According to The Star (24 October 2008), the National Fatwa Council has a fatwa issued against tomboyism -
KOTA BARU: The National Fatwa Council has ruled that tomboyism, where a girl behaves or dresses in a boyish manner, is forbidden in Islam.
Its chairman Datuk Dr Abdul Shukor Husin said the decision was prompted by recent developments as there had been cases of young women inclined to behave like men and indulging in homosexuality.
Parents must stop their children from indulging in disruptive activities that are against Islamic teachings, he told reporters here yesterday. - Bernama
According to The Associated Press:
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — 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 Friday.
The National Fatwa Council forbade the practice of girls behaving or dressing like boys during a meeting Thursday in northern Malaysia, said Harussani Idris Zakaria, the mufti of northern Perak state, who attended the gathering.
Harussani 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.”
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,” Harussani told The Associated Press. “Tomboy (behavior) is forbidden in Islam.”
Under the edict, girls are forbidden to sport short hair and dress, walk and act like boys, 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. 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 homosexuality, according to the national news agency Bernama. He did not elaborate.
Malaysian media have reported on recent incidents of school bullying among girls, which have been caught on film and circulated on the Internet. In one film, some girls are seen beating up another girl in a bathroom.
A well-known Malaysian Muslim actress caused an uproar last year when she shaved her head bald for a film. Harussani and other muftis urged Muslims not to watch the movie, arguing that the actress had violated Islam by making herself look like a man.
“Muallaf,” or “the convert,” is scheduled for release in Singapore next month, but no date has been set for its release in Malaysia.
Muslims make up some 60 percent of Malaysia’s 27 million people, and are subject to Islamic laws and the council’s edicts, even if the rulings have not been enshrined in national or Shariah law.
It was not immediately clear what kind of punishment awaited those who violate the tomboy edict, or “fatwa.” Malays generally follow the council’s “fatwas” out of deference, but violators rarely get into trouble unless the edict is incorporated into national or Shariah law.
From The Associated Press as well:
KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) — One of Malaysia’s highest Islamic bodies has banned females from dressing or behaving like men and engaging in lesbian sex, saying it was forbidden by the religion.
The National Fatwa Council late Thursday issued its ruling following a two-day meeting that discussed recent cases of young women apparently behaving like men and exhibiting homosexual tendencies, state news agency Bernama reported.
Council chairman Abdul Shukor Husin told Bernama many young women admired the way men dress, behave and socialise, violating human nature and denying their femininity.
“It is unacceptable to see women who love the male lifestyle including dressing in the clothes men wear,” Abdul Shukor was quoted as saying.
“(Masculine behaviour) becomes clearer when they start to have sex with someone of the same gender, that is woman and woman,” he said.
“In view of this, the National Fatwa Council which met today have decided and taken the stand that such acts are forbidden and banned,” he said.
Male homosexuality, considered against the order of nature, is illegal in Malaysia but lawyers say female homosexuality is technically permissible as there are no provisions for it under the law.
The Fatwa Council does not have jurisdiction in civil law, but the ruling appears to be an attempt to push female homosexuality towards illegality.
Islam is the official religion of Malaysia, where more than 60 percent of its 27 million people are Muslim Malays who practice a conservative brand of the religion.
A fatwa is religious opinion on Islamic Law issued by a recognised Islamic scholar/organization, in line with relevant legal proofs and based on interpretations of Quranic verses and hadiths. For more information on how fatwas are processed by the National Fatwa Council in Malaysia, please see the e-Fatwa portal.
Tilted World says: We believe that no one, not even the state or any religious institution, has the right to decide how an individual should manage his/her own body and persona, or regulate mutually consensual acts, as long as it does not interfere with the well-being of others. We strongly disagree with the National Fatwa Council’s action to decree an edict to regulate the dressing/mannerisms of our women, and relationships between consenting adults.
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