Indira Gandhi nominated for women of courage award in US

M. Indira Gandhi together with lawyer after hearing submissions, the Court of Appeal will rule whether the conversion certificates of three minors who were made Muslims unilaterally by one parent can be challenged in a civil court at Court of Appeal , Putrajaya. Ashraf Shamsul/THE SUN

PETALING JAYA: M. Indira Gandhi will be honoured at a reception by the US Embassy for being nominated as Malaysia’s candidate for the US Department of State’s International Women of Courage award.

Indira gained fame for fighting all the way to the Federal Court to have her children’s unilateral conversion set aside.

US ambassador to Malaysia Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir will be holding a reception in Indira’s honour today.

The reception is also being held in conjunction with International Women’s Day 2018 and Women’s History Month, which is celebrated in the US in March.

The award was established in 2007 by the then-US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and each US embassy has the right to recommend one woman as a candidate
The International Women of Courage Award is presented annually by the US Department of State to women around the world who have shown leadership, courage, resourcefulness, and willingness to sacrifice for others, especially in promoting women’s rights.

In January, the Federal Court set aside the unilateral conversion of Indira’s three children to Islam after ruling that any conversion of non-Muslim children must get the consent of both parents.

The Federal Court in this landmark ruling also decreed that only the civil court would decide on such matters.

It also ruled that the word “parent” in Article 12(4) of the Federal Constitution should be read as “parents”.

That article says that the religion of a person under the age of 18 shall be decided by his parent or guardian.

The court’s ruling put an end to the interfaith custody battle that followed after Indira’s ex-husband Muhammad Riduan Abdullah converted their three children without her knowledge in 2009.

Source: The Sun Daily (27th March 2018)

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