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When I was in Morocco, I was disappointed to find out non-Muslims, in general, aren't permitted in mosques in the country, but I heard this isn't the case in some other countries. I'm headed to Malaysia soon and might want to step inside some mosques when I'm there.

Are non-Muslims permitted to enter mosques in Malaysia?

  • I never understand how they know. It seems more like a 'non-whites' rather than 'non-muslims' policy – Strawberry Aug 3 '17 at 12:18
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TL; DR: Yes.

I grew up in Malaysia and I am a non-Muslim. I have been inside Putra Mosque, in the capital city of Putrajaya. It was part of a class field trip I had when I was in school.

However, you should pay close attention to etiquette and expected behaviors as outlined in your own answer. The girls in my group wore long sleeves, and shawls to cover their hair.

  • 2
    Are you sure it wasn't assumed that you are a Muslim? I was in Christian monasteries before and everyone there assumed that I was a Christian because I'm a white European dude. – Davor Aug 3 '17 at 9:14
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    @Davor fairly certain. I am ethnically Chinese; it is generally understood that non-Malays are non-Muslim. According to the 2010 census, there are 223,084 non-Malay Muslims out of 8,489,848 non-Malay citizens, or 2.63%. – casvaart Aug 3 '17 at 14:04
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Yes, non-Muslims are allowed to enter (at least some) mosques in Malaysia.

See user casvaart's answer for a local's perspective.

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Having been in Malaysia, I can attest that visiting a mosque is possible for non-Muslims. There were no restrictions as far I could tell and I have entered at least a dozen mosques principally around Kuala Lumpur but also some in southern provinces.

In some cases, there were signs indicating not to take photos within the prayer hall itself but the outer part of the mosque can be photographed.

6

Generally yes, but you might be asked to wear appropriate clothing (e.g. no exposed skin). But even then you might be given a gown to cover yourself with during your visit. At least that was the case at Putra Mosque (seen here)

3

I can't speak for every mosque in the country but certainly from my experience of visiting a few mosques in KL and Malacca it's a case of "Sort of".

The mosques all had visitor areas where nobody had any issue with me, a white guy in jeans and a plain t-shirt coming for a look around.

Signs said no shorts and no shirts with pictures of skulls (or other wild things) on them but I encountered zero issue, they're used to tourists.

However...this was only to see a visitor area. To go into the main part of the mosque itself where the worship takes place; the big two in KL had signs explicitly saying this was not allowed for non-muslims.

If I remember right the national mosque had set hours when non-muslims were allowed to take tours but generally it wasn't allowed.

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