A trans woman ‘influencer’ has been slammed by Malaysia’s Minister for Islamic Affairs for visiting Mecca in Saudi Arabia in makeup and female attire.
According to local media, 33-year-old Nur Sajat, who has an Instagram following over 1.4 million, shared images of herself wearing makeup and women’s clothing while visiting the Grand Mosque of Mecca in Saudi Arabia and many of Islam’s holiest sites.
After her post went viral, sparking an online backlash, Malaysia’s Minister for Islamic Affairs Mujahid Yusof Rawa said: “I regret her actions, and it was promoted on Instagram as if it was not an offence.
“Please return to your ‘fitrah asal’ (natural origin), respect others, respect the religion and respect the laws of the country you are visiting.”
The minister also reportedly suggested that her actions could cause tension between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.
Unverified reports claimed that she had been arrested by the Saudi police, but a spokesperson for the tour firm that planned her trip said she was no longer in Mecca and had moved on to Medina, another a major Islamic pilgrimage site.
The tour company added that they were trying to contact Sajat’s family, but were unable to get through to them.
The cosmetics influencer, who is reported to have been born male, has often been criticised by Malaysia’s religious authorities over her gender identity, according to local media.
Reports said that an alleged copy of her passport appeared on the internet that showed her name as Muhammad Sajjad Kamaruz Zaman.
The tour company that arranged for Muhammad Sajad Kamaruzzaman to undertake the Umrah claimed that the influencer had registered for the visit as a man.
It is currently unclear when she plans to return to Malaysia and if the authorities plan to take further action.
The Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca that can be undertaken at any time of the year, in contrast to the Ḥajj, which has specific dates according to the Islamic lunar calendar.
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