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Friday August 1, 2008

Islam does not discriminate against transsexuals

I WOULD like to refute the writer's assertions in “Transsexuals are not acceptable” (The Star, July 31) that by acknowledging the beauty of transsexuals, it implies a change in its meaning.

Somehow, I must say the writer shows a shallow understanding of what being a transsexual is all about and how it feels to be one.

I am not a transsexual but I don't judge my transsexual friends for being what they are.

I accept them and treat them without bias and I can attest to the fact that most transsexuals are very talented.

However, the only problem they are facing is the backlash they receive from the very community they live in.

In terms of legal aspects of sexuality, I am supportive of any statutes that do not interfere with the citizen's personal liberty as long as there is no criminal element involved.

However, what we have in our country is a number of legislations that not only interfere with the citizen's personal liberty but also a blatant intervention of the state in our personal space.

I have no inkling of any transsexuals who end up being isolated and lonely.

In fact, most of the transsexuals I have known have good jobs and have no problems with their tendency.

However, their troubles come from a certain group of people who find it hard to accept transsexuals for what they are.

This group of people who are judgmental and bias are not able to show compassion and a sense of understanding towards transsexuals.

Due to this aspect, some unfortunate transsexuals are finding it hard to make a decent living despite causing no harm to anyone.

It is a gross exaggeration that “criminality, terrorism and all types of physical and mental abuse” are attributed to the loneliness felt by transsexual community.

Transsexuals perpetrated none of the terrorism acts.

We have heard that extremists and religious zealots conducted most of those acts.

When we touch on morality issues, we should establish the morality yardstick that we use as a tool of measurement of morality deviation.

However, in all due respect, it is not my task to say what is considered moral conduct.

Morality is a collective and subjective issue and it differs from one community to another.

Therefore, I found it disturbing that the morality of a group of people is being imposed on another group without considering the impact it might entail.

What is considered amoral in the West may not be so in the East.

Islam recognises transsexuals as a group of people and if one cares to examine further, Islam provides a space for transsexuals in the line of obligatory prayers in mosques.

It shows that Islam is all-encapsulate and does not discriminate against transsexuals.

Therefore, I see no reason for the Islamic fraternity to further torment the lives of transsexuals who are trying to build a decent living, “Transsexuals are haram under Islamic Law,” (The Star, July 30).

Stop using the stick approach and begin to show that Islam is all forgiving and all compassionate and God alone shall be the judge for our lives.

ISAAC RIZARD,
Petaling Jaya.

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