Muslim sisters who call out “racist” security guard who allegedly prohibited them from praying at mall stairwell face backlash from Malay netizens

17689

When twin sisters Syahidah and Hirah Rostam posted about an incident where they were allegedly prohibited from using a stairwell at Alexandra Central Mall by a “racist” security guard working there, they received widespread criticism instead of support mostly from members of their own Malay and Muslim community.

On Wednesday (25 Oct), Syahidah shared on Facebook that she and her sister had unfurled their prayer mat at a stairwell at the mall and had begun praying silently at the staircase when a “racist” Indian security supervisor allegedly tried to get his Chinese and Malay security staff stop them from praying.

The sisters also shot videos showing them confronting the security guards. In the videos, Syahidah and Hirah can be seen shouting at the guards.

 

Syahidah added that in her and her twin’s 29 years, they “have always been doing prayers at any staircase in shopping malls or hospitals be it public or private ones.”

She claimed that non-Indian security guards usually allow the sisters to pray at staircases and added:

“Everytime Hirah & I encountered with police, security guards or authorities, they are always Indians who look down on us Malays or Muslims.
“I am aware most Indians look down on us Malays & Malays are an inferior race to them. They are capable of teaching & influencing people close to them to be superior or unapologetic about mistakes done.
“This is what I feel everytime Indian security guards, police & authorities speak to us Malays. Or when Indians who are not close to me or extended friends who are Indians treat me.
“Like we Malays are nothing and they are superior as ever.”

While Syahidah’s post has been shared over 800 times on Facebook, countless netizens commenting on her post have criticised her and her twin for having a bad attitude, for playing the race card and supposedly pretending to be victims.

Netizens also commented that the sisters could have prayed at IKEA Alexandra, which is right next door and has a Musholla for Muslims to freely use. Additionally, the nearest mosque to Alexandra Central Mall is an 12 minute bus ride or 6 minute car ride away.

Interestingly, most of these criticisms came from Malay and Muslim netizens:

One Indian netizen was so incensed by Syahidah’s comments calling all Indians racists that he lodged a police complaint against her:

Meanwhile, Syahidah’s sister Hirah defended herself and her twin against the barrage of criticism:

I was asked to stop praying at the staircase by a security guard who was told by his supervisor over the walkie talkie….

Posted by Sya Rostam on Tuesday, 24 October 2017

In case you cannot read the post above, here it is in full:

I was asked to stop praying at the staircase by a security guard who was told by his supervisor over the walkie talkie.
Racist: ‘a person who shows or feels discrimination/prejudice against people of other races & believe they are superior’
Apparently, the supervisor is an Indian security guard who shows his superiority towards me who was praying silently at the staircase.
Just a prayer mat on the floor & he wanted to make a big issue about it. Pray 5 mins become dramatic 15 mins.
In @hirah_rostam and my 29 years of life living in S’pore, we have always been doing prayers at any staircase in shopping malls or hospitals be it public or private ones.
Security guards who have seen us (non-Indians) before are always okay with us praying there. Some of them even willingly showed us where we can pray.
But this Indian security guard didn’t even say sorry to me when he told his staff to stop me from praying. I already started praying for God’s sake!
Talk like world over the walkie talkie but when we asked him to meet us at the staircase, he didn’t come up. When we came down to see him, he didn’t want to come out.
***There is no black & white signs or evidences that Muslims cannot pray at staircase. It is not a crime. If it is, this will be a police case.
The other 2 staff under him are Chinese & Malay. They kept saying sorry.
Everytime Hirah & I encountered with police, security guards or authorities, they are always Indians who look down on us Malays or Muslims.
Like the Indian security guard who rudely approached Hirah & her freestyle soccer friend (Azri) at Tamp Hub recently.
I am aware most Indians look down on us Malays & Malays are an inferior race to them. They are capable of teaching & influencing people close to them to be superior or unapologetic about mistakes done.
This is what I feel everytime Indian security guards, police & authorities speak to us Malays. Or when Indians who are not close to me or extended friends who are Indians treat me.
Like we Malays are nothing and they are superior as ever.

70 COMMENTS

  1. 0

    0

    oh, that is a female muslim headscarf design pattern arrh. quick 1st look i thought i saw image of under biology lense full of worms or micro organism wriggling… blur photo. paiseh.

  2. 5

    0

    Stairwells are not the right places for prayer. They are often dirty n many people use them as shortcuts. Maybe a Muslim can explain. They know exactly when the prayer times are and can plan to be at an appropiate place. I feel that the people who are being racists are these 2 women, playing the victim card to get sympathy.

