Religious Affairs Minister Datuk Idris Ahmad has urged the authorities to take action against fashion designer Kel Wen for allegedly insulting the Muslim community in the country for wearing songkok, samping with semi-naked clothes during the recently concluded Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week (KLFW).
According to Sinar Daily, Idris said the authorities should pursue action against the fashion designer to reprimand others from repeating the same action.
“Our Muslim community were angry and disappointed. Religious boundaries, religious sensitivity and race should not be made into a joke.”
“Let’s not commit something that violates religious teaching, eastern custom and morality,” he said.
Commenting on Kel Wen’s attire during the KLFW, Idris said the songkok is a headgear that symbolises the identity of Malays and Muslims in this country.
On the other hand, the designer has taken to his Instagram account to defend himself. He stressed that it was never his intention to mock any religion.
“I read your comments. In all seriousness, I have no intention of mocking any religion. Islam is beautiful and growing up around Muslims in Malaysia naturally influenced my art and style,” he wrote in a post.
In another post, he explained that he was not revealing any sensitive parts of his body. “Showing my knees like most Malay men out there is a common fashion today,” he said.
“To show my knees while wearing a songkok is the same concept as a Hijabi who wears the tudung with their neck out, and also the same concept with wearing a formal suit with a short skirt to formal events.”
Meanwhile, he also explained that the songkok does not originate from the Malay community but was introduced to Southeast Asia by Indian Muslims in the 19th century. He added that the Malays used to wear Sarong only, and toplessness was considered common among Malays.
However, Instagram users continued to criticise him and suggested that he dress more moderately if wearing a songkok as it was synonymous with Muslim and Malay culture.
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