Shariah Leaders Blast Transsexual Beauty Pageant

Banda Aceh, TAG - Religious leaders in Aceh on Monday condemned a recent transsexual pageant in the staunchly Islamic province, accusing the contestants of having violated the Shariah law partially enforced there.

“Aceh ulemas strongly oppose such activity ... What happened on Saturday night was a flaw in the implementation of Islamic Shariah in Aceh,” said Tengku Faisal Ali, secretary general of the Aceh Ulema Association (HUDA), which administers the conservative set of laws. 

On Saturday, 40 transsexuals representing Aceh’s 23 districts competed in a contest called Miss Transsexual Aceh 2010. In their best Acehnese traditional costumes, kitsch jewelry and towering hair buns, participants sashayed down a catwalk to loud club music, disco lights and rapturous applause. 

The anger over the pageant contradicts the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), whose leader grudgingly accepted it on Sunday. “If the contest is held for the purpose of entertainment, I guess we can tolerate that,” MUI chief Amidhan told the Jakarta Globe. 

Islam deems it haram , or forbidden, for a man to deliberately act like a woman and vice versa, because it violates the true nature of a human being. 

“Transsexuals are strongly condemned by Allah, because he didn’t create them. Instead, they created themselves. A man who turns into a woman has violated Allah’s rule,” Faisal said. 

Faisal, who is also head of the Aceh chapter of the Nahdlatul Ulama, the largest Islamic organization in the nation, hoped the winner of the pageant, Zifana Letisia, 19, would cancel plans to represent Aceh in the national transsexual pageant. 

“If she insists on joining the contest, she will ruin the Islamic Shariah’s and Aceh’s values. She had better not associate Aceh with such immorality, obviously condemned by Allah,” he said. 

The pageant’s event organizer, Jimmy Saputra, said on Sunday that the event had the permission of Banda Aceh’s Ulema Consultative Assembly (MPU). But MPU head Tengku Karim Syeikh said his institution had been deceived by the organizers, who had claimed it was a charity event. Jimmy could not be reached for comment on Monday. 

“We don’t even allow beauty pageants for women, let alone for transsexuals. They have ruined Aceh ulema’s good name,” Tengku said.[]
Shariah Leaders Blast Transsexual Beauty Pageant Shariah Leaders Blast Transsexual Beauty Pageant Reviewed by Nurdin Hasan on February 16, 2010 Rating: 5

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