claim is not that we need to secularize the state in order to be modern. My claim is that we need a secular state to be better Muslims"
- Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im

Sisters In Islam campaigned "Against Book Banning" at the Kuala Lumpur Alternative Book Festival on 3rd & 4th May 2008 at The Annexe, Central Market. Read More..

The Star, 9 May 2008
MCA hails court decision

KUALA LUMPUR: The MCA has welcomed the Penang Syariah High Court’s decision to allow Muslim convert Siti Fatimah Tan Abdullah to renounce Islam and revert to her original faith.

“This is a historic decision. It is a major step for a progressive, multi-racial and multi-cultural Malaysia. The MCA has always emphasised that religion is a personal matter and that it is the right of every Malaysian to choose his or her religion, as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

“It was Siti Fatimah’s right to embrace Islam and likewise, it is also her right to return to her original faith. This is a matter for her to decide and no one else,” MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting said in a statement. Read More

Aljazeera, 5 May 2008
Anger at Malaysia women travel curb

Women's groups have condemned the plan as "patronising" and out of step with the times [EPA]

Women's groups in Malaysia have reacted with outrage over a senior official's proposal to require women travelling overseas alone to carry written consent for their journeys from their families or employers.

The proposal, put forward by Malaysia's foreign minister, Rais Yatim, was condemned by one group as "condescending" and a step backwards.

Raid mooted the plan as a way of responding to a string of drug trafficking cases involving Malaysian women who were travelling alone.

The women are believed to have been targetted by international syndicates for use as so-called "drug mules". government officials say.
Read More

The Star, 5 May 2008
Travel consent plan slammed

PETALING JAYA: The proposal by the Foreign Ministry for women planning to travel overseas alone to get the consent of their family is an infringement of women’s rights, Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen said.

The Women, Family and Community Development Minister said the proposal was not the right thing to do.

“The ministry does not agree to this. I understand that Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim meant well and wanted only to protect Malaysian women in light of the sudden rise of women used as drug mules by international syndicates,” Dr Ng said.

“But I do not agree to this,” she said. Read More

Reuters, 4 May 2008
Malaysia angers women with travel-restriction idea

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysian women's groups reacted with outrage on Sunday to a government proposal to impose restrictions on women planning to travel overseas on their own.

The mainly Muslim country is considering requiring women to obtain the written consent of their families or employers before being allowed to travel alone outside the country, state news agency Bernama said on Saturday, quoting the foreign minister.

"It is totally ridiculous and it's a totally regressive proposal with regards to women's right to movement," said Norhayati Kaprawi, spokeswoman for Sisters in Islam. Read More

New Straits Times , 4 May 2008
Women's groups express outrage

National Council for Women’s Organisations deputy president Faridah Khalid (left) and Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen

KUALA LUMPUR: Regressive. Unfair. Biased.

These were some of the words used to describe the proposal by the Foreign Ministry that women leaving the country alone be required to have declarations from parents or employers stating the reason for their travels.

Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said yesterday he had submitted a proposal to the cabinet.

The proposal drew flak from non-governmental and women's organisations, with their representatives making clear their outrage.

National Council for Women's Organisations Malaysia (NCWO) deputy president Faridah Khalid called the proposal "backward and unfair". Read More

The Star, 1 May 2008
Gender equality group presents MPs with kits

THE Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) presented folder kits to the 222 MPs, asking them to look into the urgent reforms which needed to be addressed relating to gender equality.

Themed "Kotakan Kata", meaning "keep to your promises", the folder contained a ruler, where JAG would be measuring the performances of the MPs, especially those who had made sexist remarks in the Dewan Rakyat previously.

Spokesman Maria Chin Abdullah, the senior programme manager from Sisters in Islam, told pressmen at Parliament lobby yesterday that they wanted to ensure that the MPs don't make empty promises. Read More, 30 April 2008
Dilemma of an ISA detainee's wife

At another press conference in Parliament House, the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) reminded MPs to re-activate the parliamentary gender caucus to curb gender discrimination and inequality.

They carried placards with the slogan Kotakan Kata (Keep your word) to remind MPs to fulfill pledges made during the general election campaign in relation to women's rights. Read More

27 April 2008
Evolve or perish

This is the last chance for this government to get it right or else the usual 10-year electoral cycle of ‘rise and fall’ in the performance of the ruling party will be broken. It will be the fall and fall.

JUST Do It. This should have been the motto in 2004 when the Prime Minister received an overwhelming mandate for his change agenda.

But it took the verdict of March 8 to finally move Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to take substantive steps to deal with the long-standing demands from civil society and the opposition parties to redress past wrongs and strengthen Malaysia’s democratic structures and values.
First, his announcement to set up a Judicial Appointments Commission on April 17. Read More

The Sun, 4 April 2008
Morality policing by authorities the wrong way to go

WE refer to the report "Proposal to punish non-Muslims for khalwat" in a local English daily on April 2.

Sisters in Islam (SIS) wishes to reiterate our strong objection to the current practice of moral policing by the state. It contravenes the Quranic injunction laid out in various verses such as "do not pry into others’ secrets" (Surah Al-Hujurat 49:12) and "Do not enter other houses except yours without first asking permission and saluting the inmates. If you are asked to go away, turn back. That is proper for you" (Surah An-Nur 24:27, 28). Read More, 4 April 2008
Extension to non-Muslims of contested khalwat law

Full Statement: Sisters in Islam wishes to reiterate our strong objection to the current practice of moral policing by the state.

