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Muslim women can’t join beauty pageants?’

Adalah haram bagi wanita Islam menyertai apa-apa jenis pertandingan ratu cantik.”

Selangor fatwa gazetted 11 May 1995. (Source:

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(Source: Ann Fiona Ratu Cantik 1Malaysia 2010, Utusan Malaysia, 24 May 2010) favicon

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24 Responses to “Muslim women can’t join beauty pageants?’”

  1. Dr Syed Alwi says:

    What’s your point? Are you trying to poke fun at Islam?

  2. M.K. says:

    Not again!

  3. Dr Syed Alwi says:

    Dear fellow readers,

    Well I do not mind if TNG talks politics and so on. But when it comes to Islam, I think that TNG should be more respectful. You CAN write and propose new ideas in Islam – provided its done in a scholarly, respectful manner. But certainly you cannot present Islam in bad light that puts it into public disrespect. In odium.

    Sure – there are rule-breakers in Islam. There are rule-breakers in everything – not just Islam. Does that make Islam bad ? Either TNG has an anti-Islam agenda – or it is simply disrespectful. Pick your choice…

  4. Kong Kek Kuat says:

    Ooo… getting sensitive aren’t we Dr Syed Alwi?

    • neptunian says:

      Islamists are always sensitive. The only sad thing about it is that they think they are the only ones who deserve to be “sensitive”. Others be damned.

  5. farha says:

    Well, at least now I know why those three Selangor girls were penalised, not Erra Fazira (Erra was crowned in 92…I think she represented Selangor and won…again i stand corrected).

  6. Cycads says:

    Dr. Syed Alwi,

    Why do think the writer is trying to poke fun at Islam? I’m sure not what Jo-Ann’s point is in this article (if you can enlighten us, Jo-Ann, we would much appreciate that).

    However, I do think that this is an example of people making up their own minds about what to do with their lives regardless of what fatwas say. Perhaps there is a good solid reason why participating in a beauty contest is wrong for the religious [authorities], but simply saying something is haram without disclosing a good argument is not going to convince anyone, except sheep.

    I’m not a fan of beauty contests because it’s a misogynistic tradition of parading women and judging them based on their vital statistics and sexual availability (they have to be single and childless, no?). And nor is it about intelligence or “beauty from within” if being qualified in a competition demands rather specific physical prerequisites called “beauty”.

    But if Muslim women want to participate in them, more power to them!

  7. Subliminal says:


    Bro, I don’t think it’s poking fun at Islam. I think it’s more of the issues that are not dealt with properly.

  8. Ida Bakar says:

    Hmm… Yoga, tomboy, beauty pageants.

    Too many fatwas but does the target audience listen? Or are muftis living in their own bubble?

  9. benny says:

    She is gorgeous! Bidayuh girls always [are]. I know she is of Bidayuh and Iban parentage.

  10. ficklefellow says:

    Perhaps this article “” may put this piece in context.

  11. M.O.T.U says:

    Dr Syed Alwi,

    What’s wrong with you????

  12. Eric says:

    Dear Dr Syed Alwi;

    Would you mind sharing how the author can be construed to be poking fun at Islam?

    Seems to me, she’s rather poking fun at people using religion for their own frivolous purposes. Therefore you may want to direct your aggressiveness at authorities which pretend to speak in the name of Islam to satisfy their own goals. Certain gambling licenses, self-appointed institutions and selective lobbies come to mind.

  13. Hwa Shi-Hsia says:

    Well there’s only one thing to do now…ROTAN HER! (just kidding)

  14. Alan Tan says:

    Syed Alwi.

    No need to poke fun at Islam as an institution. Where is the point in that? But it’s OK to poke fun at Muslims who don’t know how to present an argument logically, ain’t it? It don’t matter what religion you are. [If you] say stupid things, people will laugh at you.

    The world is funny that way. No need to defend them, Syed.

    Shall we talk about why the incest rate in Malaysia is SOOO obviously slanted against the Muslims? Or is that an insult?

    Excuse me while I sheath my keris.

    And if you think he is trying to poke fun, yes. At Islam?? Who knows. Why is that important? As if God needs human affirmation to stand in his glory. It’s the other way around, lah.

    By the way, TNG exists because of people who refuse to affirm others and their right to express themselves. I for one don’t think a chaste, virginal and young teen makes a good wife. So like you, I don’t watch the pageants, but you can imagine what my beauty contests will be like, or is that an insult to Islam too? Why is everything an insult to Islam? Have the Muslims ever once apologised for their insults to others?

