Thursday, July 12, 2007

M'sian muftis mum on crossdressing cleric. Pakistanis miss the point.

Do you remember the blogpost about a senior Red (Lal) Mosque cleric who cross-dressed as a woman to escape Pakistani govt soldiers? (Ref: Imam of Red Mosque becomes Priscilla, Queen of the Desert)

In that post, I had drawn a parallel between a bald Sharifah Amani (ref: Bald women turn off Little Ayatollahs) and the transvestite cleric. My contention was that since the Muftis of Perak and Selangor spoke so harshly against a woman who's merely shaved her head, they would have no choice but to adopt a similarly severe stance towards the crossdressing cleric (especially since he's a senior ulama and should know better).

Anyway, I haven't heard a peep out of either mufti with regards to the Queen of Lal Mosque (nor any of the more vocal religious activists, for that matter). And to me, their silence simply proves that the muftis either (A) conjured up the sin of female baldness, or are (B) simply picking the easy battles and averting their eyes from the rest.

Perhaps the latter would explain why religious authorities seem to favour vigorous action against defenceless girls like Sharifah Amani, the unnamed face-towel nude girl and nightclub singer Siti Noor Idayu... - instead of pursuing more formidable targets like Happy Balls Zakaria, Mohd 'Close-One-Eye' Said or even just the ubiquitous Mat Rempit.

In any case, the Islamist community in Pakistan did have an adverse reaction to this little episode in transvestism... (even if our muftis didn't). I'm not sure whether it's good news or bad, but apparently they are pissed off that he (the crossdressing cleric) chose to escape, rather than die in combat a martyr. The wardrobe malfunction was merely incidental.

Excerpt from Today newspaper: For the government, this military operation and the events that followed may have a happy tiding, as civil society opinion of radical Islamism seems to be changing rapidly since the Red Mosque imbroglio. The opinion change signals that civil society is becoming inclined towards a less extreme form of Islam — a stance that gels with Gen Musharraf’s “enlightened moderation”.

Without Abdul Aziz’s attempted escape fiasco, the government could have risked a severe backlash from radical Islamist outfits in Pakistan on the grounds that the pro-US Musharraf government was attacking Islam — the very basis for the existence of Pakistan.

But the fact that the Red Mosque leader tried to escape in such a fashion exposed the hollowness of tall claims of martyrdom-over-surrender made by radical groups. Since then, other Islamic groups have had little handle with which to thrash the government.

This military operation is not only likely to strengthen Gen Musharraf’s political future in Pakistan but also the position of the Pakistan army as the sole hope in containing radical Islamic elements.

1 comment:

smirks said...

Looks to me the muftis only like to target the fairer sex and make a living example out of them. I wonder if those muftis have daughters and if they do...(well you know what they say about being a preacher's daughter)Anyway having a daddy as a mufti or cleric means...its the end of your life as daughters.