Of the arts and the new Islamic paradigm

I can remember a time in my distant past when the Muslim head scarf or locally known as the ‘tudung’ was an exception rather than the rule. Go to any mall in the modern, bustling city of Kuala Lumpur nowadays and one would be surrounded by a river of Muslim women sporting the hear-dress in varying colours but always of the same shape and pattern. There is a new religious fervor in the air which was not there during my younger days. When did the revolution happen and was it televised?

Aside from religiously sanctioned attire, the zealots are also dipping their fingers into the arts as evidenced by this piece of news about local film director Yasmin Ahmad who found her latest film ‘Muallaf’ the target of the God squad. A choice cut from the article:

Yasmin’s plight underlines a deepening Islamic fervor sweeping the country.

Many Muslims are dismayed by a rising tide of conservatism that has changed the face of this modern but moderate Muslim society. Music, dance and now films have suffered because they are frowned on by the strict interpretations of Islamic laws.

Read the rest of the article here.


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