Biased Malaysian Mufti's malicious propaganda against Shiite Muslims poses threat to unity of Muslims

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Asia
Wednesday, 18 September 2013

redicalThe bitter sectarianism that has been engulfing the Middle East appears to be spreading to parts of Southeast Asia.

Mufti Datuk Wan Zahidi Wan Teh, a radical Islamist in Malaysia, called for cutting all ties to Iran because of its adherence to Shi’a Islam.

“Shiism could be regarded as a 'poison' that can destroy the harmony and security of the country as what is happening in some other countries, including Iran, Iraq and Pakistan,” Wan Zahidi claimed, BBC Monitoring reported, citing a report in the Malaysian paper, Berita Harian, one of the country’s oldest papers.

The report added that Wan Zahidi said Malaysia should emulate Morocco is severing ties with Iran, and said that “The Shiite teachings must be blocked, just as we restricted the spread of Communism in this country some time ago.”

The radical Islamist reportedly made the remarks at the Islamic Center in Kuala Lumpur over the weekend, which was holding a seminar titled “Facing the Shiite Virus.”

Wan Zahidi is known for his controversial comments and claims.

Wan Zahidi’s comments and the anti-Shi’a conference seem to reflect a growing anti-Shi’a trend in Malaysia, which is over 60 percent Islamic and about 20 percent Buddhist.

Last month, a minister from the Prime Minister’s Department told reporters that Shi’a inside Malaysia were not allowed to propagate their religion.

“It is not wrong for them to practice Shia Islam, just like it isn’t wrong for Malaysian Chinese to practice Buddhism,” the minister said at a press conference. “But they can’t spread the ideology to the local Muslims, who are Sunnis.”

Reports in the Malaysian media have also said that persons in possession of Shi’a religious materials had been arrested and faced up to two years in prison along with fines.

There has always been a degree of sectarianism in Malaysian society, although this could be increasing.

According to one estimate by the Middle East Institute, many Sunni Malaysians have chosen to convert to Shi’ism voluntarily. This is especially controversial among Malaysian religious authorities.

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