Fattah: Maghrib shut-down rule doesn't affect non-Muslims

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The ruling for traders to temporarily cease operations during maghrib (dusk) prayers is limited only to Muslim traders, said Kelantan exco member Abdul Fattah Mahmood.

When contacted today, Abdul Fattah said this was understood by everyone, except Salor state assemblyperson Husam Musa.

"My speech was very clear - the rule applies only to Muslim traders at the pasar malam (night market). But he highlights (all) shops.

"What does he want? All the reporters understood (the ruling). Go ask Husam what is it that he wants," he said.

Abdul Fattah claimed that Husam had been using this issue for political mileage to generate support from non-Muslims.

"He wants to be a hero but people won't be taken in by his speech," said Abdul Fattah.

According to a Sinar Harian report today, Abdul Fattah was quoted claiming that all pasar malam traders in Kelantan were Muslims and therefore the ruling could not apply to non-Muslims.

Abdul Fattah's position now differs from his previous stance as reported by Free Malaysia Today on April 17.

"All traders are affected, including non-Muslims. This will allow them time to rest and perform their prayers.

"It's not very long, only about 10 minutes. The important thing is that there is no trading when the azan is called, and that trading resumes after prayers are performed," he told the news portal on Monday.

A tourist attraction

The ruling for a 10-minute shutdown is to allow Muslim traders to perform the maghrib prayers, as there is a smaller window of time to do so compared to the other four Muslim prayer periods throughout the day.

A warning whistle will reportedly be blown 15 minutes before the azan (call to prayer), and once more 10 minutes before.

Traders who do not obey the ruling would be given an initial warning, and repeat offenders would face temporary suspension of their businesses.

On Monday, Husam had questioned why this should apply to non-Muslims since they should not be obliged to follow Islamic practices.

Abdul Fattah added that the ruling was in itself a tourist attraction and because outsiders wanted to see the practice for themselves.

"This makes our pasar malam different from the rest and it doesn't pose a problem for non-Muslim traders," he told Malaysiakini.

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