DAP leader slams misogynist sermon, 'like Taliban'

Modified 5 Sep 2015, 10:29 am

Bukit Bendera DAP political education director Syerleena Abdul Rashid has criticised this week's Friday sermon that compared "uncovered women" to "uncovered dishes frequented by flies that made them unappetising".

Syerleena said the sermon, which was prepared by the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (Jawi), was misogynistic and chauvinistic, particularly as it was delivered to a purely male audience.

"This simply reeks of the type of misogyny and chauvinism that is often promoted by extremist groups like the Taliban and Isis.

"In general, the basis of fundamentalism shows very little respect for the principles of human rights, have zero tolerance for people of other faiths, and are often anti-women.

"Regrettably, our society has now shown signs of accepting such vile ideologies," she said in a statement today.

Syerleena said such gross display of misogyny has never been part of Islamic values.

"(It is) definitely not the beliefs our Prophet upheld because Islam is about inclusion and equality; it is about treating others with respect and civility.

"Our values do not revolve around insults, and definitely do not tolerate belligerence towards other human beings," she said.

Duty to act against hate

She reminded Jawi that Malaysia is a signatory to the United Nations' Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (Cedaw).

"Article 3 states how all 'countries must take measures to uphold women’s equality in the political, social, economic and cultural field' and because of this, the Malaysian government must act against those who perpetuate hateful anti-women sentiments," she said.

Syerleena concurred that dressing with modesty, be it for male or female, in line with our cultural values is to be appreciated and approved, but said there were better ways to get the message across.

"We live in a civilised society, therefore (we are) more than capable to disseminate messages with civility, humility and above all, with class," she said.

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