Peak Islamic body says transgender beauty pageant in Bali 'a disgrace'

Detik News – October 4, 2021
2021 Miss Queen transgender beauty contest winner Millen Cyrus – Undated (Istimewa)

Jakarta – The Indonesia Ulama Council (MUI) has spoken out over the Miss Queen Beauty pageant which took place in Bali on September 30 saying that Miss Queen Pageants are not allowed in Indonesia because transgender is haram (forbidden under Islamic law) and a disgrace.

"Pageants like Miss Queen Transgender should not be allowed to be held in Indonesia. Because our country is based on [the state ideology of] Pancasila which holds religious values in the highest regard, in accordance with the first principle, namely the Belief in the Almighty God", MUI study and research division head Professor Utang Ranuwijaya told journalists on October 4.

Ranuwijaya said that the MUI has already issued a fatwa (edict) on transgender people and transgender behaviour stating that it is haram.

"I need to convey that the MUI through its 8th National Conference in 2010 issued a fatwa on transgender. In the fatwa it states that changing gender (transgender) is legally haram, including for those parties which assist someone to change gender", he said.

However Ranuwijaya explained that those who undergo treatment for ambiguous gender disorders to restore their dominant sex are allowed. "It's different in the case of restoring ambiguous gender, which is referred to as khuntsa. Operations to restore the dominant gender are allowed", he said.

Furthermore, Ranuwijaya emphasised that all types of activities which exhibit transgender acts are not good or even bad. "All forms of activities which intentionally exhibit transgender acts in public are not good or even can be referred to as bad actions", he said.

Ranuwijaya gave several reasons why transgender contests such as Miss Queen are bad. First, because transgender acts are prohibited by religion.

"First, being transgender itself is prohibited by religion, both for men becoming women or women becoming men. Under Islamic teachings, just for plucking grey hairs or eyebrows there are rules, let alone changing gender", he explained.

"Second, the behaviour of a person like this shows that they are suffering a mental disorder which must be treated, not [displayed] in a contest or exhibited in public", he said.

Thus, said Ranuwijaya, transgender activities are a disgrace and not an accomplishment. "Based on these two reasons, transgender activities are a disgrace, not an accomplishment", he asserted.

Millen Cyrus won the 2021 Miss Queen Transgender beauty contest which was held in Bali on Thursday September 30. The contest is a beauty pageant for transgender people. (lir/fjp)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "MUI Kecam Ajang Miss Queen di Bali: Transgender Aib, Bukan Prestasi".]