Sharifah Amani and Yasmin Ahmad... they already pissed off the Malay and Muslim chauvinists for the films Sepet and Gubra.
The former for potraying an 'unlikely' story where a nice Malay Muslim girl falls for a Chinese vcd peddlar, and the latter for an even 'more unlikely' storyline where nice Malay Muslim women engage in the world's oldest profession ie. prostitution.
Now for Muallaf, the duo's latest cinematic collaboration where yet another Malay girl gets involved with a Chinese boy (in the movie, Amani plays runaway youngster Rohani who is befriended by a schoolteacher named Brian, played by newcomer Brian Yap)... - Sharifah Amani has gone and shaved her head bald.
She actually looks ok... and with that expression on her face, like a slightly stoned Sinead O'Connor.
But the lack of hair has drawn fire from Malaysia's Little Ayatollahs (the state muftis or religious clerics, who are the theocratic counterparts to the Little Napoleons in the nation's bureaucracy), as reported by NST and Malaysiakini.
Selangor Mufti Datuk Mohd Tamyis Abdul Majid said:To be honest, I had no idea that bald women were haram and forbidden in Islam. I knew women had to cover their hair (tutup aurat) but equating going bald with sacrificing one's religion? Oh please lah, can you be any more melodramatic? As some bloggers have asked... exactly which sentence in the holy book prohibits female baldness? You Little Ayatollahs are making this shit up as you go along, aren't you?
"Unlike Muslim men, going bald for (Muslim) women is forbidden in Islam. It is also sinful for men to act or behave like a woman and vice-versa."
Perak Mufti Datuk Seri Harussani Idris said:
"As Muslims, we should not sacrifice our religion for the sake of wanting to be popular. I have been observing that nowadays, our artistes are becoming too open and daring, either in their actions or attire."
And again, the religious establishment's infatuation with form over substance is deplorable. One woman shaves her head, and two muftis immediately call for press conferences. But when it comes to real issues like crime, corruption, money politics and young unemployed sons-in-law of Prime Ministers owning 3 luxury cars with personalised number plates (KJ10Q) and RM5,100 in unpaid fines (ref Malaysiakini) - there's not even a peep nor whimper from any of you muftis (khaaakk... phtooooi!). So, looking at which issues you guys are allocating your efforts to... are you trying to say that losing one's hair is a bigger sin compared to losing one's morality?
It is also worthwhile to note that the foreign press have started referring to Malaysia as "the conservative Muslim country". No good can come from this.
But muftis in the conservative Muslim country have called on authorities to issue guidelines to prevent Malay Muslim artistes, especially actresses, from extreme behavior or dressing, theNew Straits Times reported (AFP).