Hair of the dog

You have to wonder what sort of passions course through the minds of the East Java clerics to think that hair straightening would lead to immoral acts. They also seem to frown on women trying to improve their appeareance.

So what do they expect, that women should all look like unkempt dogs? Danger here is that they might still think that unkempt dogs are still a test to their self-restraint.

Fortunately MUI has not succumbed yet to endorsing such proposed fatwas from the East Java clerics. One can only hope common sense prevails.

This excerpt from The Jakarta Post:

MUI yet to endorse edicts on hair, `ojek’

The Jakarta Post ,  Jakarta   |  Sun, 01/17/2010 3:06 PM  |  Headlines

The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) has not endorsed the fatwas issued at a recent gathering of Muslim clerics in East Java, a council leader has said.

The leader, Cholil Ridwan, added that he personally supported them.

The MUI does not discuss issues until the public sees them as essential and asks the council to begin a discussion, Cholil said.

“The MUI must issue a fatwa *on the issue* if there is a request from an institution or individual. As long as there is no request, the MUI will focus on its work,” Cholil was quoted by as saying.

He was commenting on the controversial issuance of fatwas by a gathering of East Java clerics that forbade Muslims from modifying their hair such as by dyeing and straightening it, and from holding pre-wedding photo sessions.

The same gathering had previously forbidden Muslims from using social networking site Facebook.

The edict was endorsed by 250 leaders of Islamic boarding schools in Java and Madura.

They said that hair straightening was haram for women as it could lead to immoral acts if the intention was to improve physical appearance.

“If we refer to the syariat *Islamic law*, I have no objection to the fatwa,” Cholil said.

10 thoughts on “Hair of the dog

Add yours

  1. can’t beleive you have not mentioned the blood-letting going on at the Jakarta Globe yet. Many people laid off, many people sueing now


  2. I think it’s only fair if we try to see this from Islamic Law point of view as well. Not just from common sense as you mentioned Ong.

    When we try to see this matter from Sharia’s perspective (or Islamic teachings), I think we can reach better understanding why such Fatwa is declared.

    Besides, that fatwa applies only to Muslims who are willing to follow it.

    Hence, those who disagree or unwilling to follow it, shouldn’t have to worry, or, mock that fatwa just because it doesn’t appear to go well with “common sense”


  3. @Adit: The law, whether Islamic or secular, has been known to be an ass more times than most of us can count and I refuse to believe that good Islamic practices are not congruent with common sense.

    If Fatwas apply to only those who are bwiling to follow it then why declare a fatwa at all? Why not just issue a guideline and be done with it?

    If we abandon common sense, that is anything but common, then we give way to irrational thought and the tyranny of high priests, of whatever faith.


  4. First, to call it a stupid fatwa you must have the humility to check out the (islamic) legal basis of the fatwa.

    Second, even if you later find that the fatwa is baseless, overreacting to the fatwa is not a smart response either.

    Fatwa is something similar to “legal opinion”. It’s not law, not even a guideline. A cleric’s position is similar to a scholar. The cleric issue a fatwa when somebody asks for his/her opinion. After hearing the opinion, the asking party can choose to follow or not to follow it. Or, he/she can ask for other cleric’s opinion as “second opinion”.

    It’s the mainstream media who puts fatwa as something more important that what it really is.


  5. its a bit rude to use the phrase “unkempt dogs” to refer to women who perhaps don’t have any desire to straighten or dye their hair or follow the fatwas dictated by one of those other cultures of objectification, the fashion industry.


  6. As an infidel of any religion I find it amazing that in this day and age a group of people would be willing to allow anyone to have that kind of power to suggest what you can do with your hair, if you have to wear underwear, what cloths you are expected to wear, etc, etc, etc, ….. Best way to controle a group of people, tell them you have a direct line to their respective gods and you are the only one that can save them for the afterlife. It’s worked well for a couple of millenium to keep the ruling classes in power. The way it’s going in certain countries looks like it has a while yet to run it’s course.


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