Malaysian gymnast Farah Ann Abdul Hadi, who won six medals at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, came under fire after several orthodox Muslims mocked her attire and asked her to wear a "burqa". However, thousands of Malaysians have now slammed those who wanted her to dress modestly.
The controversy erupted after a section of Muslims in Malaysia criticised Hadi for her revealing outfit. Some critics had rebuked the 21-year-old last week, saying they could see the shape of her "aurat" (genitalia) through her immodest clothes, AFP reported.
A leading Muslim cleric in Malaysia went on to say that gymnastics was not for Muslim women.
"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," Harussani Zakaria, a Malaysian top cleric, told a local daily.
Similarly a Facebook user wrote: "If you don't want to wear a headscarf, at least wear tights to cover up your thighs. Because that's the aurat (private parts) you have to cover and shouldn't be displayed to men."
The 21-year old, however, said in a Twitter response: "Empty cans make the most noise."
Public personality and board member for Sisters in Islam, Marina Mahathir, wrote: "So...those people who spend their time looking at athlete's private parts, what exactly have they done to bring glory to their country?"
Malaysia's youth and sports minister spoke out supporting Hadi, a double gold medallist at the SEA Games. "In gymnastics Farah wowed the judges and brought home gold. In her deeds only the Almighty judges her. Not you. Leave our athletes alone," Khairy Jamaluddin said in a Twitter post.
A Facebook group, Farah Ann Abdul Hadi For Malaysia, gained over 12,000 followers in just three days and the number is rapidly increasing. Several Facebook users under #FARAHnatics have been posting updates criticising those who mocked the gymnast.
Arwind Kumar @Arwind_K
DEAR FARAH ANN ABDUL HADI'S HATERS....DIS IS WHAT I GOT TO SAY TO U..KENOD GET GOLD MEDAL DUN NEED TO SIBUK SIBUK... http://fb.me/2dsuxCuTK
Farah Ann Abdul Hadi - congratulations for making country proud. Don't worry about the mentally deranged !!
Mark OP @mark_op
Mark OP retweeted The Jakarta Post
"In Farah Ann Abdul Hadi's deeds only the Almighty judges her. Not you. Leave our athletes alone." Good one!
"empty cans make the most noise" HELL YES YOU TELL THEM FARAH ANN ABDUL HADI !!!!!!
Shankar K. Eham @taletellerphoto
To the retards criticising Farah Ann Abdul Hadi for her 'revealing' leotard—she won a gold, far more than you lot can ever achieve in life.