Malaysia rules botox is ‘anti-Islamic’
Sunday, 3rd February 2008. 12:39pm

By: George Conger.

BOTOX injections for beauty treatments and cosmetic surgery have been banned by Malaysia’s national Islamic council for violating the tenets of Islam.

Malaysia rules botox is 'anti-Islamic'
On Jan 31, the Kuala Lumpur Star reported that National Fatwa Council, comprising Islamic scholars hand-picked by Malaysia’s Sultans — the constitutional monarchs of nine Malay states — had banned the treatment.

Mufti Muhammad Tamyes Abdul Wahad said the Council of Islamic leaders had issued a fatwah, or religious edict, stating Botox treatments were “haram”, [forbidden] to Muslims.

The case was brought to the notice of the Islamic tribunal after the wife of a leading parliamentarian was hospitalized after she suffered an adverse reaction to the injections.

“People like to do things that they shouldn’t. Do not go against religion for the sake of vanity. There are other ways and products that can make us look beautiful and we need not go against the fatwa,” the Mufti told the Star.

Botox is derived from a type of bacteria that causes botulism food poisoning. In minuscule doses, its paralytic qualities can smooth facial wrinkles and treat disorders such as cerebral palsy. The Council has already banned cosmetic surgery and was scrutinizing the procedure to see if it could be distinguished from plastic surgery.

Under Islamic jurisprudence a fatwah is an interpretation of Islamic law issued by an religious scholar. They do not carry the weight of law, but are a moral obligation whose moral imperative is determined by the authority and prestige of its author.

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran in 1989 pronounced a fatwa imposing the death sentence on Salman Rushdie, the author of The Satanic Verses — an edict still in force according to Iranian leaders, and recognized as a threat to the author by Western governments.

Other fatwas are given less credence. In July 2007 the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Sudan told Al-Jazeera television that he had issued a fatwa prohibiting the vaccination of children, saying it was a conspiracy of Jews and Freemasons to poison Muslim children. The Islamic government in Khartoum has so far not honored the ruling.

Recent fatwas issued by the Malaysian National Fatwa Council include a ban on heavy and “black metal,” certain vaccines made from animal enzymes, and a ban on a museum display on ghosts and the occult for being “harmful to Islam.”

Some 60 percent of Malaysia’s 26 million people are ethnic Malay Muslims, who are subject to Islamic laws as well as the country’s secular legal system. The council’s rulings don not affect the ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities, who are mainly Buddhists, Christians and Hindus.

Contact our Asia Desk


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