Harapan's hijab mendacity - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, April 22, 2019
Dehijabbing, is there even a word?
Malaysiakini : “I am thankful to all the state assemblypersons who wore the headscarf in support of the solidarity campaign.”- Sungai Kandis assemblyperson Zawawi Ahmad Mughni
COMMENT | The quote above refers to an event where non-Muslim reps donned the headscarf in a show of solidarity with their Muslim counterparts after the New Zealand mosque massacre. Sungai
Kandis assemblyperson Zawawi Ahmad Mughni also said this about his
“solidarity moment”: “It is also an effort to show all Malaysians that
we must be united in rejecting all forms of extremism and radicalism as
these breed violence and destruction."
Think back before the
historic election last year, where non-Muslim candidates were donning
headscarves and mixing with Muslims in mosques in urban centres to demonstrate that non-Muslims and Muslims were working together to
overthrow the regime of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak.
At the time the de facto Islamic
affairs minister was the darling of the opposition movement. A Muslim
politician who was the go-to guy whenever an Islamic controversy cropped
up that needed some Muslim cover. Hannah Yeoh’s biography causing a stir in the Malay far right? No problem. The affable Mujahid Yusof Rawa to the rescue to pose with the book, and reassure Malays they would still be Muslims if they read the book. “Anyone
can write, based on any theme they choose. Yeoh brought the theme of
God and talked about how God had helped her and so forth.“ “People of all faiths can have a similar experience based on their different beliefs and interpretations of God.”
Of course, all this is a far cry from what Mujahid has been
propagating once he become the religious czar of the Pakatan Harapan
regime. Of Putrajaya’s introduction of a
syariah-compliant dress code, he said: “There are many cases of Muslim
women being discriminated against. "We hear comments
from stewardesses and hoteliers who are not supposed to wear certain
clothing that they wish, just because it is against the company’s code
of conduct. “I am not taking sides, but as the government, I have to also hear out and be fair to people who are being discriminated against in such forms.”
it strange? Mujahid goes on about protecting the rights of women being discriminated against for wearing the hijab, but he has no problem
backing initiatives which are discriminatory towards marginalised
groups, in the name of protecting the sanctity of Islam. He went after a woman’s march because he claimed the LGBT movement “hijacked” the event, for instance. Now, he is deeply disturbed by the 'Malay Women and De-Hijabbing' forum and the launch of a book by activist Maryam Lee (below).
The go-to guy for Islamic moderation is worried about a forum where
Muslim women discuss the dress code of their religion? What happened to
all that compassion and understanding he and his non-Muslim supporters
were propagating? When Mujahid was pushing the syariah-compliant
dress code he said, “We are not being controlling. If a woman refuses to
follow the guideline, fine, it is their choice, but at least the
guideline is in place,” which basically means he understands that
wearing a hijab is a choice.
Why then is he endorsing a state
religious body for investigating a forum where women discuss their
choice of not wearing the hijab? Mujahid also said this about
the dress code: “Maybe the word ‘syariah-compliant’ sent shivers down
the spines of some people. but let’s just say it is a dress code that is
culturally and ethically right.” What nonsense is this? First,
the minister says women have a choice, but then he babbles that
syariah-compliant really means culturally and ethically right. So what
does this say about Malay/Muslim women who choose not to wear hijab? Are
these women not culturally or ethically right?
The always reliable Latheefa Koya (above), in defence of free speech and well, rational thought, said this: “There is no compulsion in religion. Where is this principle? “Just
because a person does not wear the veil, does that mean she will go to
hell? Will she become an apostate? Will she become a promiscuous woman?
Come on lah... this is an extremist view.”
Is this the kind
of “extremism” Zawawi was talking about when non-Muslim reps donned a
headscarf in support of Muslims in this country? Where are all these
non-Muslim reps now, when the Harapan state is going after women for
discussing their choice of not wearing a hijab?
Where are these
reps who had no problem 'hijab-ing' when it suited their political
purposes, but remained quiet when the state attempts to clamp down on
narratives of women who choose not to wear a hijab, much like the
freedom non-Muslim women have when it comes to their religious beliefs? Or do these non-Muslim politicians think that wearing a hijab is culturally and ethically right, too?
response to this harassment highlights the discourse which is very
important for this supposedly moderate Muslim country which Mujahid is
the spokesperson for: “It is a discussion which is important, as
around the world we continue to see instances of the coercion of women
in wearing the hijab (for example, in Iran), but also in taking it off
(for example, in France). There is a need to discuss and analyse the
roots of such coercion and insistence on controlling what women can or
Mujahid is gung-ho about protecting the rights of
women who are discriminated against for wearing the hijab, but why isn't
he similarly gung-ho about protecting the rights of women who choose
not to wear the hijab? Why is the Harapan state attempting to
clamp down on this discourse, when before the election they were
projecting themselves as the moderate alternative to the far right Najib
Mujahid can read a book by Yeoh and not lose his
religious beliefs, but he is worried that Muslims who read Lee’s book
will suddenly lose what is culturally and ethically right. Does this
make sense to anyone?
The mendacity of the Harapan regime is
contributing to the existential threat this country is facing, which is