Malaysia

Jais chief will not apologise to Shia Muslims

By Syed Mu’az Syed Putra
December 28, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 28 — The Selangor Islamic Department (Jais) director Datuk Khusrin Munawi defended today the arrests of 200 Shia Muslims made two weeks ago.

Khusrin claimed that those arrested were practicing deviant Islamic teachings and stressed that he need not apologise.

“We have been observing the group for the past two years, we have enough evidence to declare they have deviated from Islamic teachings,” Khusrin told The Malaysian Insider.

“So I will not apologise, why should we apologise to the people we arrest,” he said.

“It was not a usual gathering, they were there to promote their teachings which is illegal. That was why we acted swiftly as we did not want things to get worse,” he added.

Jais raided a shop house in Gombak two weeks ago and arrested the group which included foreigners in what was the largest crackdown of Shia Muslims in the country.

The raid was conducted on Asyura Day, a day of mourning for Shia Muslims over the death of Prophet Mohamad’s grandson Husayn in a civil war against the Umayyad Caliphate.

Yesterday the Shia group asked Khusri to apologise over the arrest, describing as a violation of human rights.

“If they are not happy, they can take us to court. We have proof to show that they have deviated,” said Khusrin.

“Even a fatwa issued by the Selangor government clearly said that the Shias are considered deviant group,” he added.

According to a fatwa issued by the Selangor government in 1998, Shia teachings were considered unIslamic and contradict the Sunni doctrines, which is widely practice in the country.

A special consultation by the National Fatwa Counil in 1996 also declared that Malaysian Muslims must only subscribe to the Sunni teachings.

The arrest of Shia Muslims however, was condemned by former Perlis Mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, who described it as a sign of ‘Talibanisation’.