Social media personality Nur Sajat Kamaruzzaman has revealed disturbing footage of her appearing in distress while under religious police custody.
In handcuffs and in tears, the transgender individual, who runs beauty business Nur Sajat Aesthetic, said in a video posted yesterday that she was summoned by Selangor’s Islamic religious authorities on Wednesday over a report that was filed three years ago accusing her of allegedly “insulting Islam.”
That report was related to an incident when the 36-year-old and her employees visited a religious school in Subang to distribute aid. An officer could be heard in Sajat’s Instagram video telling her that the accusation was related to what she wore on that day, which was a pink long dress and a floral headscarf. Sajat was also consistently referred to as “Mr. Sajat” by officers.
“We didn’t do this just once a year, it’s something we did at least once a month as a company to learn more about Islam,” Sajat said about her visit to Tahfiz Az Zahrah Lilbanat in the video, which has been viewed more than a million times since it went up. “I was only trying to get closer to my religion and help others along the way.”
If found guilty of insulting Islam under Section 10 of the country’s Islamic law, she could be fined up to RM5,000 (about US$1,200) and jailed for three years. The vague law also covers ridiculing Islamic culture and defaming the religion.
The 40-minute long clip began with Sajat speaking to an officer over the phone and asking why the Islamic religious authorities were requesting for her to be present at the station for investigations. But the officer on the other end of the line had declined to divulge the details, asking her to come to the station to find out more.
The clip then cut to Sajat at what appeared to be an interrogation room, where she tearfully claimed that she was being wrongfully handcuffed. She had kept her phone hidden in her handbag the whole time.
“While attending prayer session was not a violation of the law, the elements of it based on your clothing was,” an officer could be heard telling her. Then Sajat could be heard struggling with the officers, screaming: “I have given you guys enough cooperation now. Don’t touch me!”
An officer then replied to her saying that he had “the power” over her.
Sajat’s mother Maimon Omar was eventually let into the room and began lashing out at the two officers who had been in the room with her daughter.
“I pray that you will all have a child like Sajat, if not you, your future generations!” she said. “How dare you hurt my child!”
Her mother was heard making calls to a lawyer. Sajat was then freed and allowed to go home.
“Everything I do, they say it’s wrong. I have tried to be a blessing, but they punish me instead,” Sajat wrote in subsequent Instagram posts.
The Islamic Religious Department in Selangor did not respond to Coconuts’ request for comment via email at publication time.