The Selangor Islamic Religious Department, or JAIS, couldn’t give an answer as to why they needed 122 officers to hunt down cosmetics entrepreneur Nur Sajat over a legal case involving her dressing.
When Coconuts asked the department today why it was mobilizing such a big group, the person said they could not give an answer. The order was made public yesterday, startling members of the public on why so many resources were being channeled into the operation. JAIS director Mohd Shahzihan Ahmad said they have obtained a warrant from the Shariah court in Selangor to arrest the 36-year-old transgender individual.
“JAIS obtained an arrest warrant for Sajat yesterday afternoon, so today we are mobilizing our members and enforcement officers to find her throughout Selangor,” Shahzihan said. Sajat was supposed to appear in court on Tuesday, which also happened to be her birthday.
She was being accused of offending Islam by wearing a pink dress at a 2018 Islamic worship event as part of charity work. She was at the religious school with employees from her company Nur Sajat Aesthetic. Sajat later filed a complaint against her interrogators for wrongfully handcuffing her under their custody.
She was accused under a very vague law that covers “offenses relating to the sanctity” of the religion, which targets those who insult, ridicule, or degrade Islam through “words which are capable of being heard or read or by drawings, marks or other forms of representation which are visible or capable of being visible or in any other manner.”
It carries a maximum penalty of RM5,000 (about US$1,200) fine and three years imprisonment.
On Twitter, people have been urging religious authorities to “leave Sajat alone.”
@Lucashrfs wrote: “Can these ppl leave sajat alone?”
“Leave Sajat Alone. Y’all have nothing, absolutely nothing better to do ???” @GoldfishFurious chimed in.
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This article, JAIS can’t say why they needed 122 officers to get Nur Sajat, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.