Thursday, December 19, 2013

Saudi Wahabiyyah in Malaysia

"Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia sociologist Dr Mohd Faizal Musa (pic) said extremist religious authorities have spread the myth that Shia Islam was a recent import starting in 1979 and that the denomination, which is the second largest in Islam, was a foreign threat. “Wahhabis in Malaysia tend to regard Shiism as ‘another religion’ and consider Shias ‘infidels’, ‘unbelievers’, ‘heretics’, ‘deviants’, and ‘non-Islamic’," he told The Malaysia Insider in Kuala Lumpur. He said Wahhabism had also made dialogue between Sunni and Shia Muslims difficult, thus compounding the ignorance and fear that the majority Sunni feels towards the Shia.

Last week, grassroots members from the country’s largest party, Umno, called for the Federal Constitution to be amended so that only Sunni Islam would be the official religion of the Federation. In its annual general assembly, Umno also wanted the religious authorities to persecute Shia Muslims, homosexuals, religious heretics and those it considered as having insulted Islam. In the past few years, religious authorities have broken up festivals and arrested dozens of Shia Muslims for practising their brand of Islam. Malaysian Sunni Muslim groups and political parties have called the Shias deviants although they are the second largest denomination in Islam. This is despite the fact that influential heads of the Al-Azhar University in Egypt, an ancient university well regarded for its Islamic scholarship, have repeatedly acknowledged the Shias as part of the Muslim faith." (thanks Basim)