Today Weekend: Malaysian clerics issue edict to ban tomboys (Oct 25)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

M'sian clerics issue edict to ban tomboys

Weekend • October 25, 2008

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
on Friday.

The National Fatwa Council forbade the practice of girls behaving or
dressing like boys during a meeting on Thursday in northern Malaysia,
said Mr Harussani Idris Zakaria, the mufti of northern Perak state,
who attended the gathering.

He said an increasing number of Malaysian girls behave like tomboys
and that some of them engage in homosexuality. Homosexuality is not
explicitly banned in Malaysia, but it is effectively illegal under a
law that prohibits sex acts "against the order of nature".

Mr Harussani 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,"Mr Harussani told AP. "Tomboy (behaviour) is forbidden in

Under the edict, or "fatwa", girls are forbidden to sport short hair
and dress, walk and act like boys, Mr Harussani said.

Boys should also not act like girls, he said. "They must respect God.
God created them as boys, they must behave like boys," he said.

Council chairman Abdul Shukor Husin said the ruling was prompted by
recent cases of young women behaving like men and indulging in
homosexuality, according to the Bernama news agency. AP