Malaysians React Over Claim That Attire “Invites Rape”

The chief minister of an opposition-ruled Malaysian state recently claimed that women were the main cause of social ills and moral decadence, due to attire that exposed their bodies. Minister Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat also added that their clothing invited men to rape or molest them, stating, “Even my faith as a religious teacher can be weakened by watching them.” Many Malaysians were infuriated with the ministers’ comments, including Zainah Anwar, executive director of Sisters in Islam Forum Malaysia. Anwar urged leaders in Malaysia to educate men to take responsibility for their own actions and to treat women as fellow human beings of equal worth and dignity, adding that, “the solution to society’s ills does not lie in the shrouding, segregation and control of women.”


Agence France-Presse 9 October 2000

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