Identity, Equality, Unity
Editor’s Note : This is cross post to show the ignorance and bigotry in Malaysia otherwise known as a moderate country.
KUALA LUMPUR: The prevalence of the Shia belief in Malaysia has reached an alarming level and is feared can lead to a bigger split among Muslims already divided by political differences.
The Shia belief, which was banned by the National Fatwa Committee in a special decision in 1996, needs to be handled aggressively by the authorities and the Islamic Religious Council because it clearly distorts the faith and has a negative impact on unity and harmony among Muslims.
Just look at the situation in some Arab countries, where terrible strife has occurred between the Shia and the Sunni who adhere to the Sunni Wal Jammah teachings.
Of late, the spread of the Shia doctrine has been driven by rapid development in information technology, lack of monitoring on the sale of their books, and the strength and influence of political leaders who practise the teachings.
The question is, despite the prohibition of Shia teachings, why are some people still susceptible to its teachings which are clearly contrary to the teachings of Sunnah Wal Jamaah?
Clarifying the matter, freelance lecturer Dzulkarnain Hamzah stressed that a lack of awareness on the dangers of Shia teachings among the community and weaknesses in the control of false hadiths coming into the country were among the factors for such influence.
“The Shia are also better groomed in their appearance and dressing which draws people to them, especially professionals,” he told Bernama.
He elaborated that the Shia agenda was not religious but was instead politically motivated with strange beliefs and prohibitions which caused conflicts.
Earlier media reports stated that the Malaysian Shia movement is believed to want to use RM24 million to build a complex in Satun province in Thailand to be used as its base to spread the teachings.
Is there any way or method which can be taken to curb the Shia from continuing to proliferate and stake a strong presence in this country?
Addressing this question, Dzulkarnain suggested that the authorities and mosques should work on educating and raising awareness among Muslims to enable them to recognise and reject the false hadith.
On July 27, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom reportedly said the government would take stern action against anyone who practised the Shia belief regardless of their status or political belief.
Shura Council member Dr Fathul Bari Mat Jahaya of the Malaysian Scholars’ Organisation suggested that the government enact fresh legislation to curb misguided teachings and also define Islam in the Federal Constitution as the teachings of Sunnah Wal Jamaah.
“For example, in Kedah, they have an Anti-Shia Enactment. It will be better to have a comprehensive act to cover all misguided teachings,” he said.
Fathul Bari also urged Muslim political leaders to cooperate with the government in checking the spread of the Shia belief.
“This is not a political issue but one that concerns Muslims as a whole. It doesn’t matter if we’re from Umno, PAS or any other party, we must unite and combat this together,” he said. — Bernama