ST: Islamic clerics issue fatwa on tomboys (Oct 25)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Oct 25, 2008
Islamic clerics issue fatwa on tomboys
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's main body of Islamic clerics has issued an
edict banning tomboys in the Muslim-majority country, ruling that
girls who act like boys violate the tenets of Islam, an official said

At a meeting on Thursday in northern Malaysia, the National Fatwa
Council forbade girls to behave or dress like boys, said Perak mufti
Harussani Idris Zakaria.

He said the council's ruling was not legally binding because it has
not been passed into law, but that tomboys should be banned because
their actions are immoral.

'It doesn't matter if it's a law or not. When it's wrong, it's wrong.
It is a sin,' he said. 'Tomboy (behaviour) is forbidden in Islam.'

Under the edict, girls are forbidden to sport short hair and dress,
walk and act like boys, he said. Boys should also not act like girls,
he said.

'They must respect God. God created them as boys, they must behave
like boys. God created them as girls, they must act like girls,' he said.

Council chairman Abdul Shukor Husin said the ruling was prompted by
recent cases of young women behaving like men and indulging in
homosexual behaviour, according to the national news agency Bernama.
He did not elaborate.

A well-known Malaysian Muslim actress caused an uproar last year when
she shaved her head bald for a film called Muallaf (The Convert).

Mr Harussani and other muftis urged Muslims not to watch the movie,
saying that the actress had violated Islam by making herself look like
a man.

It was not immediately clear what kind of punishment awaited those who
violate the tomboy edict, or fatwa.