29 October, 2010

'Sisters in Islam' to keep its name

The High Court today allowed an application by Sis Forum (Malaysia) to strike out an originating summons filed by Dewan Pemuda Masjid Malaysia (MAMY) to prohibit the organisation from using "Sisters in Islam" as the organisation's name and identity, Bernama reported.

Justice Zabariah Mohd Yusof made the decision in chambers in the presence of lawyers Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, who represented Sis Forum, and Mohd Ibrahim Mohd, who represented Dewan Pemuda Masjid Malaysia.

Malik Imtiaz told reporters later that Zabariah made the decision after hearing submissions from both parties.

The judge allowed the application on the grounds that the plaintiff, MAMY, had no locus standi, he added.

Meanwhile, Mohd Ibrahim said his client would appeal against the decision.

SIS issued a statement Friday has said: ""We believe the court’s decision today (Friday) clearly indicates that any dispute or differences of opinion should be addressed in a civil and rational dialogue, instead of through intimidation by resorting to police reports or filing suits."

On March 22 this year, MAMY filed an originating summons for a declaration that Sis Forum's legal name was not Sisters in Islam, it has breached the Company Act 1965 by "using an unregistered company name" and that the word "Islam" was controlled and limited by the Registrar of Companies.

MAMY sought an order prohibiting Sis Forum from using Sisters in Islam as its name and identity in any pamphlet, correspondence, publication and/or statement whether on the Internet or print or electronic media until it was legally allowed to do so.

The applicant also sought an order forcing the respondent to remove the name "Sisters in Islam" from the signboard on the respondent's website, printed materials and publications and prevent the respondent from distributing printed materials which used the name until the respondent was legally authorised to do so.

According to SIS, MAMY had also alleged that SIS made statements that contravened the basic teachings, principles and laws of Islam.

It further alleged that the use of “Sisters in Islam” had caused harm and confusion among Muslims in Malaysia and internationally, said SIS in a statement Friday.

Referring to MAMY allegations as "frivolous" and "scandalous", SIS said that MAMY did not have the requisite legal standing to seek such an order and it was an abuse of the court process.

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