Not following an ordained dress code is a peculiar right here in Malaysia. For some, the issue is so vast and important that it has to be given due attention. Despite being on the wrong end, many view these directives as an imposition of values over their own. Consequently, their God given right to oppose the effort to enforce these requirements.
Oblivious to the nature of rules and regulations around the world, there are those who presume that the scenario is unique to Malaysia. And then we have the ‘independent’ media that strives for personal freedom on the pretext to oppose ‘Islamisation’ of non-Muslims.
However there is much falsehood and less truth in the claims that are often made. In 2015, Louise Hamilton, three times Formula One world champion was barred entry to the Royal Box at Wimbeldon for not wearing a tie and a jacket. Being fair to Hamilton, he might have missed these guidelines. However rules are rules and you might be a world champion, but at Wimbeldon you follow the dictum.
Malaysia is yet to have a home grown Formula One champion, but we definitely have champions of bad mannerisms all over. Everything, is after some effort contrived in relation to Islam, so that the opposition of these norms can get support and momentum from those who believe in the ‘freedom of religion’.
Consequences of wearing short skirts is not merely confined to our borders. The same year (2015), Trentham High School, England banned skirts, simply because male students and teachers were distracted by the attire. One wonders of the ‘Islamic’ nature of this ban. Despite the fact that the headmistress was a non-Muslim. When a similar action is taken in Malaysia, people are quick to label the enforcers as perverts, paedophiles, lack moral values so on and so forth.
In 2016, the headmistress of Lord Grey School sent home 29 girls flouting uniform rules. Once again this was not done in view of Islamic jurisprudence but at her own discretion. She said, ”If everyone is covered up in slightly loose clothing, there is less bullying over shape and size.”
In an act to protect its pupils, the Bishop Bell Church of England School prohibited makeup for girls below school year 10 (ages 14-15 years). The news report mentioned, “Girls are banned from wearing underwear which is visible or skirts which are more than 2in above the knee – and pupils are not allowed to wear ‘figure hugging, tight, skinny-fitting styles’.”
This was done to protect the students from further acts of paedophilia after Jeremy Forrest seduced his 15 year old victim. Indirectly acknowledging that sexier clothes can attract danger. The list goes on and on. It has to be remembered that Richard Huckle did not rape children in United Kingdom, he did that in a land half way across the world called Malaysia.
At times there are universal reasons for the development of rules and regulations. One should not be so limited so as to view arising matters from the angle of hate and anger. Fairness at the very least should be applied where it is due.
The dress codes implemented at offices, tournaments, schools etc. are barely Islamic as they are. There is no scarf for women, neither is there a requirement to cover the legs below the knees. On April 7, 2017 Meera Samanther was stopped from entering the Parliament, unlike the cool and dignified Louise Hamilton, she refused to oblige.
This resulted in her raising her voice to ‘defend’ her freedom, and soon enough, she was allowed entry. The idea in Malaysia is that rules are meant to be broken, and to oppose these very laws is a sign of freedom and strength to defend the ‘truth’.
The plight of these poor ‘oppressed’ souls is often picked up and sensationalised, often without giving a fair representation of the situation. If the situation continues then ostensibly it would be for the worst and not for the best.
Laws are a part of a civilised society, or at least what a civilised society used to be. With so much hatred being spewed, on has to ponder if there is any sanity left in ‘struggles’ of these so called crusaders.