Congress of Indonesia's Largest Islamic Organization Discusses Intersex

Arfi Bambani
Secretary of Bahtsul Masail Ad-Diniyah Al-Waqi'iyah of Nahdlatul Ulama, Sarmidi Husna
Secretary of Bahtsul Masail Ad-Diniyah Al-Waqi'iyah of Nahdlatul Ulama, Sarmidi Husna - The Bahtsul Masail Ad-Diniyah Al-Waqi'iyah Commission discussed intersex people at the 34th Nahdlatul Ulama Conference. Intersex people are people with sex characteristics that do not fully match the characteristics of a male or female body based on medical definitions and social norms.

Secretary of the Bahtsul Masail Ad-Diniyah Al-Waqi'iyah Commission, Sarmidi Husna, said this congress forum discussed intersex issues in Islam and found solutions for intersex patients. "This issue was raised at the NU congress following the increase in the number of people with gender ambiguity or intersexuality from year to year," said Sarmidi, Thursday, December 23, 2021, as quoted from ANTARA.

He stated that his commission would, among other things, discuss how to determine the sex of a person who only has male genitals, perfect or not, but also has female external characteristics such as having a uterus and menstrual blood.

"On the other hand, we will also discuss how to determine the sex of someone who only has female genitals (perfect or not) but does not have a uterus, does not experience menstruation, or other characteristics that characterize men's outward appearances," said Sarmidi.

He explained that people born intersex can look like men but have female reproductive organs or look like women but have male reproductive organs. According to him, intersex cases are usually discovered when a person is a teenager or adult when the signs of their sex become clearer. People with this condition from infancy to adolescence can be treated as women if the genitals that stand out are female or vice versa.

According to research by a lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine at Diponegoro University as well as an expert on histology and a researcher on gender ambiguity, Sultana MH. Faradz, said until now the prevalence of intersex cases is not clear because most people are still embarrassed to report it. A study published in 2013 noted that since 2004, Sultana has treated around 700 intersex sufferers, most of whom come from the lower middle class of the economy.

According to research results, medical treatment is only needed if people born with intersex problems have health problems related to the condition, such as having a uterus but no uterine opening, difficulty passing urine, or experiencing menstrual cycles but blood can't come out of the body.

Intersex people are different from transgender people, who are born with clear sex characteristics but feel that their sex characteristics do not show their true gender expression. For example, a transgender person who was born a boy felt that he should be a woman and this condition made him uncomfortable, and decided to undergo genital reassignment surgery.

Nahdlatul Ulama is one of the two largest Islamic organizations in Indonesia with millions of followers. Often dubbed as representative of traditional Islam in Indonesia, Nahdlatul Ulama often raises progressive interpretations of some contemporary phenomena such as cryptocurrency.

Tag # intersex # transgender # lgbt # sexual expression # human rights # nahdlatul ulama # islam

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