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Banned ‘Sexuality’ Festival in Malaysia Prompts Debate, Backlash

Banned ‘Sexuality’ Festival in Malaysia Prompts Debate, Backlash
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The Malaysian state of Malacca has said it will amend its state Islamic enactment to prosecute gays and lesbians by applying the same type of Shariah legal mechanism used against deviant Muslim sects.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said Wednesday 9 November:

“We will revise the current enactment to specifically deal with homosexuals and lesbians in the state, including groups that promote such uncanny sex.”

It was needed, he said, because no specific law at present exists to prosecute such groups.

“We will suggest the enactment to also cover bisexuals and transsexuals,” he said, adding that action could also be taken against any non-governmental organisation promoting and supporting such sexual practices.

“We don’t want such unsavoury culture creeping in and damaging the moral fabric of our society,” Mohd Ali said.

Mohd Ali also attacked the group Sisters in Islam, calling on them to drop the word “Islam” from their name as he claimed they had been “frequently issuing contradicting and confusing statements on Islam”. Sisters in Islam is one of the groups who supported the banned ‘Seksualiti Merdeka’ festival.

Seksualiti Merdeka has been held since 2008 in Kuala Lumpur, and represents a coalition of Malaysian NGOs (including Malaysian Bar Council, SUARAM, Empower, PT Foundation, United Nations, Amnesty International) and individuals. Apart from the annual festival, they also organize workshops, talks, film screenings and letter writings. It was banned by Kuala Lumpur City Hall who vowed to scupper any attempts at reviving or promoting the “immoral” event.

Community still has prominent supporters

Fallout from the ban continues after police called in for questioning a number of prominent supporters of the event.

Malaysia Chronicle said that lying behind the action was rival Malay parties Umno and PAS “trying to out-Islamize each other over the [banned] event.” There have been a number of noisy protests against Seksualiti Merdeka organised by the parties and Islamist groups.

Reacting to the backlash, Marina Mahathir, the high-profile daughter of ex-premier Mahathir Mohamad, has warned the authorities and “troublemakers” alike not to make scapegoats of Bar Council chairman Datuk S. Ambiga and steering committee member Maria Chin Abdullah, Tenaganita director Irene Fernandez  and Seksualiti Merdeka founder Pang Khee Teik, all of whom the police called in.

At a heated press conference on Monday she said:

“For the struggle, ask me. I have been defending the LGBT community’s rights for over 20 years now. In fact, I defend the rights of all who have been discriminated against, the poor and everyone else. So if there is any discrimination or violence against anyone, I will continue to defend their rights. That’s it. Do you understand?”

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12 comments

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4:20PM PST on Nov 23, 2011

Ameer, the difference between wearing a headscarf and being homosexual is a fairly obvious one, I'd think. One is a piece of clothing - and one can be Muslim without wearing it. The second is a fundamental aspect of a person's psyche. One wears a headscarf. But one IS a homosexual. And there's a world of difference between the two things.

And you state, "Well its their country so they can pretty much do whatever they want in it regarding laws." I shall remind you of that statement the next time I see you criticizing U.S. laws or customs of U.S. society.

3:44AM PST on Nov 11, 2011

Malaysia doesn't want their kind there so gays shoudn't go there. simple. If you want to practice homosexuality do it in your own country or place where it is more acceptable.

And this is advice i learned from the care2 members when France banned the Hijab. If muslims wanted to wear the Hijab they should not come to France but go somewhere where it is more acceptable.

3:38AM PST on Nov 11, 2011

Well its their country so they can pretty much do whatever they want in it regarding laws. Malaysia doesn't tell you what laws not to enact or what not to do. If we supprt freedom we should stop telling other countries what to do and how to think.

9:57AM PST on Nov 10, 2011

Once again - the Univ. of Georgia study indicated the more "homophobic" you are, the more of a closet case you actually are.
Maybe they could start a worldwide "Closet Queers Against Gay Rights" group.

6:27PM PST on Nov 9, 2011

Thanks

10:14AM PST on Nov 9, 2011

In order to be a homophobe it has to occupy a significant part of your brain, and this means that homophobes are thinking about men/women rubbing penises/vaginas together in a 24/7 gay porno. That’s an awful lot of gay thoughts for supposedly straight people who hate gays. I bet even gay people don’t think about gay stuff as much as homophobes do.

Homophobes (aka Anti-Gay Movement) are not protesting against bestiality, pedophilia (with/without a priest involved), rape, sexual exploitation, or any other form of non-consensual sexual act in which a victim is forced against their will to participate

The Homophobes are protesting a private sexual act being performed by two consenting adults.

HOMOPHOBE = I DON’T LIKE GAY (SUPPOSEDLY) THEREFORE NO ONE SHOULD BE GAY.

Homosexuals = fighting for the right to control their own behavior.

Homophobes = fighting for the right to control other peoples behavior.

9:16AM PST on Nov 9, 2011

thanks

8:19AM PST on Nov 9, 2011

meh

8:19AM PST on Nov 9, 2011

Talk about moving backwards. Unbelievable !!!!

7:58AM PST on Nov 9, 2011

Thanks

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