The Muslim population in Taitung is low, as the diet and lifestyle are incredibly different from most of the people. “We have to follow Salah every day and are forbidden to eat pork or drink alcohol. These are the basic rules to follow as a Muslim,” explained Amir Habib Shaikh. After moving from Taipei to Taitung, a friend in Taipei suggested that he should prepare some meals suitable for Muslim tourists traveling in Taitung as there weren’t any restaurants in Taitung possessing the Halal Certification(1).He heard that most Muslim tourists bring eggs or ration bars to eat while visiting Taitung.
While starting to prepare lunch boxes catered towards Muslims, tourists gradually became more familiar with their establishment. People recommended that they open a Muslim restaurant with a Muslim Prayer Room. “For every Muslim, a mosque is like a home providing a feeling of peace for performing Salah,” said Amir Habib Shaik.
There are lots of churches and temples in Taitung; however, there aren’t any mosques, which is a disadvantage for popularizing Muslim tourism in Taitung. Therefore, they opened a restaurant on Provincial Highway No.9 that sells Halal food. Muslim tourists can travel around Taitung without worrying about their diet as they can enjoy the local Halal cuisine.
In addition to taking care of the children in remote tribal villages, Amir Habib Shaikh and his wife wish to build a platform for selling Halal certified products from Taitung to the halal market – a market which is worth one hundred billion US dollars. Setting up this platform will allow Islamic countries in the Middle East and South-east Asia to see the high quality products of Taitung.