No fatwa on models yet

KUALA LUMPUR (July 29, 2013): The Fatwa Council that came down hard on the four Muslim women who wanted to take part in a beauty pageant has not made a decision on Muslim models yet.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said the authorities would look into the matter later.

"There is no fatwa for it yet; there are specifications for attires," he said yesterday when asked about Muslim women who model. Brushing aside the question on whether Muslim women were allowed to engage in modelling, he said the fatwa is only restricted to beauty pageants.

"The Fatwa Council is not stating the types of clothing (that can be worn in beauty contests); it states very clearly that Muslim women in the country cannot participate in beauty pageants.

"Therefore, whatever the attire may be, as long as they are Muslims, they are not allowed to participate (in beauty pageants)," he told a press conference after distributing Aidifitri gifts to the patients at Hospital Kuala Lumpur.

He said no action will be taken against the beauty pageant organiser, Datuk Anna Lim, who allowed Muslim women to take part in the Miss Malaysia World 2013 contest.

"The fatwa is only for Muslims, we cannot bring in the organisers or non-Muslims; it is their right to do so (organise such contests)," Jamil Khir said. He also cautioned Muslims who have deferring views about the fatwa as there are penalties if the fatwa was insulted.

"If there are people who object to the fatwa, it is very easy for us to fine them RM3,000," he said.

Jamil Khir said the fatwa on Muslims participating in beauty contests here is not drafted by the government but was decided by muftis.