A heartbreaking video has emerged showing hundreds of transgender women running in terror with Malaysian Islamists giving chase. This happened at an upscale Hotel in Kuala Lumpur last weekend where the community was holding a dinner and fundraiser. One of the guests at the dinner, attorney Siti kassim, was detained and held illegally overnight by the Federal Territories Religious Department.
Ms. kassim can be seen asking in English (No You Listen to Me!) if they had a warrant and demanding that they leave when they couldn’t produce one. But they didn’t as they weren’t accompanied by police who normally follow them during ‘raids’ to ensure that they abide by the law of the land in spirit, if not deed.
The organizers were told that they broke Sharia law by holding a beauty pageant and would be charged with “encouraging vice”. They told her and organizer Ira Sophia and kassimto return May 5th when they may attempt to fine and imprison them.
The transgender community said it wasn’t a ‘pageant’ but was a “show”, but for crying out loud, why should that perceived or actual difference matter to anyone? But it does, apparently.
The Federal Territory Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) , the group who conducted the invasion, aren’t police or even an official department of Malvasia’s government. But due to the intense faithfulness of the country’s Muslim people, they’ve come to a hold an unquestioned religious authority over them.
To be clear, this isn’t just about Islamists. This ability to terrorize and get away with it is exactly what Christian religious extremists crave in other parts of the world.
For people cis and trans people alike in territories that have adopted Sharia law, these groups have increased activities terrorizing and illegally detaining people seemingly at will. In all likeliness, we will see an increase of these actions as the government remains afraid and unwilling to confront them directly and put a stop to the “morality police” illegal activities.
The Malaysian trans community is a target of opportunity mainly because the Justice Sisters declared mission is to reverse Sharia law and a return to freedom of expression. Lalita Abdullah, exco member of transgender rights group SEED Malaysia can also be seen confronting JAWI and was also briefly detained.
I spoke with a representative from Justice Sisters who confirmed that all had been released. I wanted to post the video but needed to understand it more so a sister clarified saying.
“The journalist used words like pondan (transvestite in English, travesti in Portuguese) which a derogatory term” she explained.”The video essentially can be seen from multiple perspectives. I agree that it’s tragic, and we are not asking for it to be taken down. But the language and the way the news is reported is problematic.”
— justiceforsisters (@justice_sisters) April 5, 2016
The bullying by JAWI continues. Apparently standing up for ur rights is considered defying religious authorities. https://t.co/ATqfdJvA0H
— Sisters in Islam (@SistersInIslam) April 5, 2016
Thug-ish behavior again displayed by JAWI raiding a private event. Stop saying moral policing is Islamic, it isn’t.https://t.co/xANai2nilG
— Sisters in Islam (@SistersInIslam) April 4, 2016