Confusing Statements On Dress Code Disingenuos – Jaqueline Ann Surin

(I am rewriting this topic from her book, Shape of a Pocket) Theres are things against our principles in her writings and the best thing is that she is slamming our scholars as well as our law maker on headscarf issue. I can understand her as she is not a Muslim and was never taught of our Muslim principles, but it is rather a challange to our Muslim intellectuals to look into this issue closely rather than into hypocrisy.)

Even as the cabinet decided that no student of any faith be coerced to wear the headscarf or tudung. Higher EducationMinister Dato Dr Shafie Mohd Salleh was quoted as saying otherwise. The issue of an enforced dress code on female students at the Islamic University (IIU) received fresh attention last month when the Dewan Rakyat was told a Non Muslim law graduate could not receive her degree during IIU’s convocation ceremony because she was without a headscarf.

Parliament was told by no less than Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Maximus Ongkili that the government endorsed IIU’s dress code that Muslim and non-Muslim women must wear headscarf while on campus. The minister in charge of national unity was reported to have said IIU’s ruling was not a religious one, but merely an administrative matter. Meanwhile, Shafie has defended IIU’s position decpite a cabinet concensus about non-compulsion. All students, have said, must adhere to IIU’s dress code. Non Muslim woman did not have to don a full tudung but must still cover their head with a scarf as a sign of respect to Islam, he said.

To have one minister firstly describe IIU’s mandatory dress code as merely an administrative procedure and then have another assert that there is a difference between a full tudung and a scarf must either be disingenuous or short-sightedness on the minister’s part. In many conservative societies of any faith, woman’s dressing is often used as a way to not just define piety but also to exert control over woman’s bodies and movement. In nearly all cultures globally, from the Biblical Eve to Afghan woman livin under Taliban rule to those now working in Malaysian Parliament, woman’s bodis are often define as the seat of all temptation.

Even if this is not explicitly stated, the fact that there are men, including UMNO Member of Parliament (MP) Badruddin Amiruldin and PAS leaders, and within cabinet and the IIU administration, who insist on woman covering up underscores this fact. Notice how men are rarely, if ever, told how they should dress in order to maintain public order and morality? The argument that woman must cover up to prevent sinful male behaviour is not just illogical but an insult to most men who, because of their intellect and/ or faith, do not commit a sin or act criminally at the mere sight of a woman’s hair, face, arms or legs.

Remember when the Kelantan PAS government decided to impose a RM50 maximum fine on woman who didn’t wear the headscarf, and threatened to remove employer’s business licence if their female staff did not cover up? When woman are forced to wear a headscarf of any kind – or forced not to wear it for example, in state schools in France – it is really political in nature. When the ways in which woman’s bodies are viewed becomes codified in mandatory dress codes which woman have no say about, and when governments endorse this, the state is in fact saying that the woman need to be controlled.

Remember also how PAS denounced the Court of Appeal’s decision that upheld a ban on schoolboys wearing Muslim turbans in government schools? These examples show that dress codes are not mere administrative matters pertaining to uniforms. Instead, they are located within and fuelled by a particular religious and political context and often signify who is wielding power over whom and which religious reigns supreme over others. The truth is, who is to say that a mere ‘administrative matter’ about uniforms is not the slippery slope that leads to girls not being allowed to school and woman not being allowed out alone in the name of religion?

And lest non-Muslim think that only Muslims will be affected by Muslim laws and codes, the IIU example is another clear sign that non-Muslims may not be exempt in a country that may be multiracial, but in which one religion is deemed dominant. But this is not just about Muslims imposing a particular dress code on non-Muslim hemselves – especially woman – are being forced to adhere to a particular dress code despite the diverse views on what constitutes ‘awrah’ among both classical and contemporary jurists.

But there is a little room and less so intellectual integrity in Malaysia to openly discuss and fully understand these different views. And yet one particular brand of Islam is currently being used officially in universities and municipal councils and whoknows, perhaps soon in parliament, over other understandings and practices of the same faith, and worse, over other faiths. We can only hope that not just the cabinet but others in authority begin to seriously consider the implications of such a situation.

My comment:

