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'Minister bowing to zealots over gymnast's attire'
Published:  Jun 16, 2015 10:35 AM
Updated: 2:39 AM

PKR legal bureau chief Latheefa Koya today slammed Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Jamil Khir Baharom for bowing to pressure from religious zealots.

This was after Jamil Khir, who is in charge of Islamic affairs, told Parliament yesterday the government may review sports attires after the national gymnast Farah Ann Abdul Hadi's attire at the SEA games sparked outrage among conservatives.

Despite winning gold at the games, Farah Ann was attacked on social media for wearing what was deemed to be a too "skimpy" outfit.

"The suggestion taken up by the ministry to review the clothings of athletes, stemming from perverse remarks by some zealots - is dangerous and narrow.

"Instead of defending a woman athlete who brought fame and glory to this country - a government minister yesterday supported in Parliament the call of those who criticised her attire," Latheefa ( photo ) said in a statement today.

This was also in contradiction with Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin who defended Farah Ann, insisting that people had no business judging the gymnast, except for God.

Latheefa said if the government was so interested about issues of aurat (modesty), it should look at the wives of ministers first.

"Why is there no such suggestion on cover up of aurat for minister's spouses? Why pick on our dynamic young athletes?

"In any case, aurat is not a clear cut issue under Islam. It has been interpreted differently by different imams, taking into account the idea of what is decent in different communities.

"Can an outfit worn during a sporting event be termed as immoral or indecent? Where will this end?" she asked.

Latheefa added that there were more serious, un-Islamic matters that Putrajaya should focus on, such as deaths in custody and the stealing of public money.

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