Malaysia divided over Islamic laundry

A laundry service only for Muslims? Yes, that is what Islamic laundry is all about.

In Malaysia, a laundry service on Jalan Junid, in Muar, created waves on Facebook when Persatuan Gaya Hidup Sihat Pelabuhan Klang posted the images from the laundry service which read:

“For Muslim consumers only. Muslim-friendly. Take off your shoes outside.”

The service offer got the much-needed publicity but also criticism came from many quarters which prompted Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar to give a public dressing down and said that the laundry service should set up a shop in Afghanistan. He told The Star:

I cannot accept this nonsense (of Islamic laundry service). This is Johor, which belongs to Bangsa Johor and it belongs to all races and faiths. This is a progressive, modern and moderate state.

This is not a Taliban state and as the Head of Islam in Johor, I find this action to be totally unacceptable as this is extremist in nature. The owner has gone against the vision of a united, harmonious, moderate and tolerant Johor. If he still insists on carrying on the Muslim-only practice, he can leave Johor. I suggest he set up shop in Afghanistan. His thinking is sick and goes against everything that Johor stands for.”
But while Sultan indeed was harsh in his words, yet, another Islamic laundry popped up in Malaysia’s northern state Perlis.

The Star called the owner to know more about it and he told the newspaper that his establishment was for Muslims only so that they feel comfortable.

Malaysian leader and Penang Deputy Chief Minister Professor Dr. Ramasamy wondered if it was the Muslim-only apartheid policy which is creeping in Malaysia. He also said that “if such practices are not stopped then there is possibility further divisions will be created between Muslims and non-Muslims in the country. You might have some “insane” person coming up with idea a separate currency, separate bathrooms, and other divisions in the near future.”

Interestingly, Malaysia is more worried about Rohingyas and even Narendra Modi government has been accused of targeting Muslims but yet, its own treatment of Malaysian Indians is nothing short of, to borrow the word from Sultan, ‘appalling.’