  1. Jacqueline mempunyai hak untuk menulis berkenaan dengan kod pakaian di UIA berasaskan pada apa yang dilihat, dibaca dan difahaminya sahaja.
  2. Terdapat dua golongan yang mempunyai pendapat yang bertentangan dengan kod etika pakaian Muslim(terutamanya wanita), pertamanya yang berpendapat mesti memakai pakaian seperti yang dikehendaki Islam adalah kemestian atau wajib yakni tidak boleh tidak menurut. Keduanya, golongan yang mengatakan boleh tidak mengikut kod etika pakaian Muslim.
  3. Golongan pertama, adalah golongan Muslim yang mengetahui, mendalami dan melaksanakan 5 hukum utama dalam Islam iaitu, i) Wajib, ii) Haram, iii) Sunat, iv) Makruh dan v) Harus. Golongan ini mengikut garis panduan sebenar dalam Islam bukan kerana terpaksa, tetapi kerana pengabdian diri kepada arahan Tuhannya.
  4. Golongan kedua, merasakan bahawa dia berhak melakukan apa sahaja asalkan niatnya suci atau mungkin seperti Jacqueline, dia bukan beragama Islam dan tidak patut mengikut apa yang disuruh dalam Islam.
  5. Memakai pakaian seperti kod pakaian Muslim di UIA bagi orang Islam adalah wajib yakni mesti bahkan bukan sahaja di UIA tetapi di mana sahaja melainkan semasa wanita Muslim itu bersama keluarganya atau mahramnya (mahram = orang yang dilarang berkahwin). Manakala bagi orang bukan Muslim adalah disyaratkan untuk berpakaian sedemikian di UIA kerana itu adalah akademi intelektual Islam yang meletakkan Islam sebagai tujuan utama Universiti. Oleh yang demikian bagi yang bukan muslim, berpakaian secara yang dibenarkan dalam UIA adalah bersifat ‘administrative’.
  6. Bagi kod pakaian lelaki Muslim, memakai serban bukanlah kemestian atau wajib, tetapi ia adalah sunat(yakni mendapat ganjaran pahala). Memakai atau tidak memakai tidak mendatangkan apa-apa kesan buruk baik didunia atau diakhirat.
  7. Jacqueline sebagai bukan Muslim sebenarnya tidak memahami 3 syarat utama yang mesti bagi seseorang Islam menjadi Muslim. Syarat-syaratnya adalah memahami dan melaksanakan i) Tauhid, ii) Tasauf dan iii) Fekah.
  8. Tauhid = mengenal Allah sebagai Tuhan yang Esa (‘Esa’ maksudnya tidak berbilang-bilang. Bukan maknanya ‘satu’, sebab satu itu adalah bilangan). Mempercayai Tuhan, menurut apa yang disuruh dan meninggalkan apa yang dilarang.
  9. Tasauf = mengenal diri dan displin diri yang ditetapkan dalam Islam sebagai pengabdian dan pembersihan diri. Ini adalah lanjutan kepada kefahamannya dalam Tauhid. Antaranya termasuk, mengenal sifat-sifat kebaikan dan meninggalkan sifat-sifat berlawanan bagi sifat kebaikan seperti hendahlah SABAR jangan GOPOH, juga mesti bersifat TAWAKKAL, mesti bersifat ZUHUD, mesti bersifat AMANAH, dan banyak lagi.
  10. Fekah = gerak kerja fizikal atau tatacara berkenaan dengan bagaimana cara beribadat. Bagaimana hendak melakukan pengabdian. Ini semua terkandung dalam undang-undang dan amalan Muamalat, Munakahat dan Jinayat.
  11. Memang benar seperti yang dinyatakan oleh Jacqueline, adalah menjadi tanggungjawab semua pihak yang bertanggungjawab untuk memberi kefahaman kepada orang-orang bukan Islam berkenaan Islam dan lebih lagi memberi kefahaman kepada orang-orang Islam berkenaan dengan Islam. Tulisan Jacqueline menyelar secara pedas kepada intelek Melayu Islam untuk duduk semeja mencapai kata sepakat dari bertengkar dan berkelahi sesama sendiri sehinggakan orang-orang bukan Islam tidak memahami pucuk pangkal persoalan. Lebih karut lagi, orang-orang Islam sendiri semakin tidak faham dengan Islam akibat berantakan ilmuan Islam dizaman ini. Ilmuan Islam yang ada sekarang ini hanya tahu sejarah Nabi dan zaman selepas Nabi, tetapi tidak ingin mengambil tahu dan tidak mahu mempelajari pelbagai ilmu-ilmu lain. Akibatnya, mereka menjadi ‘bendul’.


4 Responses to Confusing Statements On Dress Code Disingenuos – Jaqueline Ann Surin

  1. adenna says:

    To me it’s simple,if u are not aware or not be given any black and white notes stated of these dress codes before u enter the university or within ur stay there,maybe there’s a chance for u to deny ur rights. But as far as i am concern,before any students register at the iium campus,u are given guided rules books and there are some contract that u need to sign to agree to be bound within their rules. If u are not applicable to do what it says so,just sign up at the U,dont pay full fees for ur stay there,just get ur student status active then apply to other U. If u agree to go there,that means u are ready or partialy agree to what ever condition thats gonna be done.In fact,iium is basically an islamic university so whatever it is,it’s mostly to uphold Islam. Not to deny the non-muslim rights,but the students are aware of it and they still want to proceed.Who is suppose to be blame here? The dress codes is stated all over the place and not to forget the U rule code.Iium is not bias to any religion,infact there are also moral classes for non muslim as well differ from muslim students who will take halakah or fardhu ain or tilawah.This issue is differ than the referendum to administration regarding on the disagreement on the new convocation robes and mortarboard that happend at iium recently.The new convocation dress is morely to give the students the same standards as the other U.Not that iium is a low standard or whatsoever,they want the same standard design with others,just for the sake of their students,even millions have been used up.Wallahualam..just a piece of my mind…if one agrees to be bound to the rule,cut the talk and just follow the flow.

  2. arjuna says:

    Adenna, thanks for your response. It seems that we are to follow suit wherever we are so long that we are bound to rules and regulations.

    There are many things that makes us wanting and hoping for but lay unresolved. Those guides and regulation are for us to heed. Stay in persistence!!

  3. adenna says:

    but sometimes rules are ment to be broken! ^___^

  4. arjuna says:

    Haha… memang selalu broken kita nihhh.. tengoklah bahasa nihh.. kan broken2..
    Kalau tak broken cemana nak ada rules kan.. tade kerja lah loyar2 tuhh

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