While we did not have a big crowd, but the quality of the speakers and interaction was superb. There was a sense that we just got started with more questions and angles to approach the subject matter. But I suppose that is what we could achieve with the time we had.
Masjaliza’s participation bringing in a particular Islamic faith perspective was very enlightening. After the forum, I overheard a little buzz on an alternative view on polygamy which I’d be interested to pursue further with Sisters in Islam on another day.
For now, I’d put up whatever video clips I managed to take to give a feel of the conversation we had on Saturday.
Alwyn Lau as usual is the first to get some thing out in the blogosphere with his post Shamed But Not Ashamed (Pt.1)
Below is some notes just to give a little bit more content from Masjaliza’s segment (with thanks to Jo-Ann Ding) . Once we get the audio ready, then those interested can get the full talk.
Islam respects personal dignity and personal privacy although this is not always the experience in Malaysia.
- He who conceals the nakedness of a Muslim, God will conceal his nakedness both in this world and hereafter.
- Hashim Kamali included in his book- if you try and expose the nakedness of the people, you are likely to promote corruption among them.
- Ch 24: 27-29- Enter not houses other than your own until you have asked for permission and saluted their inmates. If not, enter not until permission is given. If you are asked to go back, go back.
- Asking for permission to enter up to 3 times. If it is not granted to you, you must return.
- Greeting precedes conversation.
- Beware of suspicion for suspicion may be totally untrue and may be the worst form of lying. Do not spy on one another and do not expose one another’s hidden failings.
Support not barging into people’s houses and rooms.
Malaysia one of the few countries where morality is regulated by law.
In other countries, although sometimes there is Muslim majority, don’t always have a snoop squad having the power to barge into people’s homes. Laws codified which allow for these kinds of abuses and intrusion into the private lives of people.
1997- 3 young Muslim women were arrested. People sometimes don’t realise that it’s against the law- Syariah Criminal Offences Act – to take part in beauty pageants.
Policing of morality in Malaysia- application and substance discriminates against women.
Beauty pageants for women – women arrested but male body-building competitions- men are not arrested.
Need to understand that women are policed differently from men. How women should behave and dress very different from how men are to behave and carry themselves in public.
Catch-all phrase- ‘insult to Islam’- perform at pubs- bands with Muslims – men charged with drinking liquor in public, women charged with insult to Islam or dressing indecently.
JAIS officials arrest women- they were sued because woman asked to relieve herself and was photographed.
Club raids- Muslims one side, Non-Muslims on another side. Then men one side- test for drinking, women on another side- look at the way which they dress. Humiliation that takes place. Uses religion to back this.
Park byelaw- s.294 Penal Code- possibly cover indecency. Kissing couple in KLCC park. Various ways in which morality and decency can be policed.