Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Muftis miffed by bald actress.

Sharifah and her dad

It's unIslamic. And sinful.

An award-winning Malaysian actress who shaved her head for a film role has attracted criticism from influential muftis who say her act is unIslamic and sinful, a report said Thursday. Sharifah Amani Syed Zainal Rashid, 21, drew widespread shock and interest after she went bald Tuesday, with photos of her splashed across the front pages of Malay-language newspapers a day later. But muftis in the conservative Muslim country have called on authorities to issue guidelines to prevent Malay Muslim artistes, especially actresses, from extreme behavior or dressing, the New Straits Times reported. "Unlike Muslim men, going bald for women is forbidden in Islam. It is sinful for men to act or behave like a woman and vice versa," the mufti of central Selangor state, Mohamad Tamyis Abdul Majid, was quoted as saying.

The mufti of northern Perak state, Harussani Idris, said Muslim artistes were becoming increasingly daring and warned them against being influenced by the actions of their foreign counterparts. "As Muslims, we should not sacrifice our religion for the sake of wanting to be popular," Harussani was quoted as saying. "I have been observing that nowadays our artistes are becoming too open and daring, either in their actions or attire," he said. "It is only appropriate for the relevant authorities such as the information ministry to introduce regulations to make them toe the line."

A well-known actress, Sharifah Amani is featured in current perfume advertisements with her long, straight hair. She shaved her head for a role in a movie by critically-acclaimed Malaysian independent filmmaker, Yasmin Ahmad.

Yasmin's first and best known film, Sepet, broke social taboos by depicting an inter-racial romance between a Muslim Malay girl, also played by Sharifah Amani, and a Chinese boy. The film was attacked by film industry leaders, who said the movie threatened Malay Muslim culture and could corrupt Muslim audiences.

Commenting on her decision to go bald, Sharifah Amani was quoted as saying in the New Straits Times Wednesday: "I have no regrets. My hair will grow back."

On a personal note: I curse the ignorant mufti and all that he stands for. My soul sister and my sister in law are both bald because of their chemo treatments. My former best friend, the witchy woman immortalized in Lois honey, is that you? was bald. I say let's wrap his ass in a niqab and make him stand in the damn hot corner on one leg. In heels. And control top panty hose.