Malaysian Islamic authorities will study whether Botox injections, used for cosmetic and medical treatment, are acceptable to the religion, news reports said yesterday.
If the government's National Fatwa Council finds the chemical in Botox to be "unclean" by Islamic standards, it would be declared haram -- forbidden for Muslims -- said the Utusan Malaysia newspaper.
"We want to see whether or not it is filth," the paper quoted Shukor Husin, spokesman of the National Fatwa Council, as saying.
Botox is derived from a type of bacteria that causes botulism food poisoning. In minuscule doses, its paralytic qualities can smooth facial wrinkles and treat disorders such as cerebral palsy.
Shukor could not be immediately reached yesterday to confirm his comments, also reported by other newspapers.
Ethnic Malay Muslims, who make up nearly two-thirds of Malaysia's 26 million people, are subject to Islamic laws and the National Fatwa Council.
The council's fatwa, or religious edicts, do not affect the Southeast Asian country's minority ethnic Chinese and Indian communities, whose members are mostly Buddhist, Christian and Hindu.
National news agency Bernama said the practices used to inject Botox would also be scrutinized to check whether it is similar to plastic surgery -- which is prohibited for Muslims.
On Monday, the National Fatwa Council ruled that "black metal" music was unacceptable, saying it can cause listeners to rebel against religion.