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Friday, December 31, 2010

No problem with Teo’s attire, says mosque

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 – A Masjid Taman Cheras Jaya official said today it had no problem with how Teo Nie Ching was dressed during an aerobics exercise programme recently in the mosque’s car park, even as Umno stepped up criticisms against the DAP MP for her “tight-fitting” clothes.

The Serdang MP(picture) was photographed recently in a T-shirt and track pants while taking part in the aerobics session, and this was seized on by the Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia to accuse her of violating the sanctity of the mosque for wearing allegedly tight-fitting clothes and not covering her aurat.

“We do not have any problem at all with YB Teo’s attire,” Masjid Taman Cheras Jaya committee chairman Azman Idris told The Malaysian Insider today.

“Covering the aurat is applicable only to Muslims. So, the issue of covering the aurat is not applicable to YB Teo,” he added.

The Malay daily published a front-page story yesterday with the headline “Teo Nie Ching makes trouble again” along with a picture of her exercising with men and women at Masjid Taman Cheras Jaya during a recent Maal Hijrah carnival.

Today, an Utusan Malaysia column said females were required to wear clothes which covered their aurat, and not “shorts or sexy clothes”.

Azman, however, claimed that the issue of covering the aurat in a mosque was not explicitly defined in Islamic teachings.

“When it comes to the mosque, it is called an in-house regulation,” said Azman.

“We also did this (exercise) activity in the car park area, not in the mosque. I don’t see any issue,” he added.

Azman also pointed out that some Muslim women, who had attended the Maal Hijrah carnival on December 12, did not cover their aurat.

“Some of them wore tight jeans. But we have no problem,” he said.

“We put up a signboard saying, please cover your aurat. But we cannot enforce it as it is an individual responsibility. We can only encourage,” he added.

Yesterday, the first-term parliamentarian told The Malaysian Insider that she would continue attending functions in mosques if invited, despite Utusan Malaysia’s renewed attacks.

In August, Teo was criticised by Barisan Nasional (BN) politicians and conservative Muslim groups over her controversial surau visit after Utusan Malaysia published a front-page picture of her addressing those who were praying at the Al-Huda surau in Kajang Sentral.

She was lambasted for entering the surau with her hair uncovered.

Women are required to cover their hair when entering a mosque.

Azman, however, said such requirements were not stated in Islamic teaching.

“About non-Muslims coming to the mosques and being required to wear the tudung, that is only an internal regulation,” he said.

“Nothing in Islamic teaching states that it is compulsory,” he added.

Utusan Malaysia quoted the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) today as saying that Teo’s “tight” dressing was tantamount to insulting the Selangor Sultan.

The Malay daily claimed that Teo had ignored the Sultan’s previous rebuke of her surau visit in August.

Teo’s controversial surau visit had allegedly displeased the Selangor Sultan and sparked a warning from Mais, who barred her from entering the prayer areas of any suraus or mosques in Selangor without its permission.

However, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders, including PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat, had defended Teo over her surau visit. - Malaysian Insider

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