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  Updated: May 29, 2011

Malaysian powers that be raid Fatimi celebration

By: Nabil Raza

KUALA, LUMPUR, Malaysia: A festive gathering to commemorate the birthday of Hazret Fatimah Zahra (AS), the beloved daughter of the Prophet Mohammed (S), was brutally raided by Malaysian authorities. She was born on Jamadi Al-Aakher 20 in the holy city of Medinah.

The Shiite community in the country has been accused of threatening national security in multi-ethnic Malaysia, and some 200 were arrested last December, with some charged in a religious court and awaiting trial.

Wahab Omar, a Shiite community leader, said religious department officers accompanied by 20 police attacked the gathering.

“We were having lunch… with 200 people, many of whom are non-Muslims, to celebrate the birthday, when our premises were raided,” he told AFP.

Wahab said their leader Kamil Zuhairi Abdul Aziz and three other followers were arrested.

“It was purely a social gathering and yet we continue to be harassed by religious authorities,” he said .

Nurhamizah Othman, spokeswoman for the Islamic department in Selangor confirmed the raid and the detention of the four.

“The sect knows that there is a fatwa in Malaysia banning Shiism and yet they challenge the religious department’s authority as the enforcer of Islamic religious laws by carrying out such events,” she said.

A 1989 Islamic law and a 1996 fatwa by Malaysia’s top Islamic clerics banned Shiism, declaring it a “deviant ideology.”

In March, minister in charge of Islamic affairs Jamil Khir Baharom told parliament that Shiites were barred from promoting their faith to other Muslims in the country but are free to practise it themselves.


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