Malaysian social media celebrity and cosmetic entrepreneur, Nur Sajat has been arrested by Saudi authorities for wearing female clothing. Her visit to the holy site sparked outrage in the country after she displayed images of her pilgrimage on social media.
The 33-year-old Nur Sajat shared photos of herself wearing female prayer outfit and makeup at the Islam’s holiest sites, including Haram.
Sajat, who has over 1.4 million followers, became the subject of controversy for her gender identity. Malaysia’s religious affairs minister has also show dismay towards the matter.
“I regret her actions, and it was advertised on Instagram as if it was not an offense,” Minister for Islamic Affairs, Mujahid Yusof Rawa said.
Mujahid said that the Sajat’s actions could damage relations between Putrajaya and Riyadh, amid unverified reports that Saudi police had arrested her.
“Please return to your fitrah asal (natural origin), respect others, respect the religion and respect the laws of the country you are visiting,” he added.
As per the spokesperson of the tour company who organised Sajat’s trip, she is no longer in the Muslim holy city.
“We have already asked the mutawwif [guide] to take Nur Sajat’s group of 10 out of Makkah,” a spokesperson for Albayt Travel was quoted by the New Straits Times as saying.
“They have been taken on a visit around Madinah.”
The travel agency also stated it had tried to get Sajat to “cooperate” during the pilgrimage, saying that it hoped she would issue an apology.
“For now, Nur Sajat only asked to wait until she returns to Malaysia. Our side, especially the mutawwif tried to get in touch with Nur Sajat’s parents, because only close family members would know the actual situation on the gender issue,” the spokesperson said.
“However the parents are also proving to be difficult to engage in a discussion,” the spokesperson remarked.
Sajat's issue is now on the news, guys. pic.twitter.com/Twx5Y9esqb
— Nun Najmeen (@nunnajmeen) February 3, 2020
The social media celebrity, who is thought to have been born as a male, has long been dogged by Malaysian religious authorities over her gender identity.
An alleged copy of her passport that has surfaced online shows her name as Muhammad Sajjad Kamaruz Zaman.
Early last year, the Malaysian Islamic Development Department had also attempted to get Sajat to undergo a process to verify her gender.
Following Sajat’s most recent social media posts, local media has reported that the Federal Territory Mufti Office of Malaysia is meeting with the National Registration Department (JPN) to obtain further information on Sajat’s gender identity.