  3. 6

    0

    Good to know that under SCDF Fire code, a building’s internal/ external staircases are primarily for emergency exits during a fire incident. That is why u cant place items inside or outside to obstruct an exit door. Imagine if everyone wanted to do some form of activity within a staircase…Where do weWe do we put a stop.

  4. 4

    0

    Staircases are public places and for public to move up and down a bldg. If this twin goes everywhere to pray at staircases, then they may obstruct other people from using it when they want to…please go to a designated area or a mosque for their prayer lah..

  5. 4

    0

    The guards are just doing their job. Why must you incite religious discontent to them? Allah teaches you to be tolerant. Since you are not allow to pray there, move on and go to another place. By posting this video to attract attention or people to pity you, it looks back badly onto yourself! Do some reflections!

  6. 5

    0

    I take offense to what this twin sisters said. The guard is just obeying the building code. Under LTA and SCDF ruling the stairwell is meant as an escape from fire. Even if say two or three people were to hangout there the security have the right to ask them to leave. This two ladies are using religion as an excuse to attack th security officers race which should not be allowed. They should be investigated for making racist remarks and charge in a court of law.

    • 4

      0

      MdAlias Kamisa you are just like the twins dumb as an ox. The article is about a private building with security. Don’t you dare start with your religious bigotry. We have had enough of bullshit. If you don’t like the chinese putting incense bins outside the corridor then do make a complain but once again I warn you not to bring race into the equation.

    • 0

      0

      MdAlias Kamisa those metal tins provided by the town council in public area? If you think all malls need to provide place for prayer, like in Malaysia, please take up your case with your Malay M.P. or even Madam President, and then the Parliament will debate over it, no point shouting and scolding in a private property owned by private enterprises…

  7. 1

    3

    Muslim big f? Need to pray big f? You think now Halimah is president then you can do whatever you want? You are at other peoples place, so you jolly well respect the rules there, typical self entitled bunch of stooges with the it’s my right F Up mindset. God bless the unlucky man who marry this 2 women.

  8. 2

    0

    They want to pray go home or the mosque la.. Why must make everywhere n corner like a mosque in the public. I think praying must always be at the enclosed area not exposed in the public is better or unless out side the building bcos the building is not a mosque and surely the building owner n many ppl will not agree any building turn into like a mosque. The guard is doing the right thing not bcos he’s a racist.
    Can anyone see Chinese pray n burn joss stick n papers inside the building unless is in a temper or outside the building.

  9. 0

    1

    If someone were in a middle of doing something and another someone comes and chase them away,how would that someone feel.There is always two side of the story and I cant judge until hearing from both.I agree that racist remark is inappropiate but sometime circumstances had the emotion of the situation.So I practise retraint and access the issue b4 jumping to conclusion and making it worse.

    • 1

      0

      Someone should use common sense to know they just cannot park themselves in a private property and do whatever they want. They could easily walk to the nearest mosque and pray there. The guard is doing his duty at stopping them from infringing the building regulation. Doesn’t matter if the party is praying or having intercourses or having a heated argument along the staircase

  10. 1

    1

    Remember this phrase LKY said when you don’t do anything somebody else will. It actually happens in every country. It’s for people who wants to live the work hard play hard life. Nothing comes easy or just get lucky. Even god will question ones devotion. What purpose is your life when praying and your lifestyle is two different thing. The one who prays making time for god and the other who prays every second of his time. If prayers goes out of hand that harms public relations there will be consequences which will lead to stricter rules. The choice is always yours

  11. 4

    0

    Looks like the twin sistas are always on the lookout for malls to pray at so that’s why they are always carrying their prayer mats. Why not pray at their workplace before going for a break? Their argument sounds so childish with all the fuss made. It’s about time the twin sistas grew up and did their prayers at home before heading out in search of malls with stairwells; Indian authority; Indian policemen and Indian security guards. Get a life and get a brain each,Twin Sistas!

