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:
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.
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