Published in Malay Mail Online
Malaysian Muslims in general tend to live in bubbles.
Due to their dietary requirements, they isolate themselves in a bubble so unnecessarily strict and complex that it is now a burgeoning industry of its own.
They need to live with constant reminders to pray, and daily break periods to fulfil those prayers.
They require to be judged on certain issues with laws of their own, with a separate legal system with separate judges and separate courts.
Sometimes, these bubbles are even carried overseas together with them, whenever they travel abroad.
Students tend to stick together to preserve the bubble, to protect them from the wicked world outside that wishes to entice them away.
When travelling in tours, they find it easier to stay in the bubble and repeat their daily routine instead of directly participating in different cultures.
At best, keeping themselves in these bubbles polarises non-Muslims as outcasts, and always as “the others.” At worst, by retreating further into their own shells, Muslims leave non-Muslims increasingly uncaring about their affairs, with both having fewer and fewer things in common.