  15. Dr. Amrit Sekhon says:

    Nobody is poking fun at any religion. It does not mean that if believers of other religions take part in beauty pageants, that their religion is deemed to be of inferior in status.

    There is only one way to God. “Al lah hu ak bar” is the word and it’s meaning has to be understood first, before any comments on Islam or the language used in Islam can be debated. The meaning of that word is no different from Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, Sanskriti or Persian and it means “The One Door To Heaven”. Unfortunately, the word does not exist in Bahasa Malaysia.

    [Editor’s note: Doesn’t “Allahu Akbar” mean “Allah is the Greatest”?]

    The interpretation of that word is “You yourself shall be answerable to god in your after life” . Therefore if you consciously feel there is nothing wrong in participating in beauty pageants, than by all means do so, but be prepared to answer to God yourself. If you feel it was wrong to have done it, in future don’t do it. All religions are that simple and pure.

    Why fight over it like the Talibans, killing innocent people in the mosques and end up tarnishing the good name of Islam.

  16. Ashraf says:

    I think what Syed is saying is that Putrajaya isn’t part of Selangor.

  17. tebing tinggi says:

    [If] Muslim women can’t joint beauty pageants, does it hurt you?

    What [point are you making here], trying [to make] fun of other people’s faith. Would you like others making the same on you?.

    Are you challenging the fatwa by the Selangor Islamic religious authority? Then do it in a proper way.

    [Editor’s note: The purpose of this posting is not to make fun of anyone’s religion. It merely highlights the contradiction and selective practice of fatwa. The purpose of pointing out this contradiction is to show that there is diversity of opinion on fatwa, and that religious laws or decrees can be subjectively interpreted and implemented. The purpose of pointing out this inconsistency is to invite people to think for themselves whether what they are told about what they can or cannot do is authoritative, authentic and credible or not.]

    Deborah Loh
    Assistant News Editor
    The Nut Graph

  18. Dr Syed Alwi says:

    Dear Deborah Loh,

    This is NOT an inconsistency. This is a case of people not following the rules. In any case – if you are not happy with any fatwa etc then there are ways to go about challenging the fatwa. And certainly making sarcastic cartoons and making a mockery of Islam is NOT the way to do it. I reject your reply. You have no basis to mock Islam just because some Muslims do not wish to obey some Islamic rules.

  19. azrizal says:

    SIS is just a bunch of unknowledgeable women in Islam. Full stop!

    • Adam says:

      I wish to refute the statement even though it has been made 3 years ago. If there is any Muslim NGO which does more for the reputation and status of Islam, it is SIS. The ladies have been portraying the religion as a compassionate and peaceful religion all this while and there is no reason to say such unpleasant things about them. Although they concentrate on the welfare and rights of [Muslim] women, they are also fighting for equal rights which is justifiable in these modern times.

      Nowadays, for a family to survive, the wives have to work as well. On top of that, they have to take care of the children (and husbands, too), do household chores and cook for the family. In this respect, they are more equal to men. So, we better give them equal rights before they ask for more.

  20. Connie says:

    At least explain why cannot join? It’s like my parents said, kids cannot eat too much sweets or candies but never explained why so how to convince kids not to eat candies? [Just] explain that too much candy will cause diabetes or tooth decay.

    • Engr says:

      Dear Connie,

      As a Muslim, a women should always cover herself from non-related men. [For example by wearing a] tudung and loose clothes. The face, hands (up to wrist) are allowed to be exposed. So, you see that’s why Muslim women are not allowed to join beauty pageants. As we all know, common beauty pageant competitions will require the contestant to wear a swim suit, walk in a sexy stunning dress etc. (I watched Miss Congeniality). So, that’s the reason why Muslim women cannot contest in a beauty pageant.

  21. Trublumalaysian says:

    Dr Syed Alwi, with all due respect, you have unwittingly ignored the proverbial elephant in the room in defending a beautiful religion. It’s precisely the inconsistency in the system which is filled to the brim with little Napoleons and minions which complicate and inconvenience the social structure using Islam as their shield to obtain untold riches. After all, they are minions and they do what their paymaster instructs them to do via their hate-machine BTN. Rightfully, you should direct your concerns to the present regime who use Islam merely as a tool to hoodwink Malaysians […]. Should you want to go straight to the top, I suggest you confront the one who originally concocted the potent brew for our ever-increasing racial divide. Hopefully, you might achieve some form of Nirvana of realisation then. Peace be with you, Doc.

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