In a country where the practice of traditional religion is a daily fact of life, Muslims and non-Muslims alike can pray in public spaces, even in the middle of the night.
The Malaysian government has introduced a series of laws that will require public servants to use a separate prayer space for Muslims and Hindus in public places.
But even though Muslims are required to use separate prayer spaces, Muslims are not allowed to pray on public property.
“The prayer room will be built in a space separate from the public,” Mohamed Yusof, a Muslim resident of Kuala Lumpur, told Reuters news agency.
“We will not be allowed to use it for prayers.”
Muslims pray in the mosque at the Grand Mosque in Kuala Lumpur February 3, 2020.
Muslims pray in a public area of the Grand mosque in Kuala Kerengal, Malaysia.
Muslim women hold a prayer candle during a service during the prayer vigil in Kuala Langkawi, March 11, 2020.(Reuters photo: Rohan Thomson) “We will pray in this room,” he said, adding that the building would be covered by a metal barrier to prevent any attacks by “foreign forces.”
“The government should consider whether it is appropriate for a mosque to have a separate space for Muslim prayers in a place where it has no official responsibility,” Yusof added.
A Muslim woman sits during a prayer vigil during the funeral prayer in Kuala Lanangkalan, March 10, 2020 (Reuters photo): Muslims pray during a funeral prayer at the funeral mosque in Langkalan.
Migrants gather during a procession in Kuala Kalimantan, March 15, 2020 (Reuters photo)Muslim women pray during the Friday prayer at a mosque in Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur.
An Indian migrant carries a bag in Kuala Kuala Lumpur during a protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to build a Hindu temple in the city.
Indian migrants gather during the procession in a protest at a Hindu Temple in Kuala KL, March 12, 2020(Reuters Photo: Rohit Sheth) Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak is expected to address the country’s Muslim community at the weekend.
He has also made efforts to make sure Muslims have the same access to public places as Hindus and other religious minorities.
But Muslims have expressed disappointment at the lack of public spaces for their faith, with some believing that the government has not taken any action on religious minorities’ rights.
“In Malaysia, Muslims can only pray in mosques,” Yusaf said.
“There is no place for us to pray.
We cannot pray in our homes, in our mosques or anywhere else.”
An Indonesian Muslim woman poses for a portrait during a gathering of Muslims, during a rally against Prime Minster Narendra Modi, in Jakarta, Indonesia, February 21, 2020, on March 1, 2020 during a campaign against the proposed Hindu temple Temple in the city of Jakarta.(Reuters Photo.
@AJAPIRAN_JAN/Twitter: @AJARangKaswani) A group of Muslim migrants gather for a rally, outside the government headquarters in Kuala Lombok, Malaysia, on February 18, 2020 after the construction of the Hindu temple, which is expected at a site in the southern part of the city, is expected on March 8, 2020 as the country prepares to host the 2020 Winter Olympics.
The construction of a Hindu temples in the Southern region of Malaysia has been delayed for a year due to concerns about pollution, according to the government, which said the temple would be built on the site of a church that had been converted to a mosque and would be in the “best” location for the project.
Indonesian Muslims hold a protest during a march to the Indonesian consulate in Kuala Kangas, March 1,- 2020.(AFP Photo: Mokhtar Aslan)”We are very angry, and we are trying to raise awareness, to make the government aware,” Rakhmah Yusef, a Pakistani resident of the Malaysian capital, told the AFP news agency, adding “We want the government to do something about the situation.”
The government has announced a series