Malaysian housewife handed jail term for insulting Islam

Tham Yut Mooi, from Malaysia’s ethnic Chinese minority has been jailed for six months for mocking Islam near a mosque
Updated 15 December 2017
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Malaysian housewife handed jail term for insulting Islam

KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian woman was given a six-month jail term Friday for making offensive remarks about the Prophet Muhammad in a mosque, state media said, a fresh sign of growing tensions in the multi-ethnic country.
Tham Yut Mooi, from the country’s ethnic Chinese minority, was found guilty of three counts of insulting the prophet at the mosque in northern Perak state in May last year, the state-run Bernama news agency said.
The 46-year-old housewife was also fined 15,000 ringgit ($3,700) at a magistrate’s court in the city of Ipoh.
However the mother-of-two will not begin serving her jail term immediately as she is appealing the conviction.
The case highlighted the long-simmering tensions between the Muslim Malay majority and the country’s ethnic and religious minorities.
Malays make up about 60 percent of Malaysia’s 32 million inhabitants, and the country is also home to substantial ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities.
Critics say the government has exacerbated religious and ethnic divisions by pandering to Muslim hard-liners and cracking down on anything deemed un-Islamic in a bid to maintain support in the Malay heartlands.


European court to hear case on stopping Brexit

Updated 13 min 6 sec ago
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European court to hear case on stopping Brexit

LONDON: The European Court of Justice will at the end of this month begin hearing a legal challenge brought by anti-Brexit campaigners to force the government to spell out how Britain could revoke its notice to leave the EU.
The hearing comes after the British government was refused permission Tuesday to appeal to the UK Supreme Court over the case, amid growing calls for Prime Minister Theresa May to hold a second referendum on Brexit.
"The best, the really compelling, the objective evidence that all options are still on the table is the desperation with which the government acted to try and block MPs from seeing the clear path to remain," said Jolyon Maugham, a lawyer who has spearheaded the legal challenge.
The Supreme Court rejected a bid from the government for permission to appeal against a lower court ruling asking the European Court to spell out "whether, when and how" Britain can unilaterally revoke its notice to leave the EU, which would see the UK pull out on March 29.
Labour, Scottish nationalist and Green members of the British, Scottish and European parliaments brought the case through the highest civil court in Scotland.
The Court of Session in Edinburgh ruled in September to refer the question to the Court of Justice of the EU.
A hearing at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) is set for November 27.
The British government applied to the Court of Session for permission to appeal against the ruling to the higher UK-wide Supreme Court, but the application was rejected.
The government then applied directly to the Supreme Court itself for permission to appeal.
But in refusing that permission on Tuesday, the Supreme Court said the Court of Session's ruling was "preliminary" and the Scottish court would still have to reach a judgement of its own after receiving the CJEU's guidance.
Britain invoked Article 50, its two-year notice of intention to withdraw from the EU, in March 2017.