In an effort to repress Shia Muslims in Malaysia, religious authorities arrested over a 100 people who had gathered to celebrate the birth of Lady Zainab (sa), daughter of Imam Ali (as) and sister of Imam Hussain (as). Muslim Congress condemns such flagrant violation of people’s right to practice their faith in peace.
Malaysia is quietly adopting Taliban style repression of people who do not adhere to their interpretation of Islam. Over the past years religious authorities have arrested hundreds of Shia Muslims on the pretext of their belief in the teachings of the Ahl ul-Bayt (as).
For instance a few years ago on the night of Ashoora (Dec 20, 2010), more than 200 people were arrested and later charged by the Islamic Court of Malaysia for ‘following a deviationist movement’.
This past Sunday (March 10, 2014), Shia families had gathered in a residence in the middle of a forest reserve near the Grik-Selama border to celebrate the birth of Lady Zainab bint ‘Ali (sa). Officers from the Perak Islamic Affairs Department (JAIPk) in conjunction with the local police hauled up 114 participants including 28 women and 32 children. They were taken to the police headquarters and have been summoned to reappear in court later next month.
Shia Muslims have been particularly targeted by the Malaysia’s religious authorities and United Malays National Organization (UMNO), which is the nation’s largest political party. Senior leaders of UMNO urged strong action Shia adherents at their general assembly last year and recommended that only Sunni Islam should be recognized in the constitution.
Muslim Congress condemns these violations of the rights of innocent people to practice their faith emphasizing that such bigoted views have no support in the teachings of the pure Islam of the Holy Prophet (saawa).