  12. 1

    0

    The guard is just doing their job , no more no less , period! But , they could have exercise some humanity in handling the situation, it is not that pple go to the stairway to pray everyday.
    It is understandable that the sisters would feel aggrieved being distracted from their prayer abruptly but they need not take things too personally.
    Perhaps to cater to the needs of our Muslim Singaporean , public building developers could include prayer rooms in their building design and users can pay a token fee for using the prayer room ……..or the Muslim organisations could get together to sponsor the prayers’ rooms in public buildings for the use of their community………

  13. 1

    0

    You should as s person with religious practice have higher tolerance……….further more it’s a private place n Guards have their protocol set up by their management so it’s only right they follow it strictly … n base on today’s situation in high risk factors such has terrorism related matters , security of others far more important… maybe we as individual could ourself have the initiative to balance things up with daily life’s …. God listen

    • 1

      0

      Today stairwells… tomorrow car Parks and public Parks, Day after, road sides and shopping Malls… if there is no control, these people will get out of hand. If they are so devout, brave the weather and go to a prayer place. This applies to all religious people.

  14. 4

    0

    This is the bloody reason why Malays are portrayed to be dangerous. Cos they are overbearing and inflexible. Then when things goes against them they play the racecard.. No wonder theres Islamophobia… Haiz

  15. 0

    0

    To connect with God, we have places such as the Mosques, Prayer Rooms which has been set up in our Airports. Places that are frequented by our Muslim brothers/sisters have Prayer rooms too for this purpose. If you are travelling, certain hotels will have their rooms with arrows showing where Mecca is. Sya Rostam , if you checked her profile listed her interest as ‘MEN’. She was probably snubbed by the Security Guards and therefore decided to vent her anger online but did not expect backlashes.

  16. 1

    0

    Islam doesn’t need preaching coz our actions & reactions will speak for the religion itself.

    And in this situation its a shame to say, its humiliation of what is expected of us as Muslimahs.

    “..we shouted at him because he shouted at us first. This kind of people must kena shout then can jalan one..”

    Really sisters? Chill down. Istighfar. Walk away. In your wudhu while praying u should have known better. In your clarity as a Muslimah, you should have reacted differently.

    Sadly, terlajak tindakan. Menyasal tak sudah.

  17. 0

    0

    The management thru the Security Guard shud think of this.
    I think its time to support Bayern Munich FC!

    Bayern Munich, the club’s official website, announced the opening of an Islamic mosque at the Allianz Arena, a stronghold of the Bavarian club, and will be the first mosque in all world stadiums.

    The initiative came after Frenchman Bilal Frank Ribery proposed to the club management that he wud be allocated a small room for prayer on the pitch for him and Muslim players.
    But the reaction of the management of the club was unexpected, as they ordered to build a mosque full of players and Muslim fans with the presence of an imam and his office Islamic and science workshops and paid the management of the club 85% of the value of construction and the rest left to players and fans who want to contribute to the construction of the mosque.
    This is the mosque. Watch the shoes where they are equipped with green light (vacant) and red (busy) ..

  18. 1

    0

    This is my opinion.

    Singapore is multi-racial/religion.
    We are not a predominantly Muslim nation like Indonesia or Malaysia.
    Therefore,
    there are still restrictions on what one can or cannot do.

    This is in relation to all religions in Singapore.
    Not just Islam.

    Therefore,
    we all have to abide & be flexible.

    I understand Muslims pray five times a day & are advised to do so promptly if possible.

    However,
    location/circumstances sometimes might not be suitable for those who are Muslim in Singapore,
    unless they do so at the mosque or places that allow it.
    Or at home.
    Depending on their work arrangements too.

    It’s a take & give balance & don’t make these issues an entitlement.

    It’s compulsory but due to our multi racial ethics,
    we need to be more flexible & not expect everything on own terms/entitlement.

    This is how we ignite religion conflicts etc

  19. 0

    0

    If our Malay abang adei think that all malls need to provide place for prayer, like in Malaysia, please take up the case with your Malay M.P. or even Madam President, and then the Parliament will debate over it, no point shouting and scolding a security guard in a private property owned by private enterprises for using a place not meant for prayer…

  20. 0

    0

    I cannot believe the anger in them, especially someone so young. The last thing U want to do is to screw up the life of a security guard. 12 hours of work with very low pay. No weekends or public holidays. Moreover work is not guaranteed as contracts may go to a new agency. As you know stairwells are governed by SCDF code safety process. Buildings are to adhere to them strictly. The Guards were simply following orders from the powers to be. If at all the girls should have taken up this in a civilised way with the building management. And that I see has poor judgment by the girls who happened to be from NTU. I think in a larger scheme of things, the girls have a deep rooted hatred towards Indians. This could be attributed to past experince. The girls apart from praying should seek help.

  21. 0

    0

    Judging from the comments, it is rude to pray at a non-designated spot and you should only pray at designated spots so not to inconvenience others.

    Just checking for consistency across the board.

Comments are closed.