Farah Ann Abdul Hadi won six medals in a leotard that has generated a firestorm of controversy both for and against the 21-year-old gymnast. Clad in the traditional leotard as she soared to victory, Farah Ann Abdul revealed body parts that religious leaders argue should be covered by more than Spandex, reported MSN.
Hadi won two gold medals, one silver, and three bronze at the 2015 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games as a Malaysian athlete. But Muslims on social media who are against her leotard contend that her sportswear displayed the shape of her female body parts and “aurat” (parts of the body that should be kept covered such as the genitalia).
And as a result of that Farah Ann Abdul’s highly publicized victory, Hadi’s leotard has resulted in two distinct teams. Those against the leotard include Senior Islamic cleric Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria, who argues that Muslim women should not participate in gymnastics.
“Gymnastics is not for Muslim women. It is clear that exposing one’s aurat and the shape of one’s body is haram (forbidden in Islam). If Muslim women want to participate in gymnastics, they have to find outfits which cover the aurat and this, in turn, might not be suitable for the sport.”
But those who favor Hadi’s leotard are passionate in supporting Farah Ann Abdul, with a Facebook page overflowing with praise and empathy. In addition, Khairy Jamaluddin, Malaysia’s minister for youth and sports, argued for the 21-year-old gymnast and her leotard.
“In gymnastics Farah wowed the judges and brought home gold. In her deeds only the Almighty judges her. Not you. Leave our athletes alone,” posted Khairy on Twitter.
But the head of the female section for the National Muslim Youth Association, Roszida Kamaruddin, offered a different view, reported the Daily Mail.
“Women should not be stopped from sports, but they must prioritise the Islamic codes in sports. Furthermore, there are many Muslim female athletes who succeed even by covering their aurat,” argued the Muslim leader.
But Jamaluddin sided with Farah’s right to wear that leotard.
“As Minister of Sport, I still hold to the principle that it is up to the athlete on what he or she wants to wear as long as the attire is regulation approved by the federation, by the sport. That’s his or her choice, what he or she wants to wear. I think this whole incident also smacks of sexism. Nobody has complained about … kinky Speedos, or Sazali (Samad) wearing tight shorts when he flexes his muscles but when it comes to gymnasts, suddenly it’s a big problem.”
The argument about what constitutes sexism has been taking place a world away from the leotard controversy. As the Inquisitr reported, Melissa McCarthy has taken on the issue of what is sexist, whether it’s a reviewer calling her a “female hippo” or tabloids slamming Renee Zellweger for refusing to discuss plastic surgery.
What do you think about Farah Ann Abdul Hadi’s leotard controversy? Post your comments below.
[Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images; Photo by Guang Niu/Getty Images; Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images; Image via Facebook.com/FarahAnnAbdulHadi]