In reference to this article https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2019/05/23/segamat-council-officers-disguise-as-cooks-secretly-photograph-non-fasting/1755545 published in the Malay Mail today
Sisters in Islam (SIS) is outraged to learn that Segamat Municipal Council (MPS) officers have resorted to disguising themselves as food stall operators, cooks and waiters in a effort to spy on Muslims who are not fasting.
This move not only represents a breach of trust among stalls under the council supervision, but is also an outright misuse of public funds. We would like to emphasize that it is not the responsibility of local councils to become religious police. This act represents a blatant misplace in priorities on the side of the council itself who should instead be focusing on upholding the welfare and dignity of all people whom they serve and who are in need.
This action by the council is shameful and gives the wrong impression of Islam in the eyes of fellow Muslims and people from other faiths.
The council’s sinister strategy of planting ‘dark-skinned’ officers and taking photos of Muslims buying food and eating in public goes directly against the Holy Quran who tells us to avoid suspicion and not to spy on each other behind each other’s backs [49:12].
The council and the religious department should instead uphold the spirit of empathy and kindness during this month of Ramadhan by encouraging the general public to be understanding towards the many Muslims who do not fast for various reasons. The council must also take into consideration that many people work heavy and manual conditions, have health conditions such as diabetes and other chronic diseases, are breastfeeding or are allowed not to fast because of their age.
We are disappointed that while there is a compassionate way of encouraging Muslims to fast, the council and the religious department has opted to take a punitive measure which tarnishes the name of Islam. We strongly demand that all parties cease this disgraceful act of spying on the people.
Sisters in Islam
23 May 2019