IIUM Rector should clarify the 'tudung' regulation on non-Muslim students
by Chong Eng
I have today sent a letter by way of email and fax to the Rector of
International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Prof M. Kamal Hassan,
seeking a clarification on the regulation implemented by the IIUM pertaining
to the 'proper attire' of non-Muslim female students in the university,
either in campus, or during activities of the university held outside
It is most shocking to hear from the Education Ministry Parliamentary
Secretary, Datuk Mahadzir Mohd Khir, in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday that the
non-Muslim students of IIUM are merely 'encouraged' to wear tudung and not
'forced', although the Muslims female students are 'required' to do so.
It is open knowledge to those with friends and family members studying in
IIUM that one of the basic requirements for a non-Muslim student to study
and continue to study in the university is to be forced to observe the
unreasonable and insensitive rule of donning the tudung.
There is no argument on the free choice of Malaysians to choose their attire
according to the requirement of their religion and culture. All these years,
Malaysians have learned to live in harmony by not only respecting each
other's religion and way of life, but also to observe certain decorum in
public arena and in their social interaction.
Forcing non-Muslims to observe the requirement of Islam is definitely not in
accordance with the spirit of free choice that Malaysians value, and in fact
is against the teaching o Islam itself. Further, such regulation is
certainly a blatant infringement of non-Muslims' freedom of religion and
basic human rights.
It is therefore important for the Rector of the IIUM to give a clear and
proper explanation on the matter, and to abolish any regulation which is
against the free choice and freedom of religion of its students.
Chong Eng, DAP Deputy Secretary General and MP for Bukit Mertajam