Malaysia: Marina to take legal action against Isma

PETALING JAYA: Sisters in Islam (SIS) board member Marina Mahathir will be sending a letter of demand to Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) soon to retract their accusations; but she was short of revealing when the letter will be sent.

“My lawyers will be sending out letter of demand first with time frame. If they don’t comply, then we go to the next step,” she said in an email correspondence.

When asked when the letter would be sent, the social activist said, “soon.”

Isma accused her of being the mastermind behind a coalition of local human rights organisations called Coalition of Malaysian NGOs (Comango) since she is SIS’ board member and SIS is part of Comango.

On Nov 8, Isma distributed 70,000 leaflets in mosques all over the country claiming that Comango was attempting to undermine Islam.

Isma said Comango did that by calling for the removal of Malay privileges, freedom to leave the Islamic faith, and championing rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

They named Bersih 2.0 co-chair S Ambiga and Marina as being part of Comango.

Last month, Comango submitted its report on the state of human rights during United Nations’ Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

Isma also attended the session along with government agencies and Muslim NGOs to defend the government’s stand on these issues.

Marina in return warned Isma to retract their accusations or face legal suit three days later.

Yesterday, Marina in an open letter reiterated that Isma was spreading lies about her.

“I was indeed well aware that SIS is a part of Comango and was certainly well aware of the report Comango was preparing for the UPR process.

“But I never attended any meetings nor was personally involved in the production of the report, which is only one of the 28 NGO reports on human rights in Malaysia,” she said.

She also said that she supported the report and dismissed Isma’s claim that Comango was destroying the image of Islam and Malaysia.

“I know the report, I support it not least because it is nothing that Isma says it is, as anyone who would care to read it on the Office of the Commission on Human Rights website would know.

“It is therefore disingenuous of Isma to claim that Comango is deliberately going overseas to destroy the image of Malaysia and of Islam.

“The world actually already knows what goes on in Malaysia via the internet,” she said.

Marina also added that Isma was wrong to assume that she was the mastermind and it had sinned based on Surah Al-Hujurat verse 12.

The verse states: O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful.