You’re rejecting God’s wisdom, deputy minister tells transgenders

Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki says humans were created as men and women with separate roles according to Islam. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki says humans were created as men and women with separate roles according to Islam. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 — Being transgender is equivalent to rejecting God’s wisdom in creating people in their specific genders, a deputy minister in charge of Islamic affairs said today.

Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, told the transgender community that humans were created as men and women with separate roles according to Islam.

“The act of changing genders or being transgender is as though the person does not accept Allah’s stipulations with wisdom for the creation of humans that determine a person to be a man or a woman, as stated by Allah in verses 35 to 36 of Surah al-Azhab,” Asyraf said in his column on Malay-language daily Sinar Harian, quoting the Quranic verse that advises Muslims not to go against decisions made by God and Prophet Muhammad.

“Therefore, with the vast mercy and wisdom of Islam, there are aspects that cannot be compromised principally. The ‘mak nyah’ community must be made to realise this,” he said in his comments on a local transgender activist winning an award of courage from the US government and the recent raid by religious authorities on a private dinner function attended by trans women.

Asyraf stressed that while men and women were created with different roles, both genders were viewed as equals in the religion.

He said human rights activists should refer to the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam (CDHRI) for true understanding of human rights based on Islam.

“This crusade that is put forth in the name of human rights, rights to freedom and gender equality should not be happening because it clearly fights with an agenda and what’s more, it clearly tarnishes a person’s dignity, the sovereignty of Islam, and its people,” he said.

“As Muslims specifically, we have to understand the concept of human rights as it has been stressed over and over again by the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam that clearly places Islamic principles as its sole source of reference for the interpretation and understanding of true human rights,” he added.

The CDHRI was established in 1990 as an Islamic response to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations, which was said to have not taken into account religious and cultural differences around the world.

Though gender and sexuality rights are not specifically mentioned, the CDHRI declares that all rights and freedom stipulated in the declaration is constrained to the Islamic Sharia.

Local transgender activist Nisha Ayub won the 2016 US Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award last week, the first trans woman to win the award in its 10-year history.

In a separate incident, the Federal Territories Islamic Department (JAWI) raided a dinner by trans women last Sunday that hosted a beauty contest for entertainment, on grounds that it violated a fatwa against beauty pageants.

Last year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said that his administration will do its best to uphold human rights here, but only within the confines of Islam, adding that the predominantly Muslim Malaysia cannot defend the more so-called extreme aspect of human rights, like homosexuality and transgender rights.

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