From mockery to approval, social media users weigh in on Kelantan shorts ban

Looi Sue-Chern

Social media users have ridiculed Kelantan religious authorities for recommending counselling and imposing a fine on man who wore shorts to play futsal, but some are supporting it. – EPA pic, September 27, 2017.

THE Kelantan religious authorities’ move to recommend counselling and impose a fine against a Muslim man for wearing shorts in public triggered an onslaught of social media comments, ranging from ridicule to praise.

On Facebook, several people lamented that the incident was a sign that Malaysia was fast losing its multiracial identity, with some fearing that extremist Islamic laws will soon run the country.

John Brian Anthony hit out at certain groups trying to turn Malaysia into a “Taliban country”.

“Slowly, those educated in religious education in (the) Middle East is trying to turn Malaysia into (a) Taliban country.

“Sarawak’s key objection to the formation of Malaysia was exactly such (a) scenario. Don’t blame Sarawakians for being apprehensive of such actions by the PAS government,” he wrote on Facebook.

Another Facebook user, Veeran Ponnusamy, slammed the religious authorities for going overboard in “policing” the people.

“Another retarded so-called religious authorities. With this kind of people, definitely country is going to dogs.”

On Twitter, Raja רג׳ה‏ (@rajan_2009) called it “madness” while DAP’s Seputeh MP Teresa Kok labelled the incident “shocking”.

The incident also ignited a flurry of criticisms from Muslims, who said the actions of the religious officers painted a warped picture of Islam.

Zakuan Faiz on Facebook said that Islam was “simple” and that the clerics were the reason why followers of the faith were confused and lost.

“Islam is simple (but) they want to make it difficult. And then, they make strange laws,” he wrote.

Ezwan Roshaizad weighed in on the incident by commenting: “Kelantan… without stupid laws, it wouldn’t be Kelantan.”

Yesterday, The Star reported that Wan Khairul Hayyee Wali, 30, was served a notice on Monday by the Kelantan religious authorities for wearing shorts in public.

He was reportedly on his way to a futsal game when he stopped to buy food. He was then told he had flouted the state’s Shariah Criminal Enactment for exposing his knees.

He is to attend counselling next month, or face the shariah court and be fined RM1,000.

Khairul reportedly said he was not even aware that it was an offence to wear shorts, even when it is for sports.

On Facebook, user Jotashield Majestic suggested that the Kelantan footballers switch to robes for playing football.

Some also had some fun at the news, like Twitter user Burhan‏ (@thetypicalmalay) who joked: “I don’t think I can live in Kelantan. I only wear pants when I have to.”

But while many Muslims and non-Muslims expressed anger and concern at what they see as creeping Islamisation threatening a diverse and moderate Malaysia, some Muslims supported it.

On Facebook, Zack Saad said it was right for the authorities to take action.

“The question of ‘aurat’ has to be taken seriously because it was lead to ‘zina’ (adultery). Good job, Kelantan. I support. Other states can emulate Kelantan,” he commented.

Shukk Izzue congratulated the Kelantan government and said he hoped football players and all other Muslim athletes would also face action for wearing shorts for tournaments, matches and sporting events held in the state.

He said action should be taken against all sportsmen to prevent double standards, as obeying Islamic laws was an obligation regardless of one’s status.

Ally Frashidy said: “Over a case like this we are arguing. It is a given that we must cover our ‘aurat’. When action is taken, everyone makes noise.

“If you want to wear shorts or go nude, then please change your religion. Muslims go by the Muslim way,” he wrote on Facebook. – September 27, 2017.

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