Tomboy protests a security threat?

KUALA LUMPUR Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:42am EST

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KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia's police, who have recently cracked down on dissident bloggers and broken up anti-government demonstrations, say that protests over an edict against Muslim women wearing trousers are a security threat.

Mainly Muslim Malaysia's National Fatwa Council recently issued a religious ruling that wearing trousers was un-Islamic.

It said that, by wearing trousers, young girls risked becoming "tomboys" who became sexually active.

That move triggered small protests later from two non-Muslim non-government organizations -- Katagender and Food-not-Bombs.

"I'm warning them and will take stern action as it involves national security," Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan told reporters Thursday, according to the state-run Bernama news agency.

Malaysia frowns on oral and gay sex, describing them as against the order of nature. Under civil law, offenders -- male and female -- can be jailed for up to 20 years, caned or fined.

As well as women in trousers, the Fatwa Council is considering barring Muslims from practicing yoga.

Just over half of Malaysia's 27 million people are Malay Muslims, practicing the moderate form of Islam.

(Reporting by David Chance; Editing by Paul Tait)

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