People who are transgender are advised to change their appearance at places of worship so that they can fit in with the congregation, said Penang mufti Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor.
Commenting on the move by authorities who are looking into possibly banning transgender people from entering mosques in federal territories, Wan Salim (above) said he is sympathetic towards the group as they really want to be accepted by the community.
However, he said, transgender people should also make an effort to adapt to the culture and norms of the local community.
“The mosque’s committee appointed by the Islamic council of a state has the responsibility to ensure all matters involving the mosque and parish run smoothly and that it is conducive for the congregation to perform their worship.
“The presence of transgender people in mosques with their awkward appearance of course will disturb the congregation and make them uncomfortable.
“To resolve this issue, there is no other way except for them (transgender people) to change the way they look when they are at places of worship so that they don’t look odd or different from the congregation,” Wan Salim told Malaysiakini.
Yesterday, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of religious affairs Ahmad Marzuk Shaary said the government was looking into imposing a ban on transgender people from entering mosques in federal territories.
Perlis is, so far, the only state to implement such a ban.
Marzuk said Perlis’ move to impose such a ban was appropriate in order to maintain the sanctity of the mosque and avoid confusion among the community.
Respect sanctity of mosques
Wan Salim said transgender people should respect the sanctity of Islamic places of worship with appropriate appearances.
“When the interests of a small group of people conflict with public interest, then Islam teaches us to prioritise public interest.
“So if the transgender people continue to be stubborn by presenting themselves inappropriately, then the mosque’s management has no choice but to insist on stopping them from entering the mosque.
“It is up to them (transgender people) to decide what they think is best for themselves,” he added.
Wan Salim said that transgender people who chose a lifestyle that is in opposition with Islam is expected to face difficulties, especially when interacting with the public.
In doing so, they are considered to be oppressing themselves by adopting such a lifestyle that goes against religious law, he added.