Islamic authorities in Malaysia insist they were right in detaining a Muslim woman who was living with her Hindu husband as their marriage was illegal under the country's laws.
The officials of the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) raided the home of a truck driver Magendran Sababathy on April 28 and took away his wife Najeera Farvinli Mohamed Jalali, telling the couple that their marriage under Hindu rites was illegal since she was a Muslim.
"Certain media reports had made out the detention to be a case of Jais trying to break up families. That is not true at all. The woman was detained on suspicions of committing khalwat (close proximity) because she was with a man," said Jais director Datuk Mohd Khusrin Munawi.
Munawi said Jais did not use any coercion or was prejudiced in the matter. "We detained the woman based on complaints and also because she could not produce any relevant marriage documents when asked."
He also claimed that the woman had voluntarily asked authorities to place her in a rehabilitation centre meant for erring Muslims to 'strengthen their faith.'
"We can prove all our procedures were conducted according to the law and without any coercion involved," he said.