Andi Hajramurni, Makassar – A Muslim organization in Makassar, South Sulawesi, has protested against two local restaurants for selling dishes that contain pork.
Das'ad Latif from the Moral Guard Alliance Makassar said his organization had urged the management of Phinisi Point Mall to close down the restaurants located in the shopping center.
He said the public was disturbed by the smell of pork from the restaurants, which he claimed permeated other areas of the mall, including the surrounding halal diners and an Islamic prayer room.
"We are not prohibiting them from selling non-halal food at Phinisi Point or other malls, but please don't set up shops near halal restaurants. We are disturbed by the smoke and the smell," Das'ad said.
Furthermore, he said the restaurants in question had not been transparent about the food they were selling. He said the restaurants only wrote in English that they sold dishes containing "pork", leading to confusion among members of the public who were not familiar with the English term.
"This isn't about intolerance against non-Muslims or the minority. We're only asking for mutual respect. We, as the Muslim majority, still respect the minority. But please separate [non-halal] restaurants from the halal diners," Das'ad added.
Phinisi Point Mall general manager Anggraini said the two restaurants were temporarily closed on Tuesday evening.
"Those two restaurants are indeed situated near other diners. However, they put up a sign upon our request, which warned visitors that the food was not for the general public," she said.
The two restaurants had opened in January and had never caused a stir before, Anggraini said. The waiters had been trained to tell customers that their food contained pork, she added.
"We are currently looking for a safer location for the two restaurants," she said. (rfa)