While the world looks at Malaysia as the country with the most corrupt financial scandal in the world, our religious functionaries keep feeding us utterly pointless comments to keep us distracted from reality.
The latest pointless remark was by the Mufti of Kelantan, Mohamad Shukri Mohamad. Shukri warned Muslim women (of course, always the women!) that when they wore henna tattoos, the designs should not be anything religious like the dreamcatcher!
Muslims cannot wear anything that resembles symbols of other faiths, he says, citing the cross an example. This would cause confusion among the people!
Superficial thinking, Superficial notions of faith
It is this sort of superficial thinking that we are dealing with, folks. Shukri does not seem to understand that all signs bear meanings which are projected by human beings themselves.
The cross is merely a symbol. It can mean anything from Jesus’s death to sacrifice. Why can’t a Muslim wear it and claim it symbolises the miracle of Allah which saved Jesus when he was being crucified? This is Islamic traditional view, after all.
Very interestingly, the crescent moon and the star which is the traditional symbol of Islam (see it on Muslim flags) is nowhere to be found in the Quran or hadith.
Would Shukri then suggest Muslims start removing it? Probably not. This is the cultish nature of his demand.
Why can’t Muslims resemble other folks? At the end of the day, we’re all human, after all. Islam does not demand that we create cult which has its own uniform nor does it tell us any symbols are off limits. The Mufti of Kelantan needs to get beyond his superficial notions of his faith!
Farouk A Peru, Islamologist and author