KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 16 — Controversial columnist Ridhuan Tee Abdullah claimed today that women’s bodies attract rapists, amid an uproar over a recent Friday sermon that linked women’s dressing to sexual assault.
Pointing out the difference between the shape of women’s and men’s bodies, Tee said in his column on Malay daily Sinar Harian that by “exposing and flaunting” their bodies, women are motivating men to commit rape.
“The logic is simple. Women’s bodies are alluring and arousing,” said Tee in the article titled “Bila si jahil berbicara (When the ignorant speak)”.
The lecturer at the Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin’s Research Institute for Islamic Products and Civilisation was explaining his reasons for disagreeing with a claim by G25 earlier this month that Kelantan will be overrun by paedophiles should the PAS government implement hudud.
G25, the moniker used to refer to the group of prominent Malay former civil servants, had said at a forum on February 7 that this is because the Islamic penal code dismisses the need for scientific evidence to prove crimes like zina (sex outside marriage).
“Why so quick to condemn Islamic law when we have yet to experience it here?” Tee asked. “If you claim to practise Islam, then where is your confidence in Allah?”
He claimed that humans are more inclined towards committing good deeds rather than bad, and rational-thinking people were unlikely to rape others.
Only a select few would dare to commit such crimes, he pointed out.
“That is why Islam’s way is to prevent (crime) by taking harsh action,” he said.
Tee also claimed that wearing short skirts and going to nightclubs could lead to rape, sexual assault and other forms of violence against women.
The Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) said in its Friday sermon earlier this month that covering up one’s “aurat” would prevent women from being raped, sparking outrage from women’s groups and politicians who said that the Islamic authority was perpetuating rape myths.
“Aurat” in Malay refers to “intimate body parts” that Muslims must cover with clothing; exposing these is considered sinful.
Damansara Utama assemblyman Yeo Bee Yin from the DAP has since pointed out that Kelantan, which is governed by conservative Islamist party PAS, has the second-highest number of rape cases per 100,000 people in the country.
Yeo, who cited 2009 statistics from the Statistics Department, said Kelantan has 20 rape cases per 100,000 people while Negri Sembilan has the highest figure at 20.6 cases.
Tee said today that covering up one’s “aurat” does not guarantee protection from rape, but stressed that it was merely a preventive measure.
“If it’s fated that many of those who cover their ‘aurat’ are raped, then it’s fate,” said the Muslim convert.
Civil rights group Empower said last Monday that women’s clothing has nothing to do with rape, pointing out that rape victims in several high-profile cases in Malaysia include those wearing headscarves and young girls in “modest” clothing.
“The ultra kiasu said it’s those who cover their aurat who are the most commonly raped. It’s because loose cloth is easily removed, compared to tight pants,” said Tee today.