KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 — Selangor religious authorities have been informed of a book launch and forum on Malay women and discarding the hijab in Petaling Jaya last weekend, minister in charge of Islamic affairs Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusof Rawa said today.
The minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said he will leave the matter to the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) as the event occured within its state jurisdiction.
“The minister has contacted Jais, since this falls under the purview of the state religious department since it took place in Selangor,” Mujahid’s office said in a statement on his Facebook page.
“It is understood the department has been notified of the event, and will take action accordingly. The minister is confident they will investigate it as fairly and thoroughly as possible.”
The event organised by publisher and book store Gerakbudaya has received backlash from some Muslims on social media, after positively presenting the perspectives and opinions of several Malay women who “dehijab”, or no longer cover their hair.
The forum in conjunction with the launching of the book Unveiling Choice by activist Maryam Lee also included legal professional and social media commentator Dian Sofia, and journalist and women’s rights activist Mohani Niza.
It is uncertain if the event had even contravened any Shariah laws in Selangor.
There are differing views among Muslim scholars as to whether it is obligatory for Muslim women to cover their hair as part of the aurat, or “intimate parts”.
Muslim women’s rights group Sisters in Islam has previously told Malay Mail that the holy book of Quran does not specifically mention hair as part of a woman’s aurat.
In February, actress Emma Maembong faced intense public backlash after admitting that she has now returned to her original image of not wearing the tudung or headscarf. Similarly, local celebrity Uqasha Senrose also took flak for doing the same back in 2016.