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Lawyer slams halting of aerobics event

 | October 24, 2017

Art Harun says it shows PAS is not averse to enforcing Islamic laws on non-Muslims.

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PETALING JAYA: Human rights lawyer Azhar Harun has criticised the Kota Bharu municipal council’s decision to halt an aerobics session that had both male and female participants.

Speaking to FMT, Azhar, also known as Art Harun, said it showed that PAS, which governs Kelantan, was not averse to enforcing Islamic laws on non-Muslims.

He noted that PAS had often tried to defend its intention to introduce hudud punishments by saying they would apply only to Muslims.

“But this is not even hudud yet,” Azhar said in reference to the “aerobathon” organised by Kota Bharu Wanita MCA last Friday.

Kelantan state executive councillor Abdul Fattah Mahmood had earlier defended the decision, saying it was a longstanding policy of the state to require segregation of men and women in public activities.

He also said the segregation rule would not be enforced if a public event had no Muslim participants.

He accused MCA of blowing the issue out of proportion for political mileage.

Azhar disagreed that MCA had exaggerated the matter, saying it was an issue that concerned the violation of rights and the municipal council should have expected a backlash.

He said he didn’t think the council’s decision was fair.

“It was just an aerobics session,” he said.

“We know our boundaries as Malaysians. Have they seen any public aerobics session in Malaysia where all the men mingle with women?”

Kota Bharu MCA chairman Tan Ken Ten said the organisers had allowed the mixing of participants in Friday’s session because only a few men were taking part.


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