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Muslim Women Gymnasts Retire From Sport Over Terengganu Dresscode, Some Took Up Wushu

Muslim Women Gymnasts Retire From Sport Over Terengganu Dresscode, Some Took Up Wushu

The Terengganu state government has banned Muslim women gymnasts from participating in 2024 Sukma.

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PAS-led Terengganu government’s decision to ban women from gymnastics events over non-shariah-compliant outfits has led several Muslim female gymnasts in the state to retire from the sport.

The policy, outlined in the Entertainment, Cultural Performances, Tourism and Sports guideline, came into effect last year.

The guideline allegedly recommended what Muslim and non-Muslim athletes and performers are allowed to wear according to Shariah codes.

As a consolation, the president of the Terengganu Gymnastics Association, Abdul Razak Mat Amin, said the Muslim women gymnasts were offered places in the Wushu event for the 2024 Sukma.

However, only four women accepted the offer while the rest decided to retire and focus on their studies.

Discussions were fruitless

Razak said discussions were held with the Terengganu executive councillor sports but the talks were fruitless. The suggestion of more appropriate attire was also rejected.

He added that it was a loss for Terengganu as the non-shariah policy meant that talent in the state could not be nurtured.

But for now, as long as the (PAS) government is in power, we will comply with the policy that bans Muslim women gymnasts from participating in Sukma.

President of the Terengganu Gymnastics Association, Abdul Razak Mat Amin

Razak also voiced his puzzlement over Terengganu’s decision because Kelantan, which the Islamic party also leads, allows women to take part in gymnastics.

Razak said the association is currently focusing on male athletes and has produced some of the best male gymnasts such as Sharul Aimy Kamaru Hisam.

Sharul recently won a bronze medal in the vault category at the Asian Games.

Terengganu Youth, Sports, and NGO chairperson Hishamuddin Abdul Karim said they do not despise the sport. They intend to bring a shariah-friendly approach to make changes and bring education and awareness to athletes.

He added that the state is using a polite approach, acknowledging that it’s difficult to fully enforce Syariah-compliant outfits among athletes due to challenges with international standards.

Some people sympathised with the gymnasts because they have worked and trained hard only to be told their participation is revoked.

Meanwhile, people also wondered why the Shariah-compliant outfits only focused on women athletes.

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