It contravenes the Qur'anic injunction laid out in various verses such as "do not pry into others' secrets" (Surah Al-Hujurat 49:12) and "Do not enter other houses except yours without first asking permission and saluting the inmates. If you are asked to go away, turn back. That is proper for you" (Surah An-Nur 24:27, 28).

The practice of barging into people's houses and bedrooms in particular, clearly violates an individual's right to privacy and human dignity protected by the Qur'an. Read More, 4 April 2008
Ikim: No such khalwat proposal

Institute of Islamic Understanding (Ikim) said that Tuesday's report in the Star headlined "Proposal to prosecute non-muslims for khalwat" as entirely erroneous.

According to an Ikim statement dated April 3, the seminar it organised in collaboration with the Syariah Judiciary Department was intended to review existing syariah laws and to propose solutions to problems pertaining the syariah system in Malaysia.

Ikim said the news report was not right as no proposal to prosecute non-muslims for khalwat, be it under the syariah or civil court, was ever made. Read More


Joint Press Statement by Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG)

JAG accelerates campaign against Sexist MPs
2 March 2008

JAG is dismayed that 11 sexists MPs have been re-nominated by political parties to stand in this 12th general election. Three Members of Parliament, Datuk Mohamad Said Yusuf of Jasin was dropped and Raja Dato' Ahmad Zainuddin and Dato' Haji Muhamad are not contesting.

ISA a disgrace to Islam Hadhari and mockery to democracy
13 December 2007

Sisters in Islam strongly urges the Malaysian government to review its decision to use the ISA against five Hindu Rights Action Force leaders. We call for their immediate release.

As a member of the Gabungan Mansuhkan ISA (Abolish ISA Movement), SIS also urges the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia, SUHAKAM to work for the release of the ISA detainees and ensure that they are able to exercise their fundamental rights to a fair and open trial in accordance with the rule of law.

Challenging Obstacles, Demanding Implementation:
‘No’ To Sexist MPs, ‘Yes’ To More Women Candidates!
8 December 2007

The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) has been monitoring the debates of the Members of Parliament (MPs) for the past few years. We are disturbed that some of the MPs continue to make remarks which discriminate against women, and are sexist. The MPs who make such remarks show that they have a poor grasp of gender issues.

Sexist remarks are not jokes. They are offensive and distasteful. They also demean and devalue women because they insult women and their bodies. Women are viewed as sexual objects. Furthermore, sexist MPs stereotype women as emotional and childish, whose respectability is dependant on their marital status.

Bapa fasiq tidak layak menjadi wali, 28 March 2008 - Saya ingin bernikah tidak lama lagi. Saya tahu saya perlu diwalikan nanti, tetapi bapa saya bukanlah orang yang layak mewalikan saya. Setelah dia bernikah lagi lima belas tahun yang lepas, dia telah melupakan kami sekeluarga. Bertanya khabar pun tidak pernah, inikan pula nak beri duit kepada kami anak beranak. Read More
(NEW-ENGLISH TRANSLATION) Husband not being fair after polygamy, 11th February 2005
(NEW-ENGLISH TRANSLATION) Jointly-Owned Matrimonial Property Deducted Before Estate Divided Via Faraid?, 18th November 2005
(NEW-ENGLISH TRANSLATION) Protecting Married Women’s Rights with Ta’liq, 21st April 2006
(NEW-ENGLISH TRANSLATION) Husband denies having pronounced three talaqs, 10th June 2005
(NEW-ENGLISH TRANSLATION) Was there resumption of conjugal relationship (ruju’)?, 3 August 2007
(NEW-ENGLISH TRANSLATION) Ex-Husband neglected to pay child maintenance for five years 17th June 2005


Appeal for the uplifting of punishment against the rape victim known as
'the woman from Qatif', 26 November 2007

As a Muslim women's group that believes in Islam's commitment to justice and equality, Sisters in Islam is alarmed at the recent inhumane sentence of 200 lashes and 6 months in prison meted out to a gang-rape survivor known as "The Girl from al-Qatif". 

Islam is a religion of mercy and compassion that respects women and upholds the principles of justice and equality. We believe that your government, being respected the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, has a great responsibility in translating these values and principles in real life situations such as this.


The Concluding Comments from the Committee for the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

On 24th May 2006, the Committee for the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee) reviewed the Government of Malaysia’s first and second report on the implementation of the CEDAW Convention at the 35th CEDAW Session in New York. Prior to the session, the Malaysian NGO Shadow Report, prepared by 28 organisations, was submitted to the CEDAW Committee as a critique to the Government Report, and it had also identified critical issues that continue to affect women in Malaysia, along with specific recommendations...


Sample of additional Ta'liq letter - Also available in ENGLISH (New)

Know Your Rights Brochure (New)
Unveiling the Ideal: A New Look at Early Muslim Women
by Shayan Afzal Khan











































































































Copyright 2008 - SIS Forum Malaysia, No 7, Jalan 6/10, 46000 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia