A few days ago I wrote about the Malaysian appeals court ruling that ruled the ban on cross-dressing was unconstitutional and I said that this wasn’t going to sit well with the Muslim community. Malay Mail Online reported that,
NOVEMBER 11 ― Lawyers for Liberty views with extreme concern the escalating religious rhetoric against the transgender community’s landmark constitutional challenge of section 66 of the Negri Sembilan Shariah Criminal Enactment 1992 which criminalises men cross-dressing.Somehow I don’t see this as the end of the violence in Malaysia; I think the court’s ruling is going to stir up religious unrest.
Among the statements were: the transgender people were challenging God’s law (Mufti Perak); transgender movement has become a “cancer” (ABIM); calling for “jihad” (Dewan Ulama Pas) and defend Islam “by any method” (Minister Jamil Khir Baharom).
As respected religious authorities and organisations with wide reach and influence, it is shocking and irresponsible for them to respond in such an exaggerated and unrestrained manner to an emotive issue, all the more so since the target is among the most vulnerable communities in Malaysia.