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A mosque in Sabah, Malaysia has temporarily banned tourists from visiting after a video showing two women, believed to be tourists, dancing in front of the building went viral.
In the video, two women are seen acting “disrespectfully” by dancing in revealing outfits which exposed their midriffs, on a ledge outside the mosque.
A man can also be heard saying in Malay: "Why doesn't she fall?"
(Story continues after video)
According to The Star, City mosque chairman Datuk Jamal Sakaran said that the action of the two women was “regret-table” as tourists had been briefed on the do’s and don’ts at the mosque.
"We opened our doors to visitors because we want to introduce and let the people know the beauty of Islam, but such action has tarnished the image of our religion," Jamal said.
"But there were still some who do not show respect.
"Our immediate action is to close the mosque to visitors."
Jamal added that the mosque management would increase security by roping in more members of The People's Volunteer Corps (RELA), and that only taxis registered with the mosque management were allowed to bring in visitors.
Authorities were also alerted to the incident by netizens, and were told to investigate and to come up with regulations to prevent a repeat of such disrespectful acts, especially at places of worship.
However, Malaysia's tourism authorities have decided not to take any legal action on the two tourists because they believed the tourists were unaware of the severity of their actions.
"But we want to identify and find them so that we can explain that something they deemed as ‘fun’ was actually disrespectful and not right in Sabah, especially at places of worship,” said State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Christina Liew on Monday (Jun 25).
Liew, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, said they would find the tour operator who had brought the tourists to the mosque on that day and investigate whether were the tourists briefed about the dos and don’ts when visiting holy sites.
“We want to remind and warn all tour operators to inform their customers to refrain from acting disrespectfully at holy sites, all places of worships and areas of sensitivity in Sabah,” Liew said.