MUAR, Sept 27 – The Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, today has demanded that the owner of a Muslim-only launderette to apologise publicly and cease its discriminatory practice, or risk being shut down, The Star reported. A photo of the Muar launderette began making its rounds on social media over the weekend showing a sign outside its premises which read “Only for Muslims”, along with instructions for customers to remove their shoes before entering.
“I cannot accept this nonsense. 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, ” he said
“I want to put a stop to such extremism. Extremism has no place in my state. We take pride in being Bangsa Johor (Johoreans) and I want to know where the owner of this launderette learnt his Islam? Islam teaches the faithful to be tolerant and respect other people and faiths.”
The state’s Bangsa Johor concept, bases its development on fostering unity through respect for race, religion and culture. The sultan slammed the owner of the launderette as “sick”, and said his family were “deeply appalled” over the incident. Sultan Ibrahim has reportedly now ordered religious officials in the state to investigate the matter – and demanded an apology from the owner.
“I want the owner to apologise to me and the people of Johor. He has made Johoreans very angry and embarrassed because this is not the Johor we want. The owner has gone against the vision of a united, harmonious, moderate and tolerant Johor,” he told The Star at the Istana Bukit Serene.
“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. Don’t try to be clever. It’s still the same. The owner needs to have his brains cleaned up,” he said.
The sultan said mosques in Johor were open to non-Muslims, for example, as long as they were properly dressed and he could not imagine non-Muslims being banned from entering them. The sultan has directed the state executive council and all local councils to revoke the licence of any business which “carry out such blatant discriminatory practices”, the paper said. He said he also did not want other races to carry out similar actions.