No rules against laundromat barring non-Muslims, says Johor exco

Abd-Mutalip-Abd-Rahim-dobi-mesra-muslim-muarPETALING JAYA: The Muar laundromat which courted controversy by limiting its services to Muslims can continue operating as there are no local authority regulations barring the practice, according to Johor’s executive councillor for religion.

Abd Mutalip Abd Rahim said the laundromat was a business and it was up to the operator to run it in the way he wished, unlike halal and non-halal restaurants which were regulated.

“It has not violated any regulation, so we can’t shut it down. All we can do is ask the operator to correct the situation,” he told FMT.

The laundromat placed a sign at the entrance stating it only accepted Muslim customers on the ground of preserving “purity”. The sign also asked customers to take off their shoes before entering the premises.

The 40-year-old operator told a Chinese newspaper that he introduced the restriction to fulfil his obligation as a Muslim.

He added that Chinese and Indian Muslim converts were welcome to use the laundromat but non-Muslims should choose another laundry shop.

Abd Mutalip said it would be better if the operator removed the sign which invited controversy and caused misunderstanding with people of other faiths.

“Actually, there is no need to put up such a sign. He should have used a more polite approach that would not offend others.

“We should avoid things like this. Just carry on your business as normal. Why not just partition off a space for non-Muslims which would not hurt the feelings of others?” he said.

However, a different viewpoint was offered by the Johor Mufti Mohd Tahrir Samsudin who praised the laundromat’s action as “beautiful”.

“Cleanliness is a top priority to Muslims,” the mufti was quoted in Harian Metro.