Skip to comments.Malaysian City Imposes Islamic Dress Code On Women
Posted on 01/10/2004 3:52:45 PM PST by Pikamax
Malaysian City Imposes Islamic Dress Code On Women
Malaysian women in Islamic dress
By Kazi Mahmood, IOL Southeast Asia Correspondent
KUALA LUMPUR, January 10 (IslamOnline.net) - The Malaysian city of Kuala Terengganu, in the northern state of Terengganu where the Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS) is in power, has imposed its own dress code for non-Muslim women working in the private sector, creating havoc in some quarters of the largely Muslim country.
On Saturday, January 10, the PAS defended the Terengganu governments imposition of a dress code for women workers, saying that provocative dressing by women has a very close link to murders, rapes, molest and sexual abuses.
PAS Youth chief Salahuddin Ayub also blamed Jews for pioneering a provocative, seductive and branded dressing culture which prioritized the ego of the dresser.
In a statement to the press, received by IOL, Salahuddin said that the governments protest over the ruling showed that they were anti-Islam and that United Malays National Organization (UMNO) was a proxy of the Jews.
The question of violating basic human rights does not arise when enforcing the compulsory rule of covering the aurat (parts of the body that should not be exposed according to Islamic belief), he said.
Salahuddin added that it was not a matter of rights but of responsibility to adhere to rules set by Allah.
The dress code, which bans anything that is considered moderately revealing clothing to sexy attires in public and private departments, is said to be unprecedented in Malaysia.
Some observers say this is a direct imposition of the PASs values on the personal lives of the people in Terengganu, adding that it is a taste of what is to come if the Islamic party comes to power in Malaysia.
It is clear to me that the PAS will not respect non-Muslim rights, if they take power in this country. People like their freedom to dress up the way they want and preventing women from wearing a type of attire will not prevent rape or illicit sex, said Vicky Ranjit, a Malaysian of Indian descent who lives in Ampang.
She also said that it was crucial for the PAS to explain the reasons behind imposing such rules on women, since in Malaysia non-Muslims and Muslims alike have been used to their total freedom of choice on dresses.
Vicky explained that it was never a problem for Malay women in some states to wear skirts and not to adorn the scarf. Why now that is a problem? I cant understand that, she said.
The rulings are opposed by both government and opposition parties, some of which openly protested to the PAS, which has remained adamant on the issue altogether.
"Surely, the matter involves impinging on the rights of non-Muslim women guaranteed under the Federal Constitution. It was the State Legal Advisor who should be consulted," Karpal Singh, an opposition leader and a die hard anti-Islamic law in Malaysia has said Tuesday, January 6.
However, supporters of the PAS say the party is serious on the issue and that it is good to at least prevent harmful things to happen to women.
The government here is serious on Islamic dress code and the conduct of the people in the society, be they Muslims or non-Muslims, though many do not approve of such a code, Sharifah, a government servant interviewed by IOL Friday said.
The PAS has been trying to convince the country's non-Muslims that it will respect their way of life in those areas where it holds power, yet the dress code ruling and its banishment of entertainment centers and alcohol sale in some areas have caused fears among some non-Muslims.
From now on in Kuala Terengganu, non-Muslims will be banned from wearing short sleeved blouses, tight jeans, skirts with slits, or skirts cut above the knee.
Muslim women will have to wear a headscarf drawn tightly about the face, according to the BBC online news which added that the traditional loosely draped Malay headscarf will be banned and the rules will apply to all work places.
PAS has proposed that Islamic hudud laws (Islamic penal code) be imposed only on Muslims in states where they are in a large majority whereas in states where non-Muslims are majority, the hudud will not be imposed.
The state government in Terengganu headed by Abdul Hadi Awang, considered a strong man in the PAS, has decided to close down karaoke lounges and snooker halls and to bar Muslims from all premises where liquor is sold.
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