Alcohol-related work a dilemma for Muslims
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A local activist has sparked an intense debate over Muslim employees in Malaysia who are forced to handle alcoholic beverages on the job.
Bilal Jailani, of Malaysian Muslim Solidarity (Isma), recounted how he repeatedly intervened in convenience stores because Muslim employees had to deal with customers who were buying beer.
He posted his experience on social media, which sparked an avalanche of attention from internet users.
In the post, he recounted his meeting while standing in line to pay at a convenience store in Southville, Bangi.
Bilal said he noticed a stranger behind him carrying around 6 cans of Tiger beer.
After paying, he asked the cashier, a Muslim, if she could handle the alcohol transaction.
As a result, the young cashier replied that if she can help him, she doesn’t want to get involved.
Bilal responded by saying that in Selangor, selling alcohol is a sharia crime punishable by up to 3 years in prison.
You cannot continue this transaction. If you continue, I’ll record and make a police report.
Activist Isma Bilal Jailani on the Muslim employee having to handle beers.
He also told the foreigner who wanted to buy the alcohol that the cashier cannot continue selling the beers because she is a Muslim.
Then another member of the convenience store staff came to see Bilal and said the employees did not want to sell alcoholic beverages but had no choice as it was part of their job.
Bilal responded that companies cannot order their staff to do something that violates the laws of the country, regardless of the scope of the position.
He then spoke to the store manager and made him stop selling the 6 cans of beer.
Bilal said he left the convenience store a happy man.
He was glad the Muslim employees listened to him, and he won them over.
At the time of writing, Bilal’s Facebook post has over 11,000 comments and has been shared over 12,000 times.
Many Internet users applaud Bilal for having defended his religion.
At the same time, some netizens called for caution given the sensitivity of the subject.
READ MORE: A non-halal section in a brand new supermarket barricaded after a protest by a member of the local assembly
Others believe that Muslim employees must be convinced that they can find more suitable employment elsewhere.
There are also those who think that Muslims should also be outraged against cigarettes and not just against alcoholic drinks.
Melayu Islam. Bila arak menggelupur. Rokok yang terang haram buat tak tahu pula. pic.twitter.com/4PysXKAeMI
– Da’ie Syaiton🏴 (@EnemyOfGawd) December 6, 2021
Twitter user @hnafrhnaa claimed she worked in a convenience store and shared her experience dealing with such situations.
I made my own law, whoever buys alcohol puts it in plastic. Most of my non-Muslim clients get it, and they put it in plastic themselves. Some Muslims also buy alcohol, I even quarreled with them.
Twitter user @hnafrhnaa is addressing the issue.
Agree to disagree
According to Hadith (report of traditions or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad), a Muslim is not allowed to be involved in any activity that requires him to prepare, sell, buy, bring and produce anything related to alcohol .
The Prophet Muhammad said: Allah has cursed the intoxicants, his drinker, his waiter, his seller, his buyer, his presser, the one who demands that he be in a hurry, his carrier, the one to whom it is conveyed and the one who consumes his price (recorded in Sunan Abi Daud).
The Chairman of the Malaysian Advisory Council of the Islamic Organization (MAPIM), Azmi Abdul Hamid, said the issue of the sale of alcohol in convenience stores and grocery stores was indeed a matter of debate.
Muslims should not be involved in the sale of alcohol. Management must respect this even if the speedmart store obtains a license to sell alcohol.
MAPIM President Azmi Abdul Hamid to TRP on the issue
At the same time, he praised Bilal for speaking in a respectful manner.
Azmi said that it is very necessary to gently reprimand and tell others that there are rules to be followed.
On another note, World Federation for Human Rights President Shashi Kumar Shanmugam said Malaysian law does not prevent anyone from serving alcohol, regardless of their job description. .
Citing an example, the airline’s former cabin crew said that Malaysia Airlines – in order to achieve and maintain its 5-star rating – is required to serve alcohol such as beer, wine, spirits and champagne, especially in its first and business class.
I have traveled to Dubai several times and you can see alcohol served in most of the hotels and clubs even though it is a city in an Islamic country.
The President of the World Federation for Human Rights, Sashi Kumar, to the TRP on the issue.
Live in peace with everyone
Hopefully the issue can be resolved amicably in due course, especially since the sale of alcoholic beverages itself was controversial.
READ MORE: D-Day for Kopitiams: impossible to sell beers without a license from January 1
It is inevitable that conflicts will arise with disagreements, misunderstandings or simply poor communication.
A lot of people only see conflict in a negative light, but it makes us stronger and we learn what is really worth fighting for.
Let us not let any unhealthy speech come out of our mouths, but only what is useful for uplifting others according to their needs.
The diversity of our nation should be our strength, not a handicap.
Let’s be forgiven and forgive quickly.
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