PETALING JAYA: Social activist Marina Mahathir has rejected an accusation that she tolerates discrimination against women who opt to wear the tudung.
Speaking to FMT, she pointed out that Sisters in Islam (SIS), an organisation she belongs to, had spoken up against such discrimination.
She was referring to a statement issued last November by the Joint Action Group on Gender Equality (JAG), of which SIS is a member.
The JAG statement criticised an international hotel’s policy prohibiting frontline staff from wearing the headscarf, saying it was discriminatory. It added that policies requiring the use of the headscarf were also discriminatory.
Rafidah Hanim Mokhtar, who leads the International Women’s Alliance for Family Institution and Quality Education, recently accused Marina of holding a double standard in condemning an assault on a bareheaded woman while being allegedly silent on the tudung ban affecting hotel workers.
The assault Rafidah was referring to is depicted in a video clip that recently went viral. It shows a man slapping a woman who exposed her hair.
Marina challenged Rafidah to clarify her stand on the incident.
She said: “Does she support violence on women? Is it fair for anyone to berate and slap a person for whatever reason? Does Islam permit us to reprimand someone in such a manner or does the Quran tell us to always speak in a good way?”
SIS director Rozana Isa affirmed that her organisation supported the right of women to wear or not wear the headscarf.
Referring to the incident depicted in the viral video, she told FMT that SIS believed it needed serious attention because it involved women’s safety in public spaces.