Monday, March 05, 2018

Tudung - from modesty to morality

Malaysiakini - The tudung is not a gauge of morality by Mariam Mokhtar (extracts):

Neelofa, the young entrepreneur with a flair for capturing Malay women's imaginations, was crushed by the conservatives.

The Malaysian Syariah Lawyers Association president, Musa Awang, warned that Neelofa, the event organiser, and even the guests who attended the tudung and turban launch, could be charged with insulting Islam, and for bringing disrepute to a symbol of the religion.

Really? How?

KT note: They will harass, bully, persecute (not prosecute) her relentlessly as their ilk did to Nik Raina.

Perhaps, it was the gyrating tudung clad women that upset their conservative sensitivities. Nothing wrong with that, is there?

The women were not scantily clad, nor were they stripping to music. Many of my elderly aunts, in their kebaya, made deft moves doing the joget or the ronggeng, at Malay weddings. These were the days when the Malays were "allowed" to dance, and knew what it was like to have a bit of harmless fun.

which Malay dares dance the joget in public today?
(other than Ministers Nazri and KJ, wakakaka) 

If the tudung is a symbol of morality, how would you explain the behaviour of the tudung clad women who steal, abuse their own children, beat up their maids, steal other women's husbands, sell their bodies, and those who are violent, like Kiki, the steering lock road-rager (photo above), or the woman who threw shoes at some innocent person over a parking fracas, or the immigration officer who kicked some Bangladeshi workers as she was questioning them?

KT note: 

The tudung became the standard, almost compulsory headdress for Malay women, when the trend to make Malays more religious took off in the early 1980s.

Today, it is almost de rigueur, for the majority of female Malay civil servants who wish to progress in their careers. Even Malay companies, which undertake government contracts, will enforce a "must wear tudung" policy at work, in case a government officer should drop in, unannounced.

Last week, when the conservatives expressed their outrage, an unrepentant Neelofa said that it was difficult to please everyone.

As we know, tudung, together with halal food, goods and services, are a multi-billion ringgit global business.

Surprisingly, the day after her defiant stand, Neelofa buckled and apologised. Had they put pressure on her, by attacking her mother?
Did Neelofa backtrack because she feared that various pro-government bodies and companies would drop her wares? Was her apology based on financial considerations?

Yes, but I also suspect those threatening her probably wanted tudung as below, all black and completely unattractive:

from AboutIslam website

Let's look at the practice of another religion. The Christian Catholic Church considers the use of chapel veils by women when in church as visible acts of modesty and humility. A veil is not worn out of guilt, or as an act of subservience, or out of shame for feminine beauty, but rather as a sign of reverence and surrender to God’s will.

The veil is not about covering all head-hair to mask a woman's aurat.


  1. The issue is Neelofa wanting to launch her latest product i.e. tudung/turban at Zouk Club KL. The Mufti of Wilayah Persekutuan has already given his opinion on this issue. I am on the same page with the aforesaid Mufti, but not with Mariam Mokhtar.

  2. My granddaughter, who is Buddhist, was asked to cover her hair "for uniformity" because about 3/5 of the school performing group was made up of Malay girls who wore tudung.

    This definitely didn't happen 15 or 20 years ago; in those days there were even some Malay girls who didn't cover their head, it being understood that it was up to the decision of the parents. Now it is compulsory school uniform.

  3. Character and morals are a multi-faceted matter.

    Some people can love children, but then go out and carry out armed robbery and murder.
    Some men love pets , then go to the next meeting room to map out mass genocide....
    Some women dress very modestly, cover their head in tudung, then go defraud their clients.
    Its not uncommon for prostitutes to dress very conservatively when they are "off duty".

    There is are those who claim to support rule of law and democratic institutions, but daily sanitise a Kleptocrat.