Transgender ruling: Do not challenge Allah's teachings - Perak Mufti

Transgender ruling: Do not challenge Allah's teachings - Perak Mufti
Transgender activist Nisha Ayub (right) with a friend at the Court of Appeal, Putrajaya. - AFP Photo
IPOH: Perak Mufti Tan Sri Dr Harussani Zakaria described the landmark Court of Appeal ruling that transgenders will now no longer be punished for cross-dressing as going against Allah’s teachings.

Calling for the ruling to be overturned, Harussani said the appellate court had ‘legitimised’ a forbidden act which will inevitably lead to confusion among Muslims.

“It is the will and law of Islam. It is not in our culture to legitimise something at one's whim and fancy. It is forbidden for a man to dress as a woman.”

"I am very sad, these laws were enacted to protect Muslims from violating the Shariah law. But now it is viewed as being legal.

"This ruling will allow people, particularly Muslims to sin freely and violate the Shariah law without fear. Let’s not invoke catastrophe," said Harussani, when met at his office Friday.

He also advised Muslims to have a deep understanding of Islamic teachings to avoid them from going astray.

"I hope that people will seek to understand the requirements of the religion and learn about Allah and the laws.

"Yes, we are encouraged to be more liberal-minded but only in terms of development, not to the extent of challenging Allah and the law."

A three-man panel led by Justice Mohd Hishamudin Mohd Yunus and Justices Aziah Ali and Lim Yee Lan, ruled that Section 66 of the Syariah Criminal (Negeri Sembilan) Enactment 1992 violated Articles 5, 8, 9 and 10 of the Federal Constitution, the media reported.

Report also stated that the case could be set as a precedent for other states in the country. Previously, it was an offence for Muslim males to dress and behave as women.

Articles 5(1), 8(1), 8(2), 9(2) and 10(1) of the Federal Constitution, meanwhile, ensured fundamental liberties.

The ruling comes on the heels of an appeal sought by three Muslim transgenders to have Section 66 of the Syariah Criminal (Negeri Sembilan) Enactment Act 1992 declared unconstitutional.

They claimed that the provision violated their constitutional right of freedom of expression, movement and their right to live in dignity.