Protecting gay rights undermines society, claims Malaysian academic

Constitutional professor Shamrayahu Abdul Aziz says approving of gay rights allow human whims and fancies to take over society

Protecting gay rights undermines society, claims Malaysian academic
14 April 2012

A Malaysian constitutional expert has claimed in a recent conference that condoning gay rights would see criminals taking charge of society.

But two other speakers at the intellectual forum titled "Homosexuality: Crime or Right" begged to differ from Dr Shamrayahu Abdul Aziz, who was expressing the view at her International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM).

Shamrayahu, an IIUM associate professor, sees homosexulaity as a 'sin and crime' punishable under the Islamic hudud law, stressing there is no framework to protect gay rights in the country even after separating religion from country.

She cited articles ten and 11 of the constitution as saying cetain rights that interfere with public morality cannot be allowed.

Without ethics as a touchstone to uphold ‘civilization’, she said, ‘I am worried that drunkards will be bus drivers and rapists will be taking care of playgrounds.

‘It’s not about Islam, but about all religious Malaysians. We just want peace and you will not have peace if the majority isn’t happy,’ she said, describing protecting homosexual behaviour in public upset people.

Before other lawyers and activists alike refuted her comments, Dr Farouk Musa, chairman of Islamic Renaissance Front, questioned state intervention in matters of personal morality at the forum.

Of the seven times that Penal Code Section 377 was used to bring a court case since 1938, four were related to opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, he said. A charge virtually impossible to disprove, the sodomy law has long proven to be a convenient political weapon in the absence of legitimate wrongdoing.

Stressing everyone is born free with a conscience, Farouk said, ‘If repentance is to be had, it must be sincere and it shouldn’t be done out of fear that the state would punish us.’

Malaysian Bar president Lim Chee Wee also pointed out how a woman giving a man oral sex will also be considered a crime under the same code, but the couple is unlikely to be prosecuted.

He also denied Shamrayahu’s claims that the quest for gay rights is a western ideology, suggesting how India, Cambodia, Japan, Laos, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand have all struck off the law.

‘Where does it say in our constitution that sexual minorities are supposed to be persecuted, humiliated?’ he asked, adding how the country’s only sexuality festival, Seksualiti Merdeka, is not about promoting free sex, but a sharing of personal accounts about discrimination.

More of the debate can be found on Free Malaysia Today.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

HomoLAB 34

HomoLAB 34

The London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, comedian Rosie Wilby and sausage rolls are on the menu for HomoLAB
No thumbnail available

Over 45,000 to attend the world’s largest HIV/AIDS walk

Martha Wash will sing for thousands at New York’s 28th Annual 10k AIDS Walk
No thumbnail available

Gay host Evan Davis to replace Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight

Dragons' Den presenter will front the BBC's flagship current affairs programme ending months of speculation
No thumbnail available

Malaysia’s mainstream politicians outraged by criticism of gay laws

When Anwar Ibrahim decried Malaysia's 'archaic' homosexuality laws mainstream politicians lashed out
No thumbnail available

Man ripped out man's heart and ate it to 'prove he wasn't gay'

He has pleaded guilty and admits it 'exceeded the boundaries of self-defence'
No thumbnail available

UK police rejects trans officer’s claim she was ‘forcibly outed’

A tribunal has found a police officer was 'oversensitive' and had an 'extreme' reaction after she said she felt 'very distressed' about outing herself on three separate occasions on police radio
No thumbnail available

US State Department to appoint special envoy for gay rights

New post will be filled by an openly gay Foreign Service officer
No thumbnail available

DOMA cases appealed to the Supreme Court

US House of Representative Speaker John Boehner asks Supreme Court to hear DOMA case
No thumbnail available

Sam Smith: I do want to be a gay spokesman

Singer previously said being an LGBTI role model would be 'awful'
No thumbnail available

Pinterest - share stuff!

A virtual pinboard that enables you to share your life and loves in new ways