Muslims who plan on skipping out on fasting during Ramadan could find themselves in hot water with authorities in Malaysia.
More than two dozen law enforcement officers are going undercover as cooks and waiters to catch Muslims who aren’t fasting during the holy month, the New Straits Times reported Thursday.
Muslims are required to fast from dawn until dusk during Islam’s holiest month. A group from Segamat in the Malaysian state of Johor will be monitoring nearly 200 eating stalls, officials said.
“There are 185 licensed stalls and food outlets under MPS at 15 locations. These include Segamat, Bandar Putra IOI, Segamat Baru, Jalan Segamat Muar, Taman Yayasan, Buloh Kasap, Jementah, Batu Anam and Bandar Utama,” Segamat Municipal Council president Mohd Masni Wakiman told the New Straits Times.
The law enforcement officers will secretly record the person eating when they should be fasting and alert the local religious council, according to the paper.
“Once the order is sent, the enforcement staff will secretly capture the image of the individual or group of people enjoying the food, and immediately contact the Segamat Islamic Religious Council,” Wakiman said.
He added: “The MPS does not want to be seen as not making an effort to handle the issue of Muslims eating in the open during Ramadan. Not only is it disrespectful to Islam, it also reflects badly on MPS as the act is committed at stalls under its supervision.”
In Johor, Muslims who are caught eating when they should be fasting could be jailed for six months or face a fine.
Sisters in Islam, a Muslim women rights group in Malaysia, called the plan “shameful.”
“We strongly demand that all parties cease this disgraceful act of spying,” the group said.