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‘Plain stupid’: separate cups for Muslim and non-Muslim kids

‘Plain stupid’: separate cups for Muslim and non-Muslim kids

A row has broken out in Malaysia over a primary school’s policy of providing separate drinking cups for Muslim and non-Muslim students.

Mujahid Yusof Rawa, above, vice-president  of Amanah, an Islamic political party, described the practice as “unfortunate”, saying the drinking water dispenser presented a chance for Muslims and non-Muslims to share something – and there wasn’t anything wrong with that. Photos of the cups at the school – Sekolah Kebangsaan Taman Puteri in Hulu Langat – have gone viral.

Rawa added:

Even when a Chinese eats in a Malay shop, they will use the same plate and utensils as the Muslims. There isn’t a problem with that.

In Islam, when a Muslim goes anywhere to eat or drink, he shouldn’t ask if the cups or utensils are used by non-Muslims. You’re supposed to take it at face value that they are clean.

Deputy Education Minister Chong Sin Woon, above, said today that national schools in the country catered to “all” students regardless of what race or religion they belonged to.

National schools are for all, regardless of race and religion. Chong, who is also MCA Youth chief, said he was awaiting the findings of a report by the Selangor Education Department.

Weighing in on the issue, G25 member Johan Arriffin said incidences like this made him fear where Islam was heading in the country. G25 is a group comprising former civil servants.

Things like this will only create divisions among Malaysians in the name of so-called religious practices. In fact, it shows how much we’ve lost our sense of what religious values actually mean — religious values like tolerance.

Johan said on matters like what is halal, what was important was cleanliness and hygiene, rather than whether a non-Muslim used a cup.

With a cup, you wash it and it’s clean. It doesn’t matter whether it is used by a Muslim or not. To have separate cups is plain stupid.

He added that if everyone were to adopt a mindset of segregation between Muslims and non-Muslims, the issue would never end.

You’ll have a situation where you have to separate everything, from utensils to the person preparing the meals. It’s ridiculous.

MCA Religious Harmony Bureau chairman Ti Lian Ker hit out at the policy, saying it promoted prejudice among students.

Ti said schools should never introduce policies which will leave an “indelible erroneous impression” on young minds that racial or religious domination and disrespect are justifiable or acceptable.

He added that the authorities must now check if the headmaster who implemented the policy, and has since been transferred, is introducing bigoted practices in his new school as well.
If so, Ti proposed that the headmaster be suspended.

The education ministry must immediately instruct the current administrator of SK Taman Puteri to withdraw this polarising practice, and apologise to all students and parents. It should commence teaching the values of multiculturalism and friendship, irrespective of faith.

The incident at the isn’t the first time the segregation of Muslim and non-Muslim students has hit the headlines.

Three years ago, a primary school in Setapak proposed separating Muslim and non-Muslim students, apparently to address a shortage of teachers, causing uneasiness among parents.

The school had argued that this arrangement was to manage the teaching of Islamic Studies and Arabic for Muslims, and the subjects of Moral, Mandarin and Tamil for non-Muslims.

In 2013, Sekolah Kebangsaan Seri Pristana in Sungai Buloh came under fire after non-Muslim students were told to have their meals in a room adjoining a toilet during the month of Ramadan in apparent deference to their Muslim friends who were fasting.

This is the second time in this week that Malaysia has become embroiled in controversy. We reported yesterday that the authorities vowed to hunt down people  who took attended an atheist meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

11 responses to “‘Plain stupid’: separate cups for Muslim and non-Muslim kids”

  1. Anthony Baker says:

    Hitchens was dead right.

  2. Broga says:

    “Johan said on matters like what is halal, what was important was cleanliness and hygiene, rather than whether a non-Muslim used a cup.”

    Halal: slitting animals throats and hanging them up to bleed. I’ve just watched a film called “Forks over knives” which is scaring the USA cattle industry. If this stunning film gets its message across the need for halal and demand for meat will take a big hit.

  3. StephenJP says:

    The trend in Malaysia at the moment is indeed troubling, but this report suggests that at least some of the authorities are not as half-wittedly bigoted as they might be.

  4. RussellW says:

    “The subjects of Moral, Mandarin and Tamil for non-Muslims”

    Since Malays are predominately Muslim and the other ethnic groups are not, there’s also a racial element in this situation as well, which makes it even more toxic.

  5. Club Secretary says:

    Any bets that something similar is happening in a school in the UK?

  6. barriejohn says:

    Club Secretary: That was my immediate thought. Gender segregation goes on in many “faith schools” of various types, and I know that the Exclusive Brethren “separate” teenagers from the rest of the family at about the age of fourteen if they are not “believers”, refusing to eat with them (as the Bible teaches!), so I wonder what happens in THEIR schools. The following may be viewed with suspicion by some, as it is from the Daily Mail site again, but it all rings true with me:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2265258/Probe-strict-Christian-sect-school-shut-girl-pupil-37-days-making-Facebook-page.html

  7. L.Long says:

    “…With a cup, you wash it and it’s clean. It doesn’t matter whether it is used by a Muslim or not. To have separate cups is plain stupid….”
    Says a man who thinks the ideal of being clean is to wash your feet rather then your hands!

  8. Anthony Baker says:

    OK then – I demand that muslims have their own train carriages so that I can be segregated from the really shifty nervous wheelie case fiddling muslim youth who stood by me on a train last weekend. He had two wheelie cases and two burqah clad women with him. The trio were very agitated and nervous. As soon as the train departed the women scurried off in opposite directions to different carriages and left the youth, replete with scraggly beard, knitted scull cap and full muslim male attire, with us kuffars. He then got a small peice of paper out of his pocket, read it, put it back and started muttering something in a foreign language over and over and over and at the same time he started clicking the buttons on the whellie cases releasing the handles and pushing the handles down by a few centimetres as if practicing detonation. I was with my 14 year old son and he started looking really distressed. I was really worried about the situation. Several other people started to look really worried too. So I moved away with my son to a position several carriages away. I resent being made to feel worried for my own and my sons safety by people who adhere to a religion that is clearly an incubator for evil bastards who are happy to bomb their way to paradise at the expense of the lives of innocent people. I did the right thing in moving and I dont care if anyone else thinks otherwise. So please give mulims their own carriage and if any kuffars want to join them … ok by me.

  9. Matthew Carr says:

    Clearly the intent was to anticipate what the touchy Muslims are touchy about. There’s no way to win this game.

  10. Richard W says:

    And presumably it is equally unacceptable for Jews to insist on having separate crockery and cutlery so as not to be contaminated by anything which is not kosher.

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