Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fatwa against Transvestites

Recently, leaders of Islamic Boarding Schools (Pondok Pesantren) across the Island of Java gathered in Kediri, East Java, and issued a Fatwa (Edict) banning Transvestites (Male wearing Female's dress) from Cutting and Styling Muslim woman's hair.

According to The Jakarta Globe, the Fatwa cited that Transvestites were Males, therefore forbidden for them to see and touch a woman who was neither their spouse nor relative.
One of the instigators of the Fatwa said that the hair is part of a woman's Aurat (part of body that must not be shown according to Islamic Law).

However, the Fatwa was questioned by a leader of the largest Muslim organization in Indonesia, i.e. Nahdatul Ulama, who said although Islam does not allow a man to touch a woman who is not his spouse or relative because it might cause temptation, but in this case it is different because the Transvestites are merely working.

Considering that most Transvestites make money by Cutting and Styling hair, many people feared that if they are not allowed, many of them might become prostitutes or criminals.

Although a Fatwa is not part of the Indonesian national legal system, thus cannot be legally enforceable, however considering that it was issued by leaders of Islamic Boarding schools respected by their followers, it would then be obeyed as a religious obligation.

Due to the above, I hope that the Department of Religious Affairs together with two of the largest Muslim organization i.e. Nahdatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah  would clarify this matter so as to avoid confusions.

10 comments:

umihoney said...

I agree that this matter need further deliberation. There's a need to take into account cases of "Khunsa". The ruling on aurat for muhrim and non muhrim is very clear regardless of whether the touching is done in the course of doing one's job.This applies even in the case of adopted children with their guardians. Wearing of gloves could be a way out for the hairdressers. But to justify a clearly forbidden act on economic and social issues is similar to saying a haram could be halal. The way is to find a solution based on the given situation.

colson said...

To avoid misunderstandings: I believe that, if people have an opinion they have the right to state it, however weird the opinion is.

One might say these men of the Islamic Boarding Schools drew the right conclusion in their own bizarre logic. Even if they would order women who (unwillingly) grow a little moustache on their upper lip, to shave it at first sight ( in order to prevent men to see female hair), it would fit their corrupted logic.

But I wonder: don't these guys have nothing better at hands than to bother people with this kind of petty nonsense?

H. Nizam said...

Hi Umi,
I always admire your smart comments.
The matter need careful deliberation,
but asking the Transvestites to wear gloves might be a good solution for this problem.

H. Nizam said...

Hi Colson,
The best thing about democracy is that people are free to say things, good or bad. But for public figures incl. leaders of religious schools, there should be some limits because their words would effect their followers and the society as a whole.
But every religion has its own fanaticism which would regarded as weird by other people.

pj said...

Rudy, Johnny amd Yopie must be shivering in their err boots.

I suppose they are welcome to make as many fatwas as they want. Luckily they carry no legal weight.

My only concern is that certain groups will use these fatwas to create mayhem in the country. If/when that happens will the drafters of these fatwas take legal responsibility for them?

Why the concern wih tranvestites - shouldn't all men working in salons fall under this fatwa?

H. Nizam said...

Hi PJ,
Every religion wants to make the world a better place to live, each with its own ways.

There is possibility that a fatwa can be used by certain groups to create mayhem, and I don't think that the drafters would take responsibility. That is why the Dept of Religion should be active in straightening things up.

Lolita Says.. said...

If the touching of the hair is merely to make a living - having nothing to do with lusts or temptations, the topic needs further deliberation as umihoney mentioned.

H. Nizam said...

Hi Lolita,
First of all I would like to thank you for following my blog/ I have also done the same to your blog.
Re: Transvestite
I agree with you and Umihoney that this matter need further deliberation

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H. Nizam said...

Sam,
Thanks a lot, I will visit your blog and follow.