In the above article, The Star reported that in a landmark ruling, the Court of Appeal lead by Justice Mohd Hishamudin Mohd Yunus ruled that punishing transgenders for cross-dressing contravenes freedom of expression.
I was really shocked to hear the news because the transgenders and two of the three judges are Muslims and Malaysia is an Islamic country.
As a Muslim, I am sad with the ruling:
Isn’t the freedom of expression for the Muslims must be in accordance with the rule of Islam? Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution says, “Islam is the religion of the Federation”; and since LGBT is against the teaching of Islam, it contravenes with Article 3(1). How could cross-dressing be part of freedom of expression for the Muslims when it is against their religion and also the religion of the of the Federation?
Muslims must understand that we must obey the rules of Islam and not total freedom in human rights that is against Islam. The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action says, “All human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent and interrelated… While the significance of national and regional particularities and various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds must be borne in mind, it is the duty of States, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems, to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms.” So I think that freedom of expression must be in accordance with a person’s “national and regional particularities and various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds”.
Comparing this case to Meor Atiqulrahman and others vs Fatimah Sihiand others, is cross-dressing that important in someone’s life that they have the rights to do that even though it is against the law?In Meor Atiqulrahman and others vs Fatimah Sihiand others; Meor Atiqulrahman, his brother and cousin wore ‘serban’ in school. Serban is not a part of the school’s uniform and the rule is to wear uniform to school. Their headmistress told them to wear songkok instead, but they did not listen. The headmistress told their parents to send them to another school and did not let them come the school again.
When it was brought to the court, Meor Atiqulrahman was not allowed to wear serban to school because although ‘serban’ is related to Islam, it is not a main part of the practice of Islam. And wearing ‘serban’ broke the school’s law.
Like wearing serban to Meor Atuqulrahman’s school, wearing other gender’s clothing is also against the law. So how can wearing other gender’s clothing be right when it is against the law and the rights of other people living in the same community? Imagine if a man in woman’s clothing enters a woman’s toilet because he dresses as a woman. Isn’t that contravenes the freedom of other women in the toilet? And what will happen in ‘surau’ and mosques? This matter is very serious because if this happens, it will involve the ‘aurat’ of others.
Malaysian government does not sign the SOGI Rights (Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity) and Malaysia does not legalise LGBTIQ (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Intersex Queer). SOGI Rights is a part of Liberalism and Liberalism is against the teaching